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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Shocking Weather We're Having...

It has been cold.

Cold and dry.

I wear a wool coat.

My car has cloth seats.

Yep, I'm going somewhere with this.

While having static filled hair flying everywhere and inevitably ending up in my eyes or mouth is pretty horrible, that is one nuisance I can deal with. The little static shocks that one gets when getting out of the car, or opening a door are another story entirely.
I have an irrational fear of static shock. This is time of year when I look like an obsessive compulsive spastic. I have a formula for degaussing myself that involves getting out of the car carefully, avoiding contact with all metal parts. I shut the door by pushing the window glass. Once I am safe I quickly tap the hood of the car with the flat pads of my fingers. This distributes the shock evenly and quickly closes the circuit that I am creating.
Even after this ritual though I tend to find myself doing a strange dance when faced with metal door handles. I reach out, hesitate, pull back, reach out again, close my eyes so that I "don't see it coming" and again do the weird tap/degauss maneuver before opening the door. People probably think I'm strange.*
It's not just outdoors. I purposefully do not have a spring mattress because I have been shocked while changing sheets. I just bought a new cotton blanket because the "fleece" one I had been using sparkles like a vampire when I pull it out of the dryer. I never enjoyed the rub-a-balloon-on-your-head-and-make-it-stick-to-the-wall game and I certainly did NOT enjoy the rub-your-feet-on-the-carpet-and-poke-your-older-sister-with-static-hands game.
The only other thing in the world that makes me this nervous is the glaucoma test at the optometrist that blows a small puff of air into the eye. Luckily I only have to deal with that once a year.

How about you guys? Please tell me I'm not the only person in the world scared of static...

*they are probably right.


  1. I'm not scared of static, no. But I am afraid of 'sweetcorn water' - the water at the bottom of the tin, and I have written before about my visceral disgust response to dubbed European television series. So I'm not going to judge you.

  2. When I was a kid, and my bed was covered in flannel sheets, and I was wearing flannel PJ and wool socks to bed (the thermostat was usually set at 55 overnight!) I would love to poke my head under the sheets and watch as the static electricity sparkled. Since then, I've lost the love. Not sure if it's fear... I am afraid of Vienna Sausages, though.

  3. I like to rub my feet on the floor and poke my husband. However, our home isn't dry enough for the static to work. Would wearing mittens help prevent the shockage? I wear gloves/mittens all the time and never get shocked by my car. (I have cloth seats and wear a fleece hat.)

    I deplore that puff of air in the eye. The last time I was at the eye-doctor I asked if the only reason they do it so they can laugh at us.

  4. Glory-Corn water. I think you might have given me a new irrational fear.
    demack-Vienna sausages are soggy hotdogs so I totally understand your fear.
    Fanboy Wife-Gloves cut down on the impact, but don't stop it from happening. I think I'm just more positively charged than most people.
    And yes, the eyee doctors are making fun of us because I know they have a machine that doesn't blow the air. My eye doctor in California 12 years ago used one. But I haven't seen another one since.

  5. I just don't ever go to the eye doctor. I mean, of course I'm afraid of that thing!

    I'm such a skeptic, I question the need to visit a dentist twice a year.

    My weird thing is that I really can't stand certain noises. I have trouble blocking them out. Like, if I go to a McDonald's (which I rarely do- probably because of this) and they have the buzzer going off on their french fry maker, and no one is turning it off, I just can't stand it! I have to concentrate constantly on not jumping over the counter and finding the right button to press to MAKE IT STOP MAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOPMAKEITSTOP!

    The best way to get rid of static is to rub something with a Downy sheet before you touch it.