Shock Therapy

Et tu, Waste King? I thought you were the one appliance in the house I could count on not to betray me. You are, after all, the only one that was purchased after the Eisenhower era.

But there I was tonight, washing dishes. I reached out to flick on the garbage disposal, then screamed dramatically–how else can you scream?–when I realized I was being shocked. Quickly whipping my hand back, I shook it hard to lessen the numbing buzz that was traveling up my arm.

“What happened?” asked Mike from the dining room table. He was surrounded by a laptop, papers and files. He’s the treasurer of MJ’s preschool now. My little Bartelby the Scrivener. Minus the tall hat.

“I think I just got shocked by the garbage disposal!”

He didn’t look up from his Quickbooks. “Ouch.”

Ouch? That’s it?”

Now he looked up. And stared at me blankly.

“Aren’t you surprised?”

“Not particularly,” he said calmly.

“Why?”

“I don’t know,” he said, leaning back. Placing his palms on the table: “Were your hands wet?”

I looked down at them. “Yes.”

“Was the switch?”

Oh. Yes. “So that’s, like, normal?” I asked, rubbing my arm gingerly.

“I’m not sure it’s normal. But you probably completed the circuit with all that water.”

Great. I’m an eighth-grade science experiment. “Am I going to have nerve damage?

He smiled as he turned back to his screen. “Not likely. An AC current is surprisingly weak. I once got shocked by a fallen wire while standing in a rain puddle. My friend had to knock me out of there with a stick. But I was fine.”

I stared at him, agape. “A stick? Why?”

“I was immobilized.”

My eyes widened further. “That’s–a terrible story.”

“It was no big deal.”

“You’re crazy.”

He shrugged.

Finishing the last few dishes, I dried my hands thoroughly and walked out of the kitchen. My last words to Mike before I went?

“I will never touch that thing again.”

Scraping the dishes is no big deal. Being a human Tesla coil? I’ll leave it to my more sanguine husband. And remember to keep a stick handy.

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3 thoughts on “Shock Therapy

  1. Mike

    Clarification: 120AC is surprisingly safe. It’ll still kill you though if you get it right.
    Electric chair was AC. Thousands of volts though. Not 120.

    Reply

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