Friday, January 18, 2008


It's winter and at this time of the year, there is usually low humidity. And you all know what that means.

That's right -- static electricity.

I can remember being a kid and walking around the house, rubbing my socked feet across the carpet, and touching metal items all over the house with the side of my hand. I did this just to see that blue spark of static leap out to meet my hand and to hear the satisfying crackle. The harder I'd rub my feet, the bigger the blue spark would be.

I used to shock my siblings and, I must admit, the dog. I'd touch him on the end of his nose and he'd grimace as the shock got him. It got to the point where he'd run and hide every time he saw me begin to rub my feet along the carpet. He wasn't stupid.

And I can remember doing the laundry and never using a static sheet in the dryer. I liked pulling the clothes out of the dryer, all stuck together, and hearing the satisfying kkkkkrrrrrrttt as I pulled clothes apart. Sometimes I'd even turn the light out, so I could see the blue sparks as well. But now that I do my laundry at the laundromat, there is never any static, though I still don't use dryer sheets.

I once worked in a plant where magnesium powder was used, and sometimes it was my job to vacuum out the excess powder from the inside of the machine. And this is where I've gotten the strongest static shocks of my life. It was hard to keep hold of the vacuum hose, as strong currents of static would reverberate up the hose. I remember one time, standing about a foot away from another person who held the hose and a huge blue spark of static leaped from his elbow to mine. At that level, it wasn't really fun anymore.

Sometimes, now, I get shocked by my car when I touch metal parts on the frame when getting in and out of it. Not always, though; it depends on the humidity level.

How about you? Are you fascinated by static electricity like I am or do you think I'm nuts?


Kathy said...

Since you asked, you are nuts. I hate to throw my trench coat in the dryer because I prefer to not over dry it (it would dry just find hanging up loosely). But I have to throw it in the dryer with softener sheets or else I'll be shocking myself for a few days after.

I think you just like pain :)

Patty said...

You're a little strange, ha!ha!, most people DON'T like getting that shock. Our last dog, loved to walk across the carpet and then stick her nose onto the metal frame of the office chairs, it was like she not only liked that feeling but enjoyed it. We would all just look at her, but then she's also the one when we had a tread mill here in the office, loved for us to turn it on and she would hop onto it and walk for a while. I guess what ever floats your boat.