“Freon” was one manufacturer’s brand name for CFC refrigerants, but it seemed to become an almost generic word for all refrigerants, like Xerox for copiers and Kleenex for tissue. We HVACR journalists are supposed to avoid calling refrigerants by brand names, but the word “Freon” still crops up within our industry - and especially outside the industry.

The most recent appearance was in the comic strip Lio. It is about a young boy and has a somewhat surreal and, from time to time, a macabre feel to it. There is no dialogue.

In the Nov. 13 strip, Lio is expressing his love for a young girl, depicted by a heart rising above him. The girl, apparently having no interest in him, wheels in a large canister marked “Freon” and sprays the cold refrigerant onto the heart above Lio. The heart freezes, clunks to the ground and breaks into dozens of pieces. In the last panel, Lio’s love is undaunted, because while shivering with the broken pieces at his feet, another heart is over his head, this one wearing earmuffs.

It was a clever comic. But sometimes the sentimentalist in me gives way to the pragmatist. Based on the size of the children and the size of the canister, I’m figuring it is about a 30-pounder, maybe bigger. So first of all, I’m wondering where the girl found that much CFC refrigerant these days, and how much she had to pay for it.

But more importantly, she was venting CFCs to the atmosphere. Doesn’t she know about the fines? Will the EPA swoop down and fine her now that they have visual evidence of the venting?