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Don't try this at home:

Subject: Safety Tip: Avoid a ballistic rat

"In retrospect, lighting the match was my mistake.  But I was only
trying to retrieve my son's rat."  Dick Stone told doctors in the severe
burns unit of San Francisco City Hospital.  Admitted for emergency
treatment after an attempt to retrieve the rat had gone seriously wrong,
he explained, "My son left the cage door open, so his rat, Vermin,
escaped into the garage.  As usual, it looked for a good place to hide,
and ran up the exhaust pipe of my motorcycle.  I tried to retrieve
Vermin by offering him food attached to a string, but he wouldn't come
out again, so I peered into the pipe and struck a match, thinking the
light might attract him."

At a hushed press conference, a hospital spokesman described what had
happened next.  "The flame ignited a pocket of residual gas and a flame
shot out the pipe igniting Mr. Stone's mustache and severely burned his
face.  It also set fire to the pet rat's fur and whiskers which, in
turn, ignited a larger pocket of gas further up the exhaust pipe which
propelled the rodent out like a cannonball."  Stone suffered second-
degree burns, and a broken nose from the impact of the pet rat.  His son
was grounded for 6 weeks.
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