Kids, here are some simple Don'ts:
1. If your lava lamp bulb burns out, Don't replace it with a 60w lightbulb you found lying around the house.
2. Don't then proceed to leave your lamp turned on for several days in a row.
On that fateful day, I returned home from school and trudged to my bedroom as usual, only to find that my lava lamp had exploded from overheating, and everything I owned located in the blast radius of the lamp was covered in broken glass and coated in a cold layer of greasy sand. In some places the lava had puddled and solidified and couldn't be cleaned off. As a result, many of my precious childhood possessions were summarily disposed. Thank god I wasn't home when it happened, or I'd be a tragically dead child right now! The grabby, sensational headlines in the local paper might have read something like "Dumb Hillbilly Kid Beheaded By Exploding Lava Lamp" or "Dumb Hillbilly Kid Blinded By Exploding Lava Lamp," and eventually "Lava Lamps Banned in US By Outraged Boomer Hovermoms After Dumb Hillbilly Kid is Mortally Wounded By Expoding Lava Lamp." But I digress.
It was my very first lava lamp. It had a gold base, and the globe had tannish lava with blue liquid. I discovered years later that it was supposed to have had a fake plastic flower ring, but it had been long lost before I inherited the lamp. It was given to 10-year-old me by a schoolmate's mom for reasons I can't remember. As an adult, that whole thing seems weird to me now. I can't imagine giving any of my lava lamps to my son's friends. "Hey buddy, how about this lamp? Take it home with you and figure it out. No instructions or any other info or safety warning for you. Off you go."
I don't think I had owned it for a full year before I destroyed it. Oh, the humanity.
I actually wouldn't own another lava lamp until 10 years later.
As nostalgic as I am about everything that I ever owned or wanted as a child, you would think I would be spending my life pursuing those 60s/70s lamps, but nahhh. I don't really find them interesting. It's not that I'm not scared of them or anything. ..Okay maybe a little.