The shocking truth about N.D.
Posted 4/26/16 (Tue)
What A Joke
By John Bayer
As I was walking down the street the other day, my pastor stopped me and pointed out, “Hey John, there’s no wind today.” I told him with confidence, “Don’t worry, I’ll find something to complain about.”
I’ve complained about nearly everything when it comes to North Dakota weather: the cold, the heat, the wind, the snow, the mud. But there’s one thing I’ve yet to address.
In all the other places I’ve lived – Arizona, California, Indiana, Virginia – I’ve never experienced as much static electricity as we have here. In none of those other places do I recall putting my hands in the sink and being shocked by the running water. But it happens to me here about once a month.
My first night ever in North Dakota, I slept under a wool blanket and a regular sheet. Every time I moved, I heard the pop of electrical currents. When I turned over onto my side, I saw sparks. For one brief moment, the space between the wool blanket and the sheet lit up like a Christmas tree.
I knew you could freeze to death in North Dakota; no one warned me that you could also spontaneously combust. For safety’s sake, I now sleep on the tile floor wearing a scuba suit.
North Dakotans have a reputation for being a friendly bunch. At the same time though, they’re not the touchy-feely sort. I’ve always found this to be a strange combination.
I used to think people around here were “hands off” because of their austere Scandinavian roots. Or perhaps it was because this is a farming community, and things like hugs and handshakes just slow you down when there are fields to be seeded.
But now I get it. The real reason North Dakotans aren’t touchy-feely is because they are trying to avoid electrocution. They’ve learned that when you “touchy” someone there’s a good chance you are going to “feely” a jolt of lightning run through your body.
I went online to research static electricity. I was hoping to find out why electricity is stronger here than in other places I’ve lived. That was no help; by the third sentence of the article, they were into protons, nuclei, and the triboelectric effect. I turned off the computer and went back to watching an old episode of Hee Haw.
The only word in the article I understood was “imbalance.” I guess that shock you get is caused by some sort of electrical imbalance.
Why is there so much static electricity in North Dakota? Simple, apparently everyone here is imbalanced!