: the return of static cling :

Autumn isn’t all bobbing for apples and pumpkin carving and hearty soup. There’s a dark, unwelcome side to fall or have you forgotten a little thing we call static electricity? Well, get ready for a shock, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s back.

The chilly, dry days of autumn / winter are a breeding ground for static electricity and carpet shocks. The proof surrounds us. Door knobs once again greet us with a teeth-clenching 4,000 volt shock and will continue to until March.

The clothes dryer, normally a docile appliance, now churns out garments that crackle with electricity and throw off sparks. With so much voltage flying around, simply doing the laundry is high risk behavior. Life fairly teems with electrons and protons and neutrons. I buy Static Guard by the six-pack and dryer sheets by the trunk-load, but they can only do so much.

Dryer sheets, by the way, very often only complicate the problem. They have a way of burrowing into your clothes, forgotten and overlooked, until you notice one poking from a pants leg or a shirt sleeve. While it’s not as embarrassing as being unzipped, it’s a very close second.

Then let’s not forget the charms of static cling. But clothes don’t really cling, they cleave. And in a suggestive, revealing manner. We turn into unwitting exhibitionists and spend the day pulling and yanking and adjusting. Everything fits like pantyhose a size too small, even shoes. It’s like being vacuum-sealed.

My personal favorite is the hair standing on end. That’s what a hair brush does for me in cold weather, so does taking off a knit hat. People who witness this gravity defiant ‘do quite naturally mistake me for a descendant of Einstein. Or someone who stuck a fork in the toaster. Neither is a complement, that much I know.

Static electricity is just the beginning, I’m afraid. Chapped lips and cold sores lie straight ahead.

Copyright © Publikworks 2011.

26 thoughts on “: the return of static cling :

  1. Upon arriving to her first day at a new job, my sister removed her winter coat and wondered why her colleagues were staring. She quickly realized that the loose buttons on her collared shirt had come undone as the coat was removed, taking the shirt off of her entirely. She was standing in the middle of the office in her bra and trousers.


  2. The unwelcome side to fall is just the opposite for the Belgians, no static electricity because it becomes to damp. Too wet and heating systems not getting rid of all the water brought in the building.
    Our hair comes standing on end because the government is keeping up its circus, money has to be found to fill the State deficit, and the storms of the earth are taken in sympathy with the storms in politics and businesses.


  3. Well I am sorry to hear about your static woes and I thought this post was witty and brilliant. I once heard a news story about a man who was going for a job interview and he had gathered so much static electricity voltage as a result of his clothing, that he set the building on fire. I presume he didn’t get the job. I hope your troubles never reach these heady heights! Anyway I love your blog so I’ll be returning no doubt.


    1. Thank you for your kind words, suzymarie, Yikes! I’ve done some dumb things in interviews, but stopped short of starting a fire. knock wood Come back soon.


  4. Congrats on being on FP! I can relate to loathing this part of fall/winter. My hair is fine enough to have a weight of .014 micrograms, thus it is no match for the strength of static electric lift.

    I so wish I could wear adorable wool hats without living in fear of what lies beneath them :(


  5. I got a static shock so bad it fried fried headset on my phone. Ooh and I hate static cling! It’s so true! It’s like your clothes are in a very unwelcome personal relationship with your skin.


  6. Very funny!

    There’s nothing more embarrassing than being at work, and suddenly, a pair of underwear that was statically clung to the inside of your pant leg falls out.

    But in a dry climate like mine, that can happen all year long.


  7. I have started touching everything with my elbow first. The kids think it’s weird, but it beats falling over dead. I wish I could figure out something to do with the hair, tho. mine is very straight and fine, and static makes me look like a long lost member of A Flock of Seagulls.


  8. Ugh! My kids think it’s funny to scoot across the rug and then touch someone. I do not. One of these days, that shock is going to be so big it interferes with the electrical rhythm of my heart, and I’ll just drop over dead. Won’t THAT be a funny prank? Next time they play that game, maybe I should fake my own death.


  9. So very true … I noticed my hair flying away with static last week. I also said a few choice words under my breath while getting in and out of the car due to the static shock. Frickin’ frackin’ static electricity.


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