It began when I was small and my hand accidentally touched the electrified fence that surrounded a nearby farm. One touch sent a jolt through me that causes me to eye with suspicion any wire fencing that I come across today.
Then I was 18 and living with a family in France for three weeks as an exchange student. I needed to dry my hair after a shower.
I studied the metal end of my hairdryer cord that would go into the metal part of the adapter that came from Triple-A back home. I had never used such a thing but was confident that it would work just as it was taught the previous weeks in French class between verb conjugation tests and oral communication practice. I turned the dial on my dryer to the lower voltage setting, which you could do back in the days sometime between dinosaurs and Duck Dynasty.
The two pieces of metal found each other in the small, humid bathroom and I plugged the adapter end into the wall. A shock fizzled from the outlet into the dryer, into my hand and up my arm. I dropped the hair dryer and fell to the floor. My knees failed about the same time the current zapped me. No electric fence had felt like that. Luckily, the hair dryer had come out of the socket so I didn’t have to handle it again. I took some deep breaths, stood up, and stumbled out of the bathroom to get some fresh air.
My hair air-dried the rest of the trip.
It’s happened a few times since then. My son got a trick pack of gum for a gift. Upon accepting an offered piece, the gum gives a little shock to unwitting recipients. It’s the rudest thing ever.
Electrics have tried to kill me in other ways, too.
Once I came home to an iron my husband had used earlier in the day and had set out to cool. I KNOW – my husband irons J. When we returned home, I grabbed it from the metal side to put away and burned the hell out of my hand. He had failed to unplug it before we left and quickly unplugged it when he saw it so I wouldn’t yell at him about leaving an iron plugged in while we were out. I KNOW. My husband irons. L
Once our toaster oven caught on fire, just to be mean.
It’s almost enough to make a girl go off the grid forever. Electrocution, burning, and electrical fires really aren’t my thing, but I like what electric has to offer. However, the recent issues I’ve been having with electrics – specifically, personal electronics – are handily reorganizing the way I like to do life.
My first iPod was notoriously temperamental. Sometimes it would store music, sometimes it wouldn’t. Syncing, a necessary evil, was a guessing game. I still use it on my nightstand as an alarm. It mocks me. I reset the volume every day. It blasts full volume without warning.
My new phone stopped working. One day, I could get email and play games and look at Facebook. You know, I could do all the things with my phone that the cool kids do.
The next day, I no longer received email, and the Facebook posts were from ten days before. And forget about the games. My new phone couldn’t keep up with the updates. I removed all the apps.
Then today I tried to get my email. It worked. After four weeks of no email, now I can get email. It’s a sick game and I am only a pawn.
I opened my Kindle to read Les Miserables, which is the bane of my existence. I have been reading this book for months, and it is my opinion that Victor Hugo could have used a good editor. That man was wordier than a mommy blogger hopped up on caffeine trying to write about how electrics are trying to kill her.
The Kindle was dead. To make matters worse, it resisted charging. Nothing I tried, no cord I pushed into it, no wall adapter I used worked. I had just charged the thing two days ago, and used it little since.
I went online to see if this is a regular thing and got Amazon’s customer service page, which took too long. I had dinner to make and children to run around the countryside for several hours. I left the page up on my computer and vowed to come back to it later.
When I got back I feebly pushed the button on the Kindle in a desperate attempt to resurrect the device.
It turned on. I blinked at it like it had just insulted my shoes.
It’s then that I realized that I think I’d rather be on the receiving end of an over-electrified beauty appliance a hundred times than continue to be subtly manipulated by modern electrics. Give me an electric fence, a burning iron; I can’t take the mind games anymore.
|The clients at Junie's Discount Beauty School |
were unaware of the dangers they faced each week.
This post was inspired by my daughter, who advised me to "Write about how you're going crazy right now about your Kindle, Mom." Thank you, darling.