Monday, June 14, 2010

Sparky Sal, the lightning gal

The other day I watched a Discovery Channel TV show called Weird Or What?, which is a Ripley's Believe It Or Not-styled programs. One of the segments of the program was about an Oklahoma farmer who has been hit by lightning six times over the years, and survived. It helped me solve a mystery involving my wife, Sally.

Over the years Sally has been her own lightning storm. She'd be in the local Albertson's supermarket and when she'd tried to take something off the shelf she'd get zapped with static electricity. It didn't happen every time, but it happened enough to bother her. Reaching for a can of tuna and be shocked by static electricity. Usually anyone can make that charge if they shuffle their feet on a carpet, but Sally was walking on linoleum.

On Weird Or What? one of the theories regarding why this Oklahoma farmer was getting hit by lightning is that he is a high conductor of electricity. Some people have more of a capability in their bodies to conduct electricity. They tested the man and found out, sure enough, he was a conductor, but another scientist scoffed. He said a man would be too small a target for lightning, which travels miles to the ground. But it answered a question for me as to why Sally is a zapper. She's a high conductor, and my guess is that the lights in the Albertson's store were putting out a charge she was conducting through her body. It got uncomfortable for her to shop in that store. The store had been there since the 1970s, but it's been closed down for about five years now, and except for a rare occasion or two she hasn't had the problem elsewhere. It's probably because modern store-lighting systems are newer, more efficient, and use less electricity.

So as the announcer said when he'd end each story on the television show, "Is that weird or what?"

And I guess I could always hire Sally out as a human bug zapper.

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