Consumerism Reports: The $13.99 Lighter That Doesn't Detract From God's Infinite Mystery

It's not for me to question the gift of Prometheus

Woman hand holding a plasma lighter. White background.
light of christ
Consumerism Reports

This is a recurring series about all my devices. I’d like to clarify that it is NOT a tech column — it’s about spending money to speed up self-transformation, and then buying more stuff when that doesn’t work. And so I have acquired an endless array of devices: from products that promise to make my face look more triangular and the skin around my eyes less purple to ones that shrink specific parts of my salt-logged body. Do any of them work? Previously: The $118 Mini Backpack That Comes with a Pair of Leggings.

A guy came and fixed my fridge a week or two ago, and my landlord sat in the kitchen to watch him do his thing, I guess. I supposed I needed to be present too, then, but within two minutes I remembered that when it comes to guys tinkering, three’s always a crowd and I’m the girl. I went on my phone and checked out the waning sunset times for the week ahead and faved some images on a simple living Instagram meme page run out of Georgia (the former Soviet one) called @my_country_corner. The radiator clanked, and I overheated. I opened the window. Then shut it. Opened it again. By the time that dance was over, the fridge was better. All the classical elements had righted themselves.

The coasts are about to fall into the ocean, but in my own apartment, I can control the earth, the wind, water, and in just a minute, fire. I don’t understand how anything works, but in here, I don’t need to. How do planes stay in the sky? Was the industrial revolution a mistake? Who is Hunky Dory? Who is Jeffers? It doesn’t matter right now. In here, I can control the vibes and the combustion of oxygen. And so I bought a $13.99 gas-free, rechargeable USB lighter from the sexiest guy in the Pussy Posse.

It’s a remarkable piece of equipment, but like the resurrection of Jesus Christ or the sex appeal of an aging Leo DiCaprio, its machinations are unknowable to a person like me. Instead of producing a flame to light candles (or in Bezos’s case, a flame to light the equivalent of 13 coal-burning power plants), this slim implement spurs an electrical charge with the press of a button. The charge between a positive and negative metal electrode on the end of light creates ionized air (IDK) and a “plasma arc” forms (???) on the end of its bendy neck. It’s hot enough to light a candle or a piece of kindling, though according to one review, not hot enough to light a bowl, brother.

Even without a flame or butane, I allow for the possibility that this unlabeled stick of plasma air could still explode on me at any minute. If I go out this way though, at least it’s in my own home, hopefully while sniffing a Karen Huger candle, and definitely while witnessing a miracle. God’s mystery is infinite, and living long enough to understand how trivial things like wifi or popcorn-making work was never for me to know.