Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dear Electricity

I find you to be much like the majestic velociraptor or actress Roma Downey: I like you much better when you are restrained, and not as much when you are actively trying to murder me.  At this point in my life, I have been electrocuted almost half a dozen times.  This is not a "whoops, got you with some static electricity" Sunday school shock.  This is home outlet or worse, better-than-a-cup-of-coffee-in-the morning kind of cattleprod to the nervous system.  It's not even like I am actively doing anything to warrant this abuse.  You have simply tasted my blood, and it is a sweet wine to you, indeed.

Twice I have been electrocuted trying to fix an outlet.  Yeah, ok, shame on me.  I had a screwdiver on an open outlet, and sometimes my hand shakes like a dachshund getting over a meth addiction.  That's on me.  Another time, I got it from grabbing a frayed TV cord.  Not totally my fault, but I will let that slide.  However, there are two times I will not abide, and I demand an apology.

The first case was a few years back.  I was living in an older house with a few housemates. The lady of the house, who we shall refer to as Slagathor, had a penchant for eating every hot dog in the place, and for leaving her clothes on the dryer.  I inadvertently knocked one of her tiny striped socks behind it as I loaded the dryer with my clothes.  Being a caring housemate, I tried to reach back and retrieve the sock.  My impressive reach was not enough, and since I am a human, and therefore superior to all things, I used my toolmaking skills to bend a coat hanger.  It grabbed the sock, then proceeded to enter an open area of the back of the dryer as I tried to lift it.  Electricity turned off my lights, and I went through the wall behind me.  Worst of all, the superpowers I gained from the experience were limited to slurred speech and muscle fatigue.

The worst experience I had was the summer before I went to college.  I was working for a golf course.  The way the golf cart barn was set up, all of the golf chargers were set in the rafters, and the cords dangled down to plug in the carts at night.  One of the chargers had been malfunctioning, so I got a ladder to take it down.  The chargers are secured to the rafter by screws, so I unplugged the charger, and started unscrewing the brackets.  Three things went against me.  First, I had mistakenly unplugged the charger next to it, since the cords were a tangled mess.  Secondly, the ladder I used was a rickety mess, which led to the third thing, that I took a frail boy named Ike with me to hold the ladder steady.

Ike was about an 80 pound ball of anxiety and gangly nonsense.  Granted, I spent much of my free time at that job antagonizing him, and pouring small amounts of salt into his sodas when he wasn't looking.  To this day, I am not sure he knows what a real Coke tastes like.  One time, I put golf club grip enhancer, a foul smelling goop that looked like Smurf ejaculate, on his chair at lunch.  That ended as well as could be expected.  Not to say I was a bully, or that he didn't think some of it was funny.  He was just an easy target, and I couldn't seem to stop myself.

Since I literally weighed over three times what Ike did, he wasn't doing a great job holding that ladder still.  My hand slipped, the screwdriver went into the charger, and I fell down to the cement floor, landing on one of the screws.  I did not black out, but I could not move.  Ike, being the loyal coworker, ran as fast as his chicken legs could go to get me help.  Apparently, his chicken legs were not fast at all, because ten minutes later I was able to get up, pull the screw out of my arm where it had embedded itself, and shamble the quarter mile from the barn to the pro shop.  Bleeding, fuzzy headed, and dirty, I asked the assistant pro if I could go home.  He said yes, but wanted to know what had happened.

See, he had no idea where I had been, because when Ike got to the pro shop, he ran to find the assistant pro.  When he found the pro, he was about to tell him I was laying hurt and broken in the cart barn, but the pro spoke first.  He told Ike that lunch was up.  So, Ike forgot what he was doing, grabbed a chicken sandwich, and happily washed that down with a refreshingly non salted Coke.  When I had full use of my nervous system back, I rat-tailed him so hard he probably still stings from it.

Ok.  So, maybe I did deserve these electrocutions.  Maybe we could just limit them to once every other year?

1 comment:

  1. Greg,! I was laughing so hard (At your writing, not your misfortune,....ok maybe a little at your misfortune) that I swear...a little pee came out.

    Thanks for the laugh!

    Jeff Scarnato


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