Most pensioners will remember when candles were utilitarian objects kept in a cupboard for use during power cuts caused by striking miners. These days, however, they have become lifestyle accessories and design statements, and extensive selections can now be found in garden centres, supermarkets, department stores and dedicated shops with names such as ‘Wicked Wonders’, ‘The Light Fantastic’ and ‘Norman’s Big Discount Candle Store’.
Candles come in three basic forms – tiny, phallic and slightly smaller than the Empire State Building – with the last of these being the primary cause of almost 23% of UK house fires in 2013.
Tiny candles are also known as tea lights, and are primarily used to set fire to towels, bathrobes and soap while having a bath. Phallic candles are also known as dildoes. The largest candles are sometimes referred to as Goliaths, after the biblical character who had a wick protruding from the top of his head and was set on fire by the heroic dwarf, David. Candles are often given as presents and are usually rewrapped and given to someone else, until the original donor receives the original candle and the cycle begins all over again.