Tuesday, December 6th, 2005, 1:48 pm
Just about ready for Vegas. Not packed yet, but I bought a pair of shoes last night (and from the bargain bin yet, it does pay to dumpster dive on occasion) and I think I know what I’m bringing along. Maybe one last trip to the mall for something comfy to wear during long stretches at the table, lay in some Advil and other drugs, and start loading up the suitcase.
After returning from the mall we played our last regular-season volleyball game and upset the runaway #1 seed. I was pleased that we won, but also relieved that THIS wasn’t the week I rolled my ankle or blew out a knee or took a spike to the shnozzola. We played great (we’ll be a tough out in the playoffs) and after blowing the 2nd game 25-23 we crushed ’em in the rubber match after the ref tilted the opposing team with a really bad call. She has bizarre rules no one else has (girls can’t wear earrings or bobby pins in their hair, tho wearing regular glasses is A-OK) and at times makes calls that get the blood boiling. Thing is, about 90% of her head-scratchers have gone our way this year, so I shouldn’t, and won’t, complain.
Oh, also have to get a haircut before Thursday. Yes, as many people have pointed out from my pictures, I do have a luxurious head of hair. It has been called the “Pelt” on a number of occasions, though I usually wear it short and it is in fact kitten-soft. It’s cold and dry here in Pittsburgh and I pick up enough static electricity thanks to my coif that I could almost qualify as a cartoon super-villain. Last night I shocked two of my cats bad enough that they ran away and hid, and gave myself a pretty good jolt at the copy machine at work.
As a brief aside, the worst shock I ever got was a few years ago during an especially cold snap. I’d drunk a Snapple earlier that day and took the glass bottle to the water fountain to fill it up. Now, I always thought that glass was a poor conductor of electricity. Very poor. Well, as I reached the water fountain my left hand went forward to place the lip of the bottle by the spigot, unaware that Zeus had warmed up in the bullpen and was ready to let fly.
I twisted the knob, the water poured forth. And the second the stream touched the glass, there was a blue flash I swear was bright enough to throw a shadow on the wall. I was looking down, and a spark, nay, a streak of current leapt out from the metal basin, hit my left hand, passed through my hand (which held the glass bottle) then arced again and shocked me right in the, uh, thing. Yes, THAT thing. My junk, as you will. On a scale of 1 to 10 the pain was about a 13.5. I jacknifed and made a sound like, “EEEEYYAARRGGHH!” loud enough that it startled quite a few people. Including the girl who was waiting in line behind me to get a drink, a girl who was unfortunately very pretty and who saw (and heard) the whole thing.
“Wow that hurt,” I gasped, always the master of the obvious.
She looked at the water fountain, and then at me hopping around doubled-over. “I’m afraid to go near it,” she said.
“YOU’RE afraid?” I said with a bit too much emotion, though I did exercise enough control that I didn’t point out that I was the one who’d just had his sexual organs zapped at close range. Having shamed myself in front of her I summoned up my courage and gingerly touched the fountain again. There was the possibility that the fountain had a short and that I’d tasted a bit more juice that static electricity, but it hummed quietly and when I took a very tentative sip nothing bad happened, I guess the discharge had drained the charge away. Still, it was a long time before I willingly drank deep from that fountain. I remember often being thirsty at work.
I guess it’s possible that the water hitting the bottle didn’t complete the circuit, maybe my hand moved just a little bit closer, allowing electron shells to overlap and BZZZT! But burned into my memory (as it was into my retinas when it happened) was that filament-thin curlicue appearing out of nowhere, blazing blue and hot for just a microsecond. Though much of the fascination was lost when it terminated in my Joy Department.
Let me tell you, it was without much enthusiasm that I went to the bathroom awhile later to make sure there wasn’t any, ah, structural damage. There wasn’t. Nor was I imbued with any erectile superpowers that would land me permanent work in our nation’s porn industry. All in all, I was happy enough to return to the status quo ante.
So far as brief asides go, that wasn’t so brief. I guess my point is that I’m looking forward to Vegas. Nice to get away from the bitter cold for a few days (50 degrees sounds like Aruba right now), nice to get away from the Steeler gloom (though I plan on watching us pound Chicago like so many Yogis and so many Boo Boos), and nice to get away from the humdrum problems that crop up all too often in life. A weekend of intense mayhem will be like an electric jolt to my nervous system. Which is good, so long as it isn’t administred below the beltline.
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