Shake hands with the Static King

  • Follow Bill Kirby

We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it.

Video: Kirby's Augusta
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-- Dave Barry

I get a charge out of cold weather.

When temps hit the 20s and the air dries out, I turn into the Plant Vogtle of static shock generators.

I first noticed it about 30 years ago when I slid out of my car seat one November morning and touched the metal door frame. I got a jolt so strong and sudden I said a word my wife has never heard me say.

Now the season is here again, and I know I'll go back to my old habit of slapping the car's metal door frame with my bare hand as I move out each morning to avoid zapping myself.

I've thought about getting those grounding strips for the car, but I'm not sure they'd work. Besides I shock myself indoors, too.

Some days at work I'll be sparking up every metal filing cabinet within reach and trying to figure out how to make it stop.

I similarly suffer in grocery stores where that rolling cart wheel is just a little dynamo building up a good shock when I reach for the metal handle to grab some frozen peas.

I'm not sure what to do. I read once that if you shave the hair off your legs, it cuts down on the static electricity, but I just don't think that's me.

Right now I'm experimenting with a trick I read on the Internet. It says to carry an anti-static dryer sheet in your pocket and rub it occasionally.

While I'm not sure that it's working, I have to admit I smell fresher.

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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: John Wise shares this one. "Whether a man winds up with a nest egg, or a goose egg, depends a lot on the kind of chick he marries."

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DAY TRIP: Looking for a way to enjoy some cheap gas? The Lincoln County Historical Society will sponsor Pioneer Day on Saturday.

Last year, I am told, about 3,000 people attended to enjoy apple fritters, hayrides, homemade soap, antique tractors, horses, apple cider, beautiful quilts, sorghum syrup, stone ground corn meal and grits, turnip greens, chili, red beans and rice and ham biscuits in addition to top notch entertainment, historical tours and demonstrations. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the Historical Park behind the post office in Lincolnton.

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TODAY'S JOKE: The Smiths were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. They had included senators and Wall Street wizards.

They decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren, and hired a fine author. Only one problem arose -- how to handle that great-uncle George, who was executed in the electric chair. The author said he could handle the story tactfully.

And so the book appeared.

It said "Great-uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock."

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bill.kirby@augustachronicle.com.

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