How ScaryDuck set fire to

How ScaryDuck set fire to his chemistry teacher.
My A level physics practical exam featured an accident too, though far less exciting than this one. As is often the case, we had to take turns using the equipment, working in rotation around the room. As might be typical of my luck, as I walked across the room to the last experiment, Neil, who was ahead of me on the circuit, neatly rolled the thermometer off the edge of the workbench and on to the floor.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever dropped a mercury thermometer. If you haven’t, I don’t suggest that you try, as liquid mercury has some amusing properties, the main one being that it is impossible to pick up. I know, you think it is difficult to pick up a five pence coin from the post office counter (how do they make counters so hard for picking coins up from?) but that is nothing to mercury on a tiled floor. You see, mercury forms these neat little globules that have a very low coefficient of friction – meaning that if you just touch one of them, it runs off across the floor at an amazing rate, and simply refuses to be collected into any sort of container. This provided Neil with huge amounts of mirth as I tried to conduct my experiment under something approaching exam conditions whilst the teacher and school lab technician scrambled around on the floor by my feet, trying to gather as much mercury as they could.
I blame Neil for my D grade.