Grounding Story

From: Michael Travers <mt...@m...>
Subject: quick thinking electrical engineer
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 94 12:36:29 -0500

The following text has been forwarded around enough that all trace of its
original author's identity has been lost.

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 My girlfriend always seemed to enjoy seeing how much she could
 get away with doing some form of bondage stuff in public. She
 does this partly because she finds it fun, mostly because she
 knows it drives me out of my tree. Usually, I's able to fast-
 talk my way out of potentially embarrassing situations with
 Mundanes, but yesterday she very nearly got me fired.

 Yesterday afternoon we had lunch together. Afterward, she
 accompanied me back to work. I thought this slightly unusual,
 since she had never before expressed in interest in my work
 (electronic engineering), but it didn't occur to me that she
 had something planned.

 We arrived at my workbench, where I currently trying to figure
 why the $&#%@^$ board on which I am working is not performing
 the way it is designed. "Is this where you work?" she asked.

 "At the moment," I replied.
 I reached over to turn on the scope, thereby completely
 failing to notice the huge black studded collar she had
 produced from her purse. Before I could blink (it's amazing
 the speed at which she can do this), she had locked the collar
 snugly around my neck, and locked the end of the 6 foot jack
 chain to the center of the bench ( where there just happened
 to be a mounting hole, dammit). I turned to her in utter
 disbelief, mouth agape.

 "I'll be back for you at five," she said.
 "HAVE YOU GONE COMPLETELY WACKO!??!?!", I yelled in a hushed
 voice. "How the hell am I going to explain this!?!?!"
 "You'll think of something", she said, dropping the keys into
 her cleavage, "you always do".
 "But suppose I have to go to the bathroom", I countered.
 "Don't give me that", she hissed, "I've seen you go a whole
 day without visiting the bathroom"
 "But....," I tried to say.
 "SHHH! The subject is closed. I'll be back at five. Bye"

 She turned around and left, against my hushed protests. I sat
 in panic and tried to think out my situation. I tried to think
 of who might visit. Most of my co-workers were friends who
 knew that my girlfriend and I were a bit odd, so this
 shouldn't surprise them. But I had *no* idea what I was going
 to do if one of my bosses came in. I checked my watch to see
 how long I would have to endure this ignominy. 13:30 (I'm a
 military time weenie). "Three and a half hours," I thought. I
 heaved a heavy sigh, and got to work, such as I could.

 As it happened, three of my co-workers visited for what-not.
 All of them immediately noticed the collar (it would be hard
 not to) and asked if it was my girlfriend's idea. I said yes.
 They asked what I would do if my supervisor saw it. I told
 them I hadn't the faintest idea.

 One of the aforementioned colleagues took the bench next to
 me, and after a few remarks (and a question as to where he
 could get such a collar), settled down to work in silence.

 After some time, I checked my watch. 16:40. "Gee, I just might
 make it through this after all," I thought. I was even
 beginning to get a handle on the problem with the $#%&&$#
 board on which I was working. Murphy must have been standing
 right behind me, reading my thoughts, for not two minutes
 later one of my bosses entered the room. And not just any
 boss. Noooooooo. This was Mr. Narrowminded himself. This was
 the guy who took Lifespring *and* became a born-again funda-
 mentalist. How he came to have the power of hire-and-fire over
 us is one of the Great Mysteries of The Universe. We avoided
 this guy at all costs.

 His eyes fell upon me immediately. A few picoseconds later, he
 saw the collar around my neck in all it's splendor. "My life
 is over," I thought. I still hadn't thought of a plausible
 explanation for this. Mr Solderbrain (the name we called him
 behind his back; a corruption of his real name) started to
 walk slowly and deliberately over to me, his eyes fixed on the
 collar. Fifteen agonizing seconds later, he was standing next
 to me. I thought the guy sitting next to me was going to have
 seizures stifling all his giggles. I continued to work, acting
 as though there were nothing the least bit unusual about my

 Finally, he spoke.

 "What. the. HELL! is. THAT!?!?!" he said.

 I don't know how I thought of what I said. In fact, I'm pretty
 sure I didn't know what I was going to say until I was saying
 it. I'm even more amazed that Solderbrain actually bought it
 and didn't fire me on the spot.

 I turned to face him calmly, with total nonchalance, exuding
 complete confidence in what I was about to say, even though I
 didn't know what it was yet. I didn't even miss a beat.

 "Grounding strap," I said, and returned to work.

 The guy next to me fell off his chair and nearly died