Dialogues: Spontaneous Combustion
Jon and Dino and Camacho were having a sciency conversation about geology and engineering and global warming and I know not what, and I was sitting on the fringes because I'm not terribly knowledgeable about these things, especially in Portuguese.
But then Jon mentioned a case of spontaneous combustion in India...
That was my launch pad.
"Oh yeah." I chimed in. "That thing of...how do you say 'spontaneous combustion' in Portuguese?...used to happen sometimes in England in the 1800's. It was because of the amount of gasses and other combustive substances in the environment and..." I looked up to see that all three of them were staring at me. Not eating their chicken. Not paying attention to Jariel. Just staring directly at me. Dino and Camacho didn't even seem to be blinking.
I don't think I've ever had that much undivided attention in my whole life, and it occurred to me that maybe I was blowing a couple mental circuit breakers. Artistic, mathematically vague and perpetually jocular people like me probably aren't supposed to be knowledgeable about things like spontaneous combustion. But I read all these articles, you see...
Hello, Mozambique. It's me, Janie, and I now have a firm enough grasp of your language to begin sharing my accumulation of strange and bizarre facts with you. Spontaneous combustion is my new party trick.