Mudcat Café message #1800785 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #93385   Message #1800785
Posted By: Rapparee
03-Aug-06 - 03:52 PM
Thread Name: BS: Women In The Outdoors
Subject: RE: BS: Women In The Outdoors
I think the most interesting question, and the one hardest to answer in a way that the answer would be understood, came from a five year old girl. First though you have to understand why gunpowder was being used.

Back in old days, whisky was distilled three times ("triplin's") and it would run out the third time at about 180 proof (90% alcohol). This was taken to town and sold, but before it was sold it was "powder proofed" by wetting a small amount of gunpowder with the whisky and lighting it. If the whisky was of high enough proof, the alcohol would burn, dry the gunpowder, and "poof" it off in a cloud of smoke. (If it didn't burn the buyer would assume you were trying to do business and usual and beat you up.)

Well, we'd demonstrated that gunpowder poofs off when you toss it into a fire, and this little girl asked, "Why does the gunpowder do that?"

Go on. Answer it. In terms a five-year-old can understand. I dare you.

We managed to do it, but it warn't easy!