Yes, there is a perfectly reasonable context why I uttered these words, and in front of my boss, of all people!

This past weekend, Pauline from work invited me to dip candles with her and a few others at Bee Cee Wicks & Wax. The group consisted of a small party of seven, including a few librarians from work (including my Division Head) and their family and friends. I was really curious to try candle-dipping because I remember seeing it demonstrated on Sesame Street as a kid. That, and making ice cream by hand. I had always wanted to try doing these things myself.

Did you know that hand-dipped candles last a lot longer than ones made via molds? The ones we made last about 10 hours, which is pretty darn long for a candlestick.

I forgot to bring my camera to document the process, but here are the steps, quite simple really:

  1. Take a piece of wick and tie a nut (or any weight) at each end. The wick is actually long enough to make a pair of candles.
  2. Using a clip with a wide mouth, clip the middle portion of the wick and let the weights hang at about an inch apart.
  3. Dip the pair of wicks into a vat of melted wax just up to where the wick is clipped to squeeze out any air pockets. This step enables the wick to burn longer. Let the wax dry for a couple minutes.
  4. To lay the foundation for the taper, dip the pair of wicks one third of the way up. Let dry, and then dip the pair of wicks two thirds of the way up.
  5. Then continue to dip the pair of wicks just up to where the wick is clipped (letting the wax dry for a minute in between dips) until the base of the stick-in-formation builds to about 1/2 in. in diameter.
  6. Clip the weights off while the wax is warm.
  7. Then dip the sticks in a vat of coloured wax, as many times as you need to get the shade you want (somewhere between 1-5 times).
  8. Unclip the sticks and let cool. There, you now have a pair of hand-dipped candlesticks!

If you follow, Step 5 is repeated the most to build up the layers of wax. In between one of my Step 5 dips, I swung my sets of sticks out of the vat with too much momentum, and the waxy weights (we used nuts) ended up sticking to each other. Without thinking, I exclaimed to the entire group (all women, fortunately), “My nuts are stuck together!”

While the words tumbled out of my mouth, my brain was screaming, “Noooooooo …….!” I desperately hoped no one would think anything of it, but a few of the older women quite obviously did because they snorted and snickered amongst themselves. Aware of the couple of minors in the room, they pulled themselves together quickly and did not dwell on it, although Pauline pointed out to me, “You’re turning all red!” I laughed it off sheepishly and muttered some sort of apology.

This foot-in-mouth ranks up there with my interview gaffe from a few years ago for a job at the Joe Fortes Branch. My interviewer asked me, “How would you respond if someone comes up to you and asks for books from the queer section?” I was so nervous, my tongue got twisted. I responded, “When people ask for information, you have to be absolutely queer [I meant to say “clear“] about what they are really asking for.”

Obviously, I didn’t get the job.