Sunday, January 15, 2012

Batteries and Catnip

 I posted this yesterday, but it got lost in my birthday wishes (THANK YOU!)  So, here it is again.

 (Photo credit: not mine!  I found this

I got a wonderful birthday surprise yesterday morning:  I convinced my son to put his tongue on the end of a 9-volt battery.  Yes!  I never thought he would try it!  That's why I didn't tell him what would happen.  He thought it was funny, though, so no harm done.

Next, little Power Puss decided he would try to convince his sisters to do it.  "No way", I thought.  "There is no way that the girls will try it - they're too. . . .girlish".   However, he succeeded in convincing the 9-year-old first, then the 12-year-old.  It took the 11-year-old a little more time to work up the courage, but she finally did it.  We all had a good laugh at everyone's reactions, and especially the fact that they kept wanting to do it again and again.  It's kind of like touching the electric fence back on the farm.  You can't do it just once.  They started to get creative, sprinkling water on other areas of skin to see if they could get a zap, which they didn't.  Then someone suggested, "Try it on your uvula!", at which point I confiscated the battery.

Also of note is the fact that the kids made us breakfast in bed - pancakes, eggs, toast, orange juice and coffee (I ground the coffee the night before and left instructions on how to make it - you can't leave these things to chance.)  Ev brought me a sweet hand-painted picture of him and myself.  I wish I was that skinny in real life.  But I'm glad I don't have green skin.

But enough of the feel-good birthday bits:  Back to batteries.  I told the kids that their next experiment should be to try their tongue on one of those huge 4.5-volt square batteries.  However, does 4.5-volt mean it's less powerful than a puny 9-volt?  How is that possible?  Anyway, I do not concern myself with such things.  I just think it would be fun to watch.

Oooh, how about a car battery?  My husband, for some suspicious reason, contributed a very quick NO to that idea.  I guess it's because kids don't have long enough tongues to reach across both connections.  Ohh, but cows do.  Have you ever seen how long a cow's tongue is?  Get a cow's tongue across a car battery and you could have instant steak.

Then we came to the idea of cats.  Cats have very long tongues, and although they're not as stupid as cows, we could possibly get them to lick a battery.  "Get some catnip", I yelled.  As the kids raced off to find the cat treats, I thought better of it and decided that, no, we should not actually try to electrocute the cats.  Not sure what the outcome would be.

I assume that now everyone can relate to what Al has to deal with every single day when he straps on his electro-stim equipment and sends not-so-tiny electrical currents through several muscle groups to get his paralyzed limbs moving.  According to the words he's used - zap, fry, tingle, sizzle, sear, fricassee - it's not the most pleasant process.  And now we can all have some solidarity with him, at least for the brief moments that we see fit to stick 9-volt batteries on our tongues (which, by the way, I didn't try because 1. it IS my birthday, and 2. I've given birth to 4 children).

But I just don't think the cats would understand.

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