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October 22, 2020

Worthy to Print Column: Shocking Facts

By George Worthy, Gonzales Columnist

What do you know about electricity? Surely you know not to hold both the common and ground wires while dealing with gremlins in your house or office. I found out that electricity, even if you can’t see it, can really give you a ride that you won’t enjoy if you are not careful. I found that out when I was a pretty young and stupid kid.

I have these two older brothers and they were constantly trying to find something to torture me with as a child. They showed me that it is not fun to touch these two wires together. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a deadly trick they were playing on me, but you couldn’t have proved it when I was also a young tyke. Someone had tricked my next older brother how much fun it is to urinate on an electric fence, and I think he just wanted me to have fun too.

By the way, it is not fun to mess with electricity if you’re working on the wires to your house. I also did not get the fun my brother had because it didn’t look like he had fun. I have grown to appreciate the folks that actually charge me money for working on electricity in my home. Think of it for just a moment. You walk into a room and without even thinking you reach over and flip the switch to the lights. Eureka! The room is filled with light, but where did that light come from.

You can’t see electricity and you can’t hear it, but you can see things happen with electricity; sometimes things happen that you don’t want to happen. We have all heard that the great Benjamin Franklin was found to have discovered electricity in 1759. Actually, he didn’t discover electricity. He flew a kite out in stormy weather and found that his key, which he had placed on a string, caught some lightening and it was transferred into a jar he had handy. He called it electricity. If he had truly discovered electricity, we probably would not have heard about it. Because he would have electrocuted himself! (See above sentence about water and electricity.)

I have had the gremlins in my house and office. I have walked into every room in my house thousands of times and I’m always fascinated that the light comes on when all I did was flip a switch. For some reason when I walked out to my office last Friday, the lights wouldn’t come on. The computer was also quiet. Now I have told you how fascinating it is to see light by flipping a switch, but it is absolutely devastating to NOT have the light come on. That’s what happened to me and I was freaking out.

You can put what I know about the lights not coming on in a 12 oz. beer can and still have room for 16 oz. I flipped the switch a bunch of times figuring it was just that someone was playing a joke on me. My Angel is famous for doing things that really get my blood flowing first thing in the morning, but I had left her in bed so she couldn’t be the guilty party. Then I wondered how my sons had figured out a way to get my electricity all messed up so they could have a grand old time. I’m famous for blaming everyone before I take any responsibility.

So I quickly ran back into the house to ask who was guilty. I heard crickets. Who would do such a thing to me? I am friendly with my family, and the only other person around was my dear mother-in-law who has come to live with us. Now, if the kids didn’t do it and My Angel was still softly purring in bed, it must have been her mother. As you can tell I am quick to place the blame everywhere but on myself.

Hey! The lights and computer and all those things we have to have these days were simply dead. What to do?! So I aroused my bride and told her to start calling all the electricians in the phone book. So what does she do? Yes! She politely pointed out that we haven’t had a phone book for the past 13 years. So I walk back out to my office mumbling to myself, if she can’t find an electrician I’ll probably have to start cooking next. I am truly a mild-mannered guy. Sometimes you might doubt that, if you are around when something happens that I don’t know how to fix, but I am truly a softie.

So, after flipping the light switch another 50 or more times, I walked back in with my cutest grin and asked her if she knew anybody that could help us. Fortunately, she knows quite a few people in South County, so she got on her phone and started calling. To no avail! Even though we are all told to stay home and wear a mask when we do something or go anywhere, every electrician in California was busy with other less needful customers.

Now Lorraine is not one to beg, but I am not afflicted with that malady. I begged and pleaded with the electricians that I spoke to, but they are honorable people and wouldn’t leave a job they were on until they were finished. I am actually OK with that because I would hate for a craftsman to do the same to me or my family. Eventually we found an old friend that helped me find the culprit and showed me how to fix it. I was in awe of how easily the fault was found and repaired. So, after all my worries, we were with lights, cameras and computers.

One more thing, if you have time. As I walked back into the house, I could see My Angel was as happy as I was. As I gave her a well-deserved hug, she pointed to a box in the corner and reminded me that we had no functioning clothes washer. A clamp or wire or bellows or something had broken and she had sent off for the part to fix it. She smiled her sweet smile and said, “Oh, don’t worry about it today. You can fix it tomorrow.”

I have to quit now, as I have to watch all the videos on fixing a washer. After all, I am the man of the house and all my crying about being tired just didn’t work. I’ll let you know about the washer next week. Until then, we just have to get friendlier with our neighbors.

God Bless.

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