Friday afternoon. It’s getting dark outside my office window. All is calm, all is quiet, the perfect moment to initiate the lovely myrrh-scented candle I got from a colleague as a Christmas gift. Exhale, relax, and lean into work on the Sunday sermon.
The wick is drowning after only a few minutes though. Some of the wax needs poured off. Handily, there is the compostable spoon I used to eat my split pea soup at lunchtime still sitting atop my desk. I tip the tiny candle and the wax pools easily. Only a little drips onto the desk. Back to the sermon for another half hour or so, then blow out the candle, gather my things, switch off the lights, and leave for home.
Sunday morning. It’s as dark as dark gets when I march into the office to make final revisions to my sermon before the 8:00 service. I’ve got my regular Sunday breakfast in hand: a short brewed coffee and instant oatmeal from the Starbucks across the street. Set down my things and lift the lid off the oatmeal to stir in the little almond slivers and dried fruit; there’s the plastic spoon wrapped in plastic they always give you, which is no good. Luckily, I have this compostable spoon on my desk. Perfect. Stir the oatmeal heartily and take a big bite.
You saw it coming, right? The spoon was still full of perfumed candle wax. The texture is off. There’s a clump, only I take it to be some un-soaked oats. Swallow, then notice the candle. Wow, that smells stronger than I remember from Friday afternoon. Like, really strong; I can’t get it out of my nose. I move the candle off the desk. It’s only while stirring the oatmeal again (you know, to get rid of the clumps) that I realize what I’ve done. I’ve eaten a candle.
The oatmeal goes into the bin, of course, but I won’t miss the breakfast because what kind of appetite can you have when every breath, every swallow, tastes like soap? I scavenge through my desk drawers for something, anything, to coat the taste–there are some chocolates, some bottled water, the coffee: nothing works. There’s a tiny nip of a distilled product I got as a stocking stuffer in there, which would almost certainly vaporize wax scent, but then I’d smell like whiskey at 8 am on a Sunday. No good. I vividly consider the prospect of being sick over the side of the pulpit during the sermon.
It turns out that time is what you need when you’ve ingested perfumed wax, in case you should ever need to know. Midway through the service the threat has mostly faded, and the sermon is no longer likely to be interrupted by projectile vomiting, at least not by the preacher.
Careful with the burps though. Those emit perfume for hours.