In the category of Dumb Stuff of Little Interest Happening in My Life, our car has turned on me for reasons unknown. Hypotheses include: it’s sick of me starving it by putting off getting gas till the last possible minute, it’s not gotten over a minor scratch inflicted by me in a 2009 run-in with a parking garage pillar, it’s run out of subtle ways to tell me it hates the Delilah show and is embarrassed for both of us when I blubber into the steering wheel on the drive home from Target because our host picked the WRONG day in my cycle to read a letter from some 11-year-old with a father in the military. Etc.
Regardless, our beloved little chariot has a habit lately of delivering a vicious electric shock every time I exit and close the door. And yes, I know I am not the first human in the history of the western civilization to get shocked by a car door, but guys I am talking some serious wattage here, to the point where it’s really painful and I’m physically jolted.
So, think less of your garden variety doorknob shock and more like Alan riding the lightning…
Or Marv being on the business end of another one of Kevin McCallister’s extremely inventive booby traps (Marv when will you ever learn!?)
So, naturally, I asked Google WTF the story was here. I was informed that it was just an excess of static, probably from a jacket or shoes or just something random. And that I should instead put my hand on the glass to close the door. (GENIUS, Google!). (No I’m not being sarcastic, I probably should have thought of that).
Except right below those very comforting responses was this little nugget:
“Be careful with static electricity when pumping gas. The Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) has documented 129… [static gas pump fires]…since the early 1990s.”
OKAY! As if the world isn’t already a terrifying enough place to run around in when you’ve got anxiety issues. Now I’ve got to worry that static from my fleece is going to cause me to blow me up in a blaze of glory at the gas pump, like some mob boss or character in a John Grisham film. And that is no way for a good man to go down.
So this has thus been added to my list of irrational worries right between “Escalators: friend or foe?” and “Just to be on the safe side I’m going to step a few feet away from this blender when it’s on, which is totally what any reasonable person would do.”