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I知 Shocked

1935

What makes little kids stick things into electrical outlets? Curiosity? Stupidity?

I can remember sparks of electricity sputtering from the outlet like an Independence Day sparkler, when I shoved a bobby-pin into it, and the electrical surge that caused me to back off permanently from anything that looked suspiciously electrical, cords, plugs, sockets ... it didn稚 matter. The expression used in those days was 前nce burned, twice shy.

When I was growing up, there were no three-prong outlets (with a ground), so the chance of getting shocked was much greater than it is now. Then, there were two wires, one black and one white, one was taken to 組round where they drove a stake into the earth, and later on hooked them up to a water pipe. Now there is a 組round wire which is green or bare copper, and 2 wires go to 組round.

If a lamp, say, had 壮hort in it, it would send out a shock of electricity when the cord connected to the outlet. We now have circuit breaker boxes in the house. However, my dad would go to the fuse box and stick a penny in it when a fuse would blow. The penny shorts around where the fuse was when it was 壮hort-circuited. The penny allows electricity to continue to heat and similar to the 素usion an arc-welder does of metal to metal, the penny continues the electrical process.

Why my father thought my experience was funny could only be caused by his upbringing. His mother died when he was very young, and he was pretty much raised by his three sisters, Ollie, Mollie and Hattie. He probably got attention by acting out and teasing them and this carried over into his parenting.

He found out, after my initial response to 奏he plug that I would scream and run at the sight of anything electrical. He could chase me with a plug that was not attached to a cord, and make the buzzing sound of an electrical short and I was off and running to hide behind my mother痴 apron.

"Poppy, stop that teasing!" mother would say. Of course she never had a clue that my reactions would be life long.

I watched him repair frayed electrical cords out in his shop, but I always kept my distance, because I never knew when one would jump out at me to cause fright and flight. Sure enough, sometime during the process, he would turn quickly, stick the pronged plug toward my arm or leg, and I was offscreaming to high heaven for help!

Related to electricity, I also have another really odd characteristic. I can rub my knuckle up against any electrical appliance, like a coffee pot, or a toaster, and I can 素eel the charge of electricity in it. I can tell whether it is plugged into the outlet or not.

The first time Richie saw me doing this he was curious.

"Why did you rub the coffee pot?"

"To see if it痴 plugged in, silly!" I said.

"Come again?" he said.

"If I rub my knuckle on it I can tell if it痴 plugged in at the wall outlet."

"You池e kidding,"

"No, can稚 everybody?" I asked.

"Well, no!"

Then he went into a long series of tests on me, like I was from another planet. He would plug in the coffee pot, and have me rub itthen unplug the pot ... and I壇 rub it and say 鮮o.

He did tests with me blind folded. I could do it with lamps, radios, televisions and with my electric blanket. I could also rub his arm in bed at night and know if his electric blanket was turned on.

I assumed with his electrical engineering background that he would have all the answers. Instead, he痴 practically worn out switches and plugs before their time, just testing me to see if I still have this strange talent.

"Do you think I have more or less electricity in my body?"

"I don稚 know,"

"Do you think I don稚 have a ground?"

"I don稚 know,"

"Would this be why I知 so jumpy?" I know I am terribly skittish, but it痴 not something I do on purpose.

"I don稚 know ... you池e a curiosity to me, I致e never heard of anyone being able to do this."

I致e always said that I will probably die of fright.

Just someone walking up behind me and laying a hand on my shoulder can make me jump out of my skin. Blame it on my dad, he pre-programmed me to be jumpy by chasing me around the house with extension cords that weren稚 in use!

I am still this way.

I say, I知 just easily shocked!

POST SCRIPT: My extra-sensory power to respond to electricity is still a fact of life. Just another one of those things about me that is unexplainable but predictable. It痴 easy to see that I was programmed for the jumpiness, but this other part of the phenomenon just gets curiouser and curiouser!

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