Friday, October 31, 2008

I am (Don't Touch) Iron Man.

Woeful has a thing here on posting seven secret things about himself; there's no tagging involved and participation is voluntary, which is the way I like it.

So here is something you don't know about the.effing.librarian:
From October to February, I can't touch metal. Or I can, but it hurts.

When the weather changes, I don't know what happens, but I tend to build up static-electricity and whenever I get too close to metal, I shock myself.

And it's not a tiny charge. It really pisses me off when it happens. It's not such a big deal when I get out of my car and go to shut the door and get zapped because people rarely see me, but when I go out Christmas shopping and I get on the escalator, all happy and cheerful from a productive day of finding presents for my family and friends, and then my hand brushes the metal as I reach for the handrail and curse loudly and filthily, like John McCain opening a jar of pickles, well that kinda slaps the smiles off of the faces of other shoppers.

On the plus side, all year round, machines fear me. I don't know how or why, but machinery that balks or breaks down for others, works for me. Copiers, printer, computers, vending machines, all get their shit together when I approach. Something won't work all day, until I get called over, and then it works again, with only minor fiddling from me. Just a laying of hands on the sick and dying.

But other than fixing stuff, I try to avoid touching metal with my fingertips. I don't shock myself if I push a door shut with my elbow or knee. But I sometimes see the spark pass between my finger and the object. And that's doubly annoying because the electrical shock hits my nervous system faster than my eye can send the image to my brain, and I'm already reacting to the pain just before my mind is aware of the threat; so it's spark, pain, oh crap, pull away, crap! not fast enough. It's like some trap in the movie Saw; you're aware of it, but you can't avoid it.

I probably have six more secret things, but I'll save those for another day. What's your secret?