Then the absolutely predictable happened.

When I was in college, I had this very good friend who is generally pretty awkward, though in a wonderfully sincere and good natured way, and who occasionally did profoundly bizarre things. The craziest involved a can of beef stew and his misapplied education as a talented physics major.

He was under incredibly profound stress from the terrible end of a terrible long relationship, which was also his first, and desperately trying to make sense of it. It was bad enough that our group of friends made sure to arrange that he would not be left without someone at least nearby and able to make sure he remained alright. Somehow the supervision slipped that night around the point that he remembered that he hadn’t eaten all day, and decided to make something for himself. As the relationship ground down to the point where it couldn’t do anything other than end he hadn’t been that great at buying food, and so all he had left for himself was this can of generic ‘Beef Stew.’

In his haze, he didn’t really want to use a pot or bowl that he would then be obliged to clean, and he remembered how liquid things heat up faster when under pressure. So he placed the can of beef stew on the electric range, just like in the video, and cooked it on low for a while. As he describes it, he realized that the contents under pressure could be maybe dangerous or something, and so he let it cool for a few minutes and proceeded with caution. He, THANK GOD, angled a hot pad between himself and the point where his can-opener met the can while angling the top away from himself. He was after all a physics major.

Then the absolutely predictable happened. The can went off like a beef cannon, it detonated with aspects of the stew projectile breaking the sound barrier and everything. Instantly the 10′ ceiling of the kitchen and the 18′ ceiling of the next room were covered in both superheated and cold chunks of stew while my friend was miraculously unharmed. Everyone in the apartment then sprinted to the kitchen, fearing the worst, only to find him on his haunches with stew dripping on him from ten feet up laughing his ass off. He was still laughing hours later when I got back from class just after he had finished getting most of the stew off of the ceiling.

The experience seemed so profoundly healing to him that I’m convinced, in the event that should I ever experience anything so acutely terrible, it might be a good idea to go get myself my own can of beef stew. Couldn’t hurt.

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