January 29, 2010

Electrocution

is really, really fun. I know I've told all of you about it already, but, really, I want to record this for posterity, seeing as it was, you know, completely f**king awesome.

Yes, the two asterisks are necessary. Just as necessary as they were last week when somebody modified my science research paper to say some very rude things about my mother. Then again, they said f***e. I'm still not sure what the "e" is for.

So, today in physics, Mr. Mubble comes in with a giant metal ball on a big plexiglass stick ("Oh," said Kathrya, when I told her this. "Was it...big?"). "This," said Mubbs, "is a Van de Graaff generator."

Mr. Mubble poked at the generator and asked, "has anybody ever been electrocuted?"

"On a lamp," I said. "It hurt."

"Me too!" said Umber. "Well, it was basically a lamp, but it, like, wasn't making light, and I was going to change the bulb, so I put my thumb in the socket, but there wasn't a bulb."

"Did you get shocked?" probed Mubbs.

"Well it hurt a lot, so, like, yeah."

Nobody bothered to ask why she bothered to put her thumb in it anyways.

Then Dino went into his bit about sticking a paperclip into a socket in eighth grade (I always knew he was daft), but Caroline started telling me her electrocution story, about a live wire she had to plug into a high voltage lamp for Les Mis, at the same time.

Mr. Mubble wanted a demonstration of what happens when people get charged up. I was selected as the participant because my hair is relatively thin and of a good length. Sergio tried to get a chant going of "Tea, Tea, Tea," but he was, per usual, unsuccessful, and it didn't take much persuasion anyways.

Becca brought over a bunch of textbooks for me to stand on so that I couldn't discharge into the ground. Apparently, that's really uncomfortable, although it seems doubtful that something could be more uncomfortable than getting charged up. I stood on the stack of books, making Mr. Mubbles, who is already shorter than me, look diminutive.

"Put your hands on it," he said.

I slowly extended my hands and touched my fingertips to the metal surface.

"It'll go faster if you add your palms."

I flattened my hands. I stood still for a few seconds, the entire class watching. "Oh my god, my arms are tingling," I said.

Mubbs laughed. "Do you want to stop?"

"No, I'm good, it's just kind of....weird."

Mr. Mubble said some stuff about the science behind it, with me interrupting every few seconds with relevant statements such as "I think my shirt is sticking to me."

"That's supposed to happen." He looked over the progress of the charge. "A few more seconds and your hair should start to stand up. I wonder if we'll get it all the way over your head."

"Wonderful," I responded with a grimace. Predictable, I could see my hair starting to curl up at the edge of my vision a few moments later.

The class started laughing. I stayed there for a while longer, my hair on end, until Mr. Mubble declared me fully charged.

"Anyone want to discharge her?"

Dino, who'd been inching further away from the generator with every minute, scooted backwards another half a foot.

"I'll do it," said Tybalt.

I reached towards him a bit, but I was afraid to touch anything, so he ended up standing and reaching out. I touched his knuckle with the tip of my pointer finger and yelped.

The class laughed.

"Ow!"

"Do it again," said Mr. Mubbles. "She might not be fully discharged."

It hurt more the second time. I squeaked and moved backwards, falling off the books. "That hurt!"

"You might want to touch something metal to get rid of the rest," said Mubbles.

I reached cautiously towards the board and squealed again when I heard the zapping noise and lost some more electrons. I still hurt. I was afraid to do it again, so I went back to my desk. When I sat down, I got shocked again, eliciting another yelp followed by another laugh.

2 comments:

Gretchen said...

hahahaha, you were so disappointed when i told you tybalt already told me what happened in gym.

i'm sorry it hurt so much :(

Tea said...

It did, but, somehow, I wanted to do it again. Umber said the same thing and made a joke about liking pain, and kathrya called me a masochist. Actually, that bit probably contributes to why lysander thinks I'm nuts.