Free Advice

It’s Friday, it might be a big night. You go out, hit the town and paint it whatever colour you fancy up to the point where you meet that special someone. All excited, the pair of you nip outside to share something intimate, something delicious.

Oh no! This couldn’t have happened at a worse moment. Your new friend is staring down at your trousers in disbelief. He or she asks, incredulously: “Have you had…err…an accident?†Your thigh feels all warm. This isn’t going the way you’d planned.

What an idiot, you tell yourself. Why does this always happen? Why does this always happen when I put a spare 18650 in my pocket with my car keys?

Last week, yet another person became a victim to ignorance when they bought a cheap device from a cheap shop and didn’t bother to follow the instructions. The packaging told the user not to charge the battery using a mains wall socket – but charge it using a mains wall socket she did. Without a second thought, she thrust it in and now has to live with the consequences.

The packaging told her to play safe, it told her to use a USB port. It’s so important to follow safety advice. The lithium ion cells that power our portable devices have a very high concentration of energy and, if not looked after properly, this can go wrong in spectacular and dangerous ways.

But, on the positive side, when cared for correctly, these batteries have the potential to change our lives for the better.

Apart from charging them in accordance with the instructions, the other thing you need to watch out for is how you carry them about. Loose batteries can and will explode if not stored correctly.

We aren’t going to plug a particular type of packaging, and we have no horses in this race, so we will simply point out that you have two very cheap options. First, a battery box can store a couple of cells – keeping them isolated from each other and anything else in your bag or pocket.

The second option is the condom-like silicon sleeves you can pop individual cells into. These make more sense in a pocket then being carried in a bag and, if strategically placed in male pockets, might also lead to admiring glances. You may need to use more than one battery.

There, a happy ending.

Next week: We will be explaining how to make your own e-juice, with frequent reference to oral sex euphemisms.