Thursday, February 16, 2006


Walking down the stairs, I overheard a female officemate complain to another about getting zapped every time she touched the doorknobs at work. I couldn’t help butting in.

“You too?” I asked. “I thought I was the only one.” We commiserated with one another and instantly developed a “static” bond between us.

I hate static for two reasons. First, I get it too often. Even if I could feel it building up on my body, I am often caught unawares when the shock happens. Just two days ago, I was handing some papers to my officemate and our fingertips accidentally touched. We both felt a shock. “Oww!” I shrieked and was jolted backward. My officemate just twitched a little. This brings me to the second reason for my great aversion to static. I always lose my poise. ALWAYS, anywhere.

Because of my ugly experiences with static, I have developed an odd ritual in opening doors at the office as part of my survival mechanism. Here’s what I do: Before I touch and turn the knob, I slowly feel the surrounding wooden part of the door, and with the back of my hand, (or my sleeve, if I’m wearing long sleeves) slowly feel the knob. Only then will I gingerly hold the knob and turn it. It might look silly to someone watching, but I prefer looking silly to getting zapped AND looking silly.

One other place where I get “electrically charged” is the Superstore. Within minutes of entering the store and pushing my trolley down the aisles, I will feel the hairs on my head and arms begin to stand up. I have had several annoying shocks in this supermarket. It’s not funny!

With more research on the Internet, I found a suggestion to solve this nuisance. Try holding a key and touching some metal rack with it, to discharge the static electricity painlessly before you touch things by hand. As soon as I feel the static build up, I will take out my car key and start touching the metal rack with it. My boys, who I sometimes take grocery shopping, find this really funny, if not embarrassing.

“Mom, what are you doing? Stop doing that.” Gabriel and Markus think this is just one other weird thing Mom does.

“I don’t care. I hate static,” I snap back. If they insist on pulling down my hand to my side so that I cannot tap my key on the rack, I pretend to hold them so they too would feel the shock when I get it. Gabriel knows I can be dangerous in this way. He once got shocked (we both did) when I gave him a peck.

“She’s electrifying!!!” Danny, John Travolta’s character in the movie Grease, sang about his girlfriend Sandy. That could well describe me. If only it were not very literal…


lerryblossoms said...

ps. i was at the newly opened price smart near my house yesterday and was feeling good that it was so unlike the superstore where the air is dry, my hairs stand up. "no static," i thought to myself. later, i decided to use the self-serve checkout counter. only price smart has that here. it's a new thing and i've never tried it before. it's one of those touch screen thingies. you scan your own items too. so there i was in front of the screen and it read "press here to start". i pressed the screen and ZAP!! "Oww!" I shrieked in front of other people. What a pain. Darn!!!

LHB said...

When you get zapped and "lose your poise", do you say something like, "Ay, kalabaw!" My wife calls her long, long dead mother's and other ancestors' names when she gets surprised like that. :) and I agree with you, it could get embarassing.

Thanks for the tip about walking around with a key in my hand. I'll do that the next time I'm pushing a cart at Costco and the cart wheels start acting like dynamos generating static. Maybe I'll touch the lady with the free taste samples with my key.

lerryblossoms said...

oh, that is so funny! tell me if she gives you any.

all i say when i get zapped is oww! could be shortcut for "kalabaw" :-)

lhb said...

I wish that all she'd say was "Oww!" but sometimes, she'd be looking at me when she gets zapped and say "Ay! Tatay mong kalbo!" Talagang pasensiyoso lang ako, so I let it pass. :)