Why not start your day with a flaming Pop-Tart?

imageCooking can be dangerous, especially when it includes all three components of what experts call the Triangle of Fire:

1) A heat source
2) Combustible material
3) Our son.

While I can vouch for him having absolutely nothing to do with any wildfires, he was in fact responsible for the 2015 Oak Street popcorn smoke-out. It only took that one experience for us to realize just how dangerous popcorn kernels can be once their internal temperature exceeds 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Let me just say that if your microwavable popcorn bag is ever allowed to expand to the size of your favorite pillow, DO NOT open it.


Our government has special underground dump sights specifically designed for this kind of toxic material; please use them. 

However, even with all of the precautions we’ve taken, it would seem that our family has been overlooking another potentially dangerous component in the Triangle of Fire:

The Flaming Pop-Tart.

According to a Philadelphia newspaper, that’s exactly what happened to an unsuspecting New Jersey woman who said her kitchen caught fire after her cherry-flavored Pop-Tart “BURST INTO FLAME LIKE A BLOW TORCH!”

I’ll be the first to admit that a fiery breakfast treat spewing artificial fruit filling would be a scary thing. In fact, aside from finding the real “Cap’n Crunch” floating around in my cereal bowl, I can’t think of a more frightening breakfast experience. However, there are a couple of things worth noting about the flaming Pop-Tart incident — the first of which is that my son had nothing to do with it.

He doesn’t even know anyone in New Jersey.

Secondly, the Pop-Tart in question had been left unattended for 20 minutes while Brenda Hurff took her children to school. It was during this time that investigators believe the Pop-Tart “freakishly ignited” as a result of either a) the toaster malfunctioning, b) the pastry malfunctioning, or c) the surprisingly combustible nature of artificial fruit filling.

To ensure the safety of the general public, investigators called in agents from both the FBI and CIA to make sure that the burning Pop-Tart was, indeed, an isolated incident with absolutely no ties to any terrorist channels.

In addition, they also ruled out my son, and any links to him watching The Food Channel.

In case you were wondering, investigators have also decided against the possibility of spontaneous combustion as a cause for the blaze. This conclusion was reached after days of around-the-clock observation of assorted Pop-Tarts in a controlled environment, after which the following joint statement was released by the agents involved in the study:

“We quit.”

In any case, the fact that we don’t have to worry about living in a world of spontaneously combusting Pop-Tarts is something that should help us all rest a little easier.

But I’d still suggest keeping them away from the popcorn, though.

Just to be safe.



Published by

Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

44 thoughts on “Why not start your day with a flaming Pop-Tart?”

  1. Ha! That “triangle of fire” is actually the three points between the stove,fridge and sink. Every kitchen must be designed with that triangle in mind, the stove so you can start the fire, the sink so you can pour water on everything and make even it worse, and than the fridge so you can put ice on all your burns. The fact that we know these things and have actually built these rules into our building codes, doesn’t say much for the predictability of human nature.

    I don’t know what it is about kids, but they have all managed to burn things multiple times. The worst is our son. He’s a professional or perhaps just an arsonist. He once tried to make hard boiled eggs without any water. I had no idea eggs could actually catch on fire, probably because I understand that “boiled” eggs means you have to put them in water first. That was like,five years ago and our house still smells like burnt eggs.

    1. That smell — like diamonds — is forever!
      As I may have mentioned before, I was a chef for 10 years. So having kids who burn microwaveable popcorn is particularly painful for me…

  2. The U.S. Air Force dropped millions of Pop-Tarts on Afghanistan during the last Bush administration, and I thought we were just trying to be nice, even though it turned out, most toasters break, if you drop them from an airplane. But now I shudder to think of these Pop-Tarts falling into the wrong hands. (Not just sticky, but wrong).

    1. Gotta say, the brown sugar cinnamon are my second favorite… My first? Maple bacon. Plus I’m sure there’s good nutritional value (protein)! And I’d eat those even if they’re burnt 😉

  3. I LOVE Poptarts! But I never had one to spontaneously combust. In fact, it has been a long time since I even had a Poptart… hmm… that sounds good! I think I will get some the next time I go to the grocery store! I really like the strawberry ones with the white frosting, or the cinnamon ones, OR the chocolate ones! I like the the ones without frosting too! Wait… what we were talking about? 😛

  4. I am not a fan of cherries, so cherry flavored anything can go ahead and burst into flames for all I care.


    Now I am concerned for my beloved s’mores pop tarts. Sure, they sound like exactly the sort of food that would benefit from a flame-kissed flavor treatment, but in fact they don’t want anything more than a very slight warming over. Won’t someone please think of the pop tarts?

  5. I don’t always eat pop tarts, but when I do it’s with burnt edges. Perhaps I should reevaluate my insurance policy.

  6. Never had one become a tower of flaming cherry goo. I have, however, been burned by one as a child, and I have the scars on my hand to prove it. If you must toast them – for the love of God let them cool before you touch them.

  7. We had a similar model of child who proved mac&cheese combustible, and after moving out on her own, returned a bed to our abode, smoldering. She swears she doused the flames with a garden hose but then propped the mattress against our house to drain where it then caught our siding on fire. No food was involved with that last incident but she now refrains from pop-culture-combustible foods and dates a chef to eat.

  8. Thank goodness I read this post. I can’t tell you how many night’s sleep I’ve lost stressing out about spontaneously combusting pop tarts. Now I can go back to worrying about demonically-possessed cornflakes.

  9. man now I want a poptart, but unfortunately I’m on a diet, and apparently poptarts aren’t good for you. Who knew? also you forgot the ties in “no ties to any terrorist channel”… sorry but it took me 3 reads before I figured out that was the word that was supposed to go there so I feel it’s my due to point it out… although upon writing this I’m not contemplating the idea that another word might’ve been intended and my guess may be wrong, which makes me feel sad on the inside… oh well…

  10. I think that flaming pop-tarts are really signals for aliens. Much as Red Skeleton’s classic episode when his Xmas tree in the bay window overlooking the ocean, blew a flashing bulb and a soviet sailor showed to change it.

No one is watching, I swear...

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