Friends, I have had the most shocking three weeks and suggest for your own safety if you come across me in your travels please do not rush over and attempt to give me a hug else you to could received a jolt of electricity to make your hair stand on end. You see, for some unknown reason I am full of static electricity. Quite how I got myself into this situation I do not know. I always have been sensitive to static but the recent happenings are beyond me, and certainly beyond the understanding my husband who’s convinced it’s all in my imagination.
It started when I opened the door to my kitchen from the dining room — I received a static shock from the stainless steel door handle. Considering the door itself is heavy solid oak, this should not have happened. Then every time I touched the cooker handle I received a static shock. The same with the light switches. When I mentioned this to my husband, he shook his head and told me it just wasn’t possible, even though if the lights were out, you could see the quick flash of the spark, he still didn’t believe me.
It wasn’t until he came home from work one day last week and went to give me a hug that made him jump back – he had been “hit” by the static I gave out. I won’t repeat here what he actually said but he blamed my clothing. I knew that wasn’t the cause: I use fabric conditioner for that very reason, to stop static, especially when using the tumble drier. And if it was my clothes, then why wasn’t my hair standing on end everytime I dressed or undressed as it would do if statically charged? My indoor footwear is rubber soled, my floors solid concrete, furnishings wool, wood and leather. Thank goodness I didn’t have to go to any parties where there were likely to be balloons; I would be stuck to the wall or floating on the ceiling attached to them. What was even more peculiar was this only happened downstairs; I could touch anything upstairs with no effect. I even ventured around the house naked trying to prove it wasn’t my clothes but don’t worry, I did pull the curtains closed first, else the neighbourhood would have had a totally different kind of shock.
I became more and more nervous to touch anything, covering my hand with a cloth when I opened the doors. Sometimes forgetting and POW! it would happen again, the crackles and pops audible, followed by my curses. The final blow came when last week Dave came home with a lovely bunch of flowers for the house – beautiful sweet-scented freesias. He put them in a vase with the feed and placed them on the coffee table. I went to re-arrange a few stems and “bang”, as I touched a stem I received a jolt. It shouldn’t have been possible. It wasn’t natural. And it was darned annoying.
Desperate to resolve this situation, I trawled the Internet searching for answers. What did we do in the days before Google? And there I found it. According to various sources, it is a frequent occurrence for some people, and certainly heard of. Apparently it happens more in winter due to dry atmospheres in buildings caused by central heating, and up the voltage ranks. The list of materials that can cause a build up in a body is quite (forgive the pun) shocking! Glass, plastic, certain woods and laminates, paper, epoxy resins, silk – the list goes on.
So I wasn’t imagining it. I wasn’t going mad. And thankfully there were some helpful suggestions, the main one being to touch another surface before touching the things that will cause the sparks to fly. So if you see me, I’m not OCD, I’m not performing some strange ritual before opening doors, I’m simply touching the wood of the door before I touch the handle, I’m patting the coffee table before I touch the flowers, I’m touching the wall before I turn on the light switch, I’m simply dispelling the charged electrons, and so far no more shocks. It’s put a whole new meaning on touching or knocking on wood for good luck, because it’s certainly working for me. So far.
So if you do see me, touch the nearest table or tree first before you give me that lovely welcoming hug. I think I’m safe now and I’ll try not to zap you too. But I can’t promise.