Thursday, January 18, 2007

Shock And Awe!

I've maintained a shocking secret for many years now. No more. I've grown weary of sitting upon this throne cobbled together from lies and dark deception. I'm simply not the self-sacrificing and kindly mother that I've passed myself off to be. Nay. The truth lay far more sinister.

Mothers are instinctually supposed to take the lead in the face of danger and possible injury. It's expected that we shield and savagely defend our offspring against any potential threats that we may saunter across. I have failed my children in this way. You see, my deeply seated fears have kept me from my important maternal duties.
Truth is, I'm terrified of touching the metal handles on the grocery store cooler cases because of the tremendous jolts of static electricity it gives me whenever I attempt the simplest of tasks. Winter time, summer time, doesn't matter, the doors still mockingly zap me with fervent aplomb. I actually clench my eyes tightly shut in fear and wrap my hands up in my shirt to avoid the inevitable, only to be thrust into a state of shock once again upon first contact with the handles of doom. No, not a state of shock, Jackson style. Now, that's truly terrifying. If I'm ever in the beginning throes of a heart attack, just plop me into a grocery cart and wheel me into the store next to all the metal coolers. It's sure to act as an impromptu defibrillator delivering life saving charges to my heart.

I have to actually psyche myself up for what seems like Mission Impossible 4: Got Milk? I'm not kidding about this at all. A few years ago I discovered how innocent and pure my trusting young flock of Infidels are, and how easily they could be manipulated into the sacrificial lamb role. I trained them from a young age to open the refrigerator case doors for me as I stood cowering at a safe distance. I'm so very ashamed of myself for using my children in this way. The older ones ridicule me because they liken the jolts to "getting energized," and they quite enjoy it. The younger ones worry about their otherwise brutish and fearless Mother anxiously fretting about and wringing her hands. I wonder if they realize that one day, they too, will grow up to do my dirty work?

I rue the day when my youngest child, Melody, turns 18. What will I do then? Will I have to recruit a crack team of tawdry milk and orange juice smugglers to get my daily fix? Maybe I'll have to start slipping some money to the dairy clerk to hand over the goods in small unmarked bottles so that nobody gets hurt? Perhaps, I'll just have another baby to postpone having to open the dreaded doors myself. What to do? What to do?


Julie said...

I GET THAT TOO!!! Drives me nuts. I found that it depends on which shoes I'm wearing, but I never remember which ones cause the worst static shock. You'd think I'd learn by now.

Sometimes the shock it so bad I worry that it will cause an arrhythmia. Seriously. Who wants to have CPR done in the middle of CostCo in front of the milk? Not me, I'm tellin' ya.

I'll have to try the recruitment thing....

Angela said...

I feel compelled to share my tip. Use it only when you have no more children to sacrifice. Stick your butt on the handle first, your clothing absorbs the shock, and then without removing your butt, put your hand on the handle. It's tricky, harder around holidays when the aisles are crowded, and always earns a concerned look from someone, but you WON'T get shocked. Much.

omar said...

I was all ready to offer my own tip, but let me first say that Angela's is better, because it involves the word "butt."

When I know that something is about to shock me, I flick it with my finger first (not hard enough to hurt, just hard enough to offset the feeling of the shock). I still get shocked, but the brief sting resulting from flicking a metal object makes me not feel it. And for some reason, it's easier for me to tolerate.

Seriously though, do the butt thing instead. said...

Are you shopping at WalMart? That is the only place I have ever had that problem, it was all over the store too not just the metal handles. My friend had the same problem there. I now shop at HEB and am completely shock free, also I don't have to make 2 trips to the grocery store because they always have everything I need, oh, and they aren't evil.

A Payne said...

My dad is amazing. He used to be able to fix my car with a shoe string and half a can of Pepsi.
You too, Elastic, are amazing. YOu can write a post about anything and make it wildly entertaining!

Note to self: DO NOT shop at the same stores that Angela does.

Suzanne said...

I scuff my feet involuntarily when I walk so I'm always doing that too! People always jump when I shake their hand. I guess it's just from my electric personality! ;)

Seriously, that must be very annoying, and I don't have any good advice. Listen to Angela! She knows what she'd talkin' about! :D

wendela said...

Around here they still have some stores with open cases that don't have doors and handles. Find one of those places once the mini infidels grow up? I dunno- this happens to me all the time, too. I never trained my kids, though, like you did- smart move!
I've never seen anyone do those moves like angela suggested. I'm going to be on the look-out now....

No Cool Story said...

Stick your butt on the handle. Muy interesante, specially the mental picture.

I use the omar method of gradually de-shocking myself, still terrifying experience, but I know I'm going to get shocked anyway, there's just no way to avoid it.

The mini Infidels will grow up to be strong shock resistant Infidels (unless the psychologist calls it something else).

jams o donnell said...

ewbl I am glad you put your children to such good use! When Melody flies the nest perhaps a glove??

On the other hand there should be a line of robots to do such work by then: ones for whom static electricity is all the nourishment they need

Elizabeth-W said...

I don't mind getting shocked too much, but there are two times I really don't like it at all. One--on the gas pump. I'm always afraid I'm going to blaze into a pyre. Two, when I get shocked when I kiss someone. Lip shock really hurts!

Theoretical Grammatarian said...

I have heard the recommendation of touching the metal object with another metal object, like a key, first so that the shock jumps to the key and not you, then touch the handle, or touch the handle while the key is still touching it? Something like that. For best results, you should probably hold the key with your butt. Good luck!

jedimacfan said...

At least breasts don't shock you when you go to them for milk.

carronin said...

You endured labor for all those chillins it's the least they can do for their, hard working, homeschooling, totally rocking mama.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

julie- I'd only want to pass out at Costco if it would score me some sympathy points and double the portion of free samples from the vendors.

angela-I'm shocked just reading about such things! Judging by the response, your advice really touched a nerve with everyone here. I'm going to add it to my "101 Uses For A Flabby Butt" novel.

omar- You and I lead a sad life full of evil particle charges, omar.

on the run- Yes, everything shocks me at Wal-Mart. From the grocery shelves and long lines to the fat women who come shopping in nothing but a tank top and booty shorts.

apayne- Is your dad's name, MacGyver, by any chance?

suzanne- My fugly sweaters act as a super static conduit, shocking friends and enemies alike.

wendela- I learned about the "Saddlebag Cinch" exercise on a program once. The lady perkily said that you can tighten and release your butt cheeks anywhere and everywhere. I happen to see a LOT of people doing that at the store.

NCS- What doesn't kill them will indeed make them stronger. They'll go on to form a strong band of static zapping superheroes.

jams- Hand In Glove? Another Morrissey reference? Maybe I'll take up babysitting other peoples kids when Melody leaves, just so I can force them to open the cooler doors for me. I always have at least one sinister plot cooking on the back burner.

elizabeth- I like the destatic panels that stations put up next to the pumps. I don't want to burst into flames in my mortal existence. I have my whole eternity to be like that.

Theo- Well, I have been exercising my butt cheeks lately. One clench, two clench, three clench. Holding a key should be no problem.

jedi- LOL!! I'm an acronymphobe but that comment deserves a LOL and an ROTFL!

carronin- How right you are. I already indoctrinated them, saying that we can show love for each other in many ways. Taking the static jolt to open the cooler doors for their mother is just way.

Lyle said...

My wife and I were walking through the mall yesterday and the owner of a "massage" parlor aksed my wife if she wanted a "free" one minute a sample. My wife said sure. When he went to touch her, he got shocked and had the rudest look on his face. He then tried touching her shoulders again and got shocked a second time. You would have thought the devil himself had touched him by his reaction. He insisted that his wife give the free demo.