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You probably know the problem: You are at a barbecue party, everybody is hungry, and then it takes *ages* for the coals to get hot. A cook from Erftstadt, Germany, who wanted to give a barbecue seminar, had a simple, yet efficient solution: He filled his kettle barbecue already at his home with charcoals and lit them up, then closed the barbecue, and put it into his car together with other utensils for his barbecue seminar. Then he drove off towards his destination.

Now burning coals do not simply vanish. Instead, the carbon they contain reacts with oxygen from the air to carbon dioxide, and, if the air supply is not good enough (as in a closed kettle barbecue) to carbon monoxide. The latter is a colorless, odorless, and very toxic gas.

The cook drove on, untroubled by chemical considerations, until the carbon monoxide rendered him unconscious. Fortunately he was passing through a narrow street at that time, and therefore driving slowly. The collision with a house wall that stopped him hurt the car more than him. Fortunately some residents pulled him out of his car and exposed him to fresh air. And fortunately the local fire brigade came quickly and extinguished the red-hot charcoals which had spilled all over the luggage compartment before they could set the car aflame.

The cook was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover. He can also be expected to have learned one of the principles of chemistry, namely that chemical elements do not vanish.

Our man survived and is therefore not a candidate for the Darwin Award. But being lucky on three accounts might earn him an Honorable Mention.

Submitted on 08/05/2022

Submitted by: Ulrich Deiters

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Tracy said:
Definitely Keep: Honorable Mention He is definitely a DA of the future!

Bruce said:
Definitely Keep: Honorable Mention
We get a lot of stories involving CO poisoning from people using grills, generators, etc. indoors. But I think this is the first one involving driving with a lit grill in the car, so that's a new level of idiocy in my book. Thanks, Ulrich!