Monthly Archives: November 2009

Dry Ice

So I went to Baskin Robbins to pick up an ice cream cake for my co-worker’s twenty-eighth birthday. The woman behind the counter asked, “Are you going to deposit this in a freezer in no more than ten to fifteen minutes?”

I glanced at the clock. “No, I was hoping to eat it before then. That might not happen, though.”

She gave me a look and told me that she could cover the cake in dry ice to keep it cool for a little while longer.

“Great!” I said. You can put dry ice on food? I thought. I didn’t know a lot about dry ice. I still don’t.

“Don’t touch it with your hands and put it directly in the sink,” she told me. For some odd reason, I instantly wanted to put my tongue on some dry ice, and that scared me. I tried not to look too worried. “Okay.”

When I got to the office I opened the box and looked inside. A wee bit of smoke curled up. Cool. But even as I marveled, I knew I had to get rid of that stuff quick. Who knew what I would manage to do with it? Eat it, touch it, whatever you AREN’T supposed to do with dry ice, that’s what I would do. So I grabbed a huge stack of napkins and awkwardly picked up a large chunk to deposit in a coffee mug. All of a sudden there was a ton of smoke coming off of it, a la Tales From the Crypt.  I dropped it back on the cake. I took a deep breath and tried again. I managed to get two chunks in the mug without freaking out. Then the ice started shaking a bit and making a weird noise inside the mug – a high pitched squeak. I yelped.  I found a pair of tongs in the silverware drawer and took the dry ice out of the mug and plopped it back on the cake. I finally decided to deposit the dry ice into a stack of coffee filters and then onto a basket plate. You know, protective layers. I grabbed the basket plate with the tongs and proceeded to walk through the office, out the door, and down the hall to the bathroom making sure to look very casual about my smoking plate of hellfire.

Once I got in the bathroom, I debated putting the dry ice in the toilet and flushing but I kept having images of some unlucky soul with a freezer-burned anus so I scrapped that idea. I decided to put it in the sink. I ran water over the ice to get it to melt quicker. Sooner or later the entire sink was filled with smoke, and the dry ice was vibrating again.  “Yikes!” I scooped it up with my tongs and piled it all back on my basket plate. I stared at it for a second. It wouldn’t stop smoking! I’d throw it outside, that’s what I would do. So I walked for the second time past inquisitive eyes to the trash can out in front of the building. I stuck the plate through the top of the trashcan and tilted it slightly. GOAL. Then I promptly went inside and googled how to properly dispose of dry ice. DO NOT THROW AWAY stared back at me. Whoops. I called up Housekeeping and cautioned them about smoking bags of trash.

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