A Shocking Story

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.

My lovely electrifying fushias

My lovely electrifying fushias

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.


14 responses to “A Shocking Story

  1. Wow. That is astounding. I’ve heard of increased static with dry climates, but your body has taken you to a whole new realm. I’m glad you found a workaround and hope that, as Spring works it’s way in, this thing ebbs for you. Having to touch two things to perform one thing isn’t too bad, but I bet it would be nice to do something without having to think twice about it.

  2. I’m sitting here laughing, especially the vivid scene of you making sure it isn’t your clothes. 🙂 🙂 I know it isn’t funny but….

    Actually I have the problem but to a much “MUCH” less degree. I even shocked Jack when he kissed me one time. And, I learned a long time ago to touch something first. You should see me in the grocery. I never just grab the handle to the cooling cases. This year it hasn’t happened and it only happens in the winter when it’s cold and dry. Your condition is extreme but it may lessen as time goes by. Maybe the warm summer will do it. Until then enjoy all the pun’s and humor the condition brings your way. It can certainly be a conversation starter. 🙂

    • Me running around the house naked is not a pretty sight, Lavada. At least we’re laughing about it. I too get jolts of supermarket trolleys and freezers. It seems a lot more common than I first thought. Shame there is some why to harness all this extra power. 🙂

  3. You are not alone Kit. I get a static shock off our back bedroom wardrobe which is metal framed. I have to put my hand on the wood before I attempt to slide back. Yesterday I looked like Eccles from the Goons as my hair was full of static and try as I may I couldn’t get any sense out of it. Had to wash it again….

    • Ha ha. Another powerful lady with crazy hair and magic fingers that can make sparks fly. Yes, seems it’s a lot more common than I thought, Jo. Glad it isn’t just me. 🙂

  4. Valerie J. Patterson

    Oh My! Kit, I laughed. I kept thinking of you proving your clothes were not to blame AND making certain the curtains were closed. Surely Dave enjoyed the sight! I, too, am prone to shock during the winter. My office is the most offensive. The air there is very dry and I get shocked just getting out of the office chair! I hope you have put it to bed for good.

    • Am still causing sparks, but thankfully, not so many, Valerie, although this morning I did get quite a jolt from a freezer door handle in the supermarket. Never had it this bad, but at least I now know I’m not alone. Jut wish I could get Dave to believe me. He’s still not convinced despite all the evidence. His time will come… 🙂

  5. Gosh Kit what a nightmare, I hope it’s settled now. I get it sometimes but never to that extent. Hot woman you are! Not funny I know but thank goodness you have a sense of humour.

  6. Oh Kit, I’m sorry because it must have been awful for you, but I’ve laughed my way all through your post 😀 But how weird it only happened downstairs. Hope you’ve been shock-free since you wrote this post 🙂

    • Just when you think it’s safe to put your head above the parapet, it happens again, Tricia, only on more things now including the dishwasher and the car; but I think I’ve solved why it doesn’t happen upstairs. I use the bannister when going up, which is solid oak so that must be dispelling the charge before I reach the landing. Glad to bring a laugh or two. Needed on such a cold, foggy morning. x 🙂

  7. I hope your issue resolved itself. That had to be both painful and annoying. Keep touching wood! Jillian

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