While weddings between welders are beautiful, 50 percent of scrap is taken in the divorce.
Photo by Jack Yang
The TikTok algorithm has birthed another viral video from its data-mining cervix, and this time its metaphorical child is creating a cultural zeitgeist that has melted the hearts of viewers. The video in question was created by TikTok user @elderwelder — real name Stan Tung — who expertly welded two wedding rings together under the “slowed down + reverb” version of 80’s pop hit “I Melt With You.” The video then changed locations from a smithy to a wedding, where Tung gifted the wedding ring to bride Kara Romero-Perkins, who wasted no time slipping it onto the finger of her new wife Frances Romero-Perkins.
Many waiting to get their 15 seconds of fame have been wondering what the newest, most easily replicable trend on TikTok will be, and after the almost meteoric rise of Tung’s video, they have decided en masse to strike while the iron’s hot. Since the video was uploaded, the word “welding” hit number three on Google’s weekly list of most-searched terms, and over 10,000 new TikTok videos were created with the tag “#welding.” Hardware stores around the world are being flooded with requests for bedazzled welding helmets and dangling mallet earrings. Others have looked at this new trend with caution, with many remarking on how dangerous it was to show a happily-married gay couple to “impressionable youngsters” watching on TikTok with no prior warning.
A third, smaller fraction of people are highlighting the possible injuries inexperienced welders could suffer from touching metals at dangerously high temperatures. Ralph Thistle, a 23 year-old blacksmith, chided reckless creators hopping on the welding bandwagon. “If they can’t take the heat, get out of the furnace. Back in my day, the cinnamon and Tide Pod challenges were popular, and kids had to go to the hospital as payment for their clout. These jokers are spoiled rotten; anyone can do a ‘dance challenge’ with minimal risk. I can’t wait to see these softies give themselves third-degree burns just to adhere to a trend that everyone will forget until there’s some passing mention in a dated SNL skit.”
When asked about the sudden influx of popularity he received with his video, Tung professed his shock, stating, “I’m, uh, so glad all these people have an interest in, well, welding. I know that most of them are doing it because it’s the hottest trend, but I do hope some of them continue. As long as welders are forging new paths, welding will never die, not in any way that matters.” Tung remains a pillar of the community and plans to make a separate account posting tutorials for beginners to the smithing scene.
In his most recent TikTok, Tung offered advice to his viewers while welding hooks onto a coat rack. “To those just starting out, hoping to fuel the flames of creation, I offer one piece of advice: don’t listen to anyone who tells you you can’t do this. All you need is a pure heart, an open flame, and the power to solder through any obstacle you see.”