Remember when you were a kid and you would rub a balloon in your hair and it would stick to the ceiling. Or, when you dragged your feet across the carpet and walked past the Christmas tree, the tinsel would drift out towards you and give you a zap. That's static electricity, sometimes though, static electricity is not your friend.
When i turned 40, we had some friends over for a little bash. It wasn't a gigantic affair. In fact, everyone fit around the kitchen table. There was some drinking involved.
I'm going to stop here for a minute to say that when there's drinking involved with these friends, sometimes bad things happen. Like deciding that it would be an awesome idea to ride down a hill with my buddy in his kids wagon. That ended badly. Or thinking that eating a sausage right off the metal stick you had just used to cook that sausage with over the open fire with is a fine plan......it's not. It also ended badly. However, i'm going to call these things learning experiences. Things that you probably should never do again. It's never good to stop learning, right?
Anyways, we did a bit of drinking. Somebody suggested that if you were to fill a garbage bag with a mixture of highly explosive gasses, tie a piece of paper towel into it to act as a fuse when you tied off the bag, you could light that fuse and safely move away and watch the excitement from a safe distance. Now, i happen to have explosive gasses in my shop, my wife has garbage bags and paper towel, the next logical step would be to test this hypothesis, purely in the name of science.......also because guys like to blow shit up.
So we did it. Filled a large garbage bag with explosive gasses, tied in the paper towel fuse, positioned it in a safe spot in the yard, lit the fuse, moved to a safe distance, and watched the resulting explosion,which only a group of drunk guys could fully appreciate. It was awesome....then we went to drink some more. It wasn't too long before someone pointed out the obvious, we should do that again. New garbage bag in hand (one of these large green ones) we headed out to the shop to recreate awesomeness. We filled the bag with the explosive gasses and my buddy came over to tie in the redneck fuse. I'm holding the bag, he touches it and the next second, all i saw was an orange ball of fire and suddenly i couldn't hear anything except ringing in my ears.
The explosion shredded my shirt, blew my wrist watch to pieces, burned the hair off my arms and singed all my facial hair. The creases in my jeans cut into my legs. I had bits of garbage bag coming out from behind my eyeballs for three days. My buddy had a leather jacket on which protected him quite a bit but we both blew of our ear drums. Also, the explosion blew a large window out of the shop, rattled the drywall loose from the ceiling in all four corners and blew the vent louvers out of the dash in the vehicle that all this happened in front of. The second time was certainly not as fun as the first. ..........also, our wives were not impressed.
When your ear drums are blown, it sounds like everyone is talking with a sock jammed in their mouth. If you are in a hall or someplace crowded, all the voices and sounds get muffled together and you can't sort them out. It's a bit of an inconvenience. But, the remarkable thing is that they do heal themselves. It takes a month or so but it does get better. Except the ringing, that's still there, you just learn to ignore it. One positive thing is that you get really good at watching TV with the sub titles on. After about three days, it almost becomes second nature.
...............filling a garbage bag with explosive gasses is not a good idea. I learned that. Sometimes though, it crosses my mind how things might have turned out if we had used one of those expandable, force-flex garbage bags? Purely in the name of science of course.