I always thought the danger in powdered coffee creamer was in the ingredients, such as partially hydrogenated oil, cottonseed oil, high fructose corn syrup solids, sodium caseinate, dipotassium phosphate, and other unpronounceables, but in a novel I am reading, the cop asked the character if she was armed, and she said “I have coffee creamer.” The cop just stared at her, and the character said, “Look it up.”
I don’t know if the cop Googled “powdered non-dairy coffee creamer self-defense,” but I sure did. And guess what? This kind of creamer can be used as a weapon. In fact, it’s banned in many prisons for that very reason. If someone doesn’t have the supplies to make a flame thrower to direct the flaming coffee creamer, such as PVC pipe, end caps, pressure gauges, air hoses, couplers and a whole bunch of other things cheaply and readily available at the hardware store, all you have to do is throw a handful of the powder in the air and light it. Oh, my!
Powdered non-dairy coffee creamer is used by hikers and campers to start a fire. They use less than a teaspoon, let one spark hit it, and it will stay lit longer than a match. Of course, you have to be careful. If you accidentally lit the whole container, you’d end up with a fireball. (Here’s a video from mythbusters showing the firepower of a whole lot of creamer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRw4ZRqmxOc&feature=related.
I doubt such a weapon would be much of a deterrent since not that many people would know to be afraid of coffee creamers (though now I am!). “Stop or I’ll creamer you,” doesn’t have the same impact as “Stop or I’ll shoot.” Besides, by the time you threw the coffee creamer at the assailant and thumbed a lighter, you could be dead, either from a bullet or from an ill-fated wind sending the creamer bomb back to you. Still, it’s an interesting idea to store away for some future book.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.