In which Mary learns why one should unplug glueguns

Rob always gets on my case if I forget to unplug the gluegun when I’m finished with it. My defense has been that the state of “finished” fluctuates. I mean, finished for the moment versus finished for the day. It takes the gun awhile to heat up, so I don’t like to unplug it when I’m only finished for the moment. That seems reasonable, right? Even if I’m leaving the room to go, say, make bread or something. I’m coming back and then I’ll have to wait ten minutes while the gun heats.

Last night I unplugged it, because I was finished for the day, and this morning worked on my computer while I was waiting for it to heat up. I heard a sudden pop. And then a hissing crackle. On my workbench, smoke poured out of the gluegun.

I unplugged it.

In the eighteen years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen a gluegun do anything like this. Still, all I can think about is: What would have happened if I hadn’t been in the room?

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

4 Responses

  1. Pat Esden

    I’m the queen of glue gun users–in fact I use one often enough that I keep an aloe plant on the same shelf as the glue. As careful as I am about unplugging them, I have left them on overnight. Usually they survive, once in a while they’ve died, but I’ve never had one smoke.
    At least not yet.