Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sometimes I Shock Myself...Literally

I was sitting in the dentists chair today, with a giant syringe jammed into my jaw, when something experienced something I hadn't felt in a long time...an electrical shock running through my body.  I squirmed in the chair a little, and the dentist asked, "did you feel an electrical shock?" like it was something that happened every day.  I nodded, and he told me that he must have touched the nerve bundle he was trying to numb.  He then told me of another patient who almost launched out of the chair when he did that.  Guess I have a high tolerance for this kind of stuff.  

You might be asking yourself, what did he mean by "something I hadn't felt in a long time?"

Well, lets just say I've experimented with electricity now and again.  Once, me and some friends were out in the garage looking at this device that my dad had that generated an electric spark.  We attached the bare wire to a toy golf club and took turns holding the plastic handle while someone else threw the switch.  A little charge came through the staples that held the handle on,  and gave us a little jolt.  Silly me wasn't paying attention and my thumb touched the shaft of the golf club...yep, next thing I knew I was laying on the ground staring at the ceiling.

Another time involved a reading lamp bulb (the little ones), a 110V power cord (two-pronged, no ground), and a soldering gun (Dad's tool).  If you have any kind of imagination you know where this is going...small explosion of glass and filament.  Not too much of an electrical shock thankfully, since the cord was still plugged into the wall.  I think I tripped a circuit breaker with that one.

The last one I remember, there may be more but they might be erased, was while I was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California; your tax dollars at work.  I was running the telephone section at the time and was installing a new phone.  Silly me left one end of the phone cable plugged into the wall while I prepared the other end for a connector.  Someone tried calling that number while I was trimming the wires and pow! another shock.

The lesson of this story...don't stand next to me in a lightning storm.