When I saw Old Faithful
The year was 1998. I was in San Francisco to appear on a local television show. The producer had asked me to bring props for visual interest, as I would be demonstrating some of the great tips that were pub - lished in my newsletter.
I arrived the evening before and checked into one of San Francisco’s finest historic downtown hotels. I then took a cab to a grocery store to pick up props for the show. I wanted to find the biggest possible sizes of ingredients like baking soda, white vinegar, salt and ammonia.
Knowing I only needed the containers and not the contents, I decided to empty the contents out of all of the containers to lighten my load and make my trip to the studio a bit more manageable. Plus, I figured that dumping the ingredients would be easier than trying to check all of those containers on the plane.
Despite the fact that I would be wasting a lot of perfectly good ingredients, I flushed all of the baking soda and a gallon of vinegar down the toilet. I emptied the salt into a plastic bag, tied it up and placed it in the wastebasket. Lastly, I poured the quart of rubbing alcohol down the sink. Done. Simple, easy and quite smart, I told myself. I packed the empty props for the next day and left the room to get some dinner.
Several hours later I was watching TV when the most unusual thing happened. I thought that Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful visited my room!