One Man's Static Electricity Gets a Whole Building Evacuated
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Static electricity seems like the awesomest thing ever when you're 10 years old and rubbing your feet on the carpet to pretend you're Raiden from Mortal Kombat, but it kinda loses its luster once you're an adult and its only purpose is zapping your hand every time you touch a doorknob. Still, it's only a minor annoyance -- it's not like you're going around like one of Zeus' drunken cousins, scorching shit willy-nilly with no control over it.
Unless, that is, you live in Australia and your name is Frank Clewer.
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Ah, ol' "Electrocutor" Clewer.
Clewer woke up on a chilly September morning in 2005 and decided to put on a spiffy combo of a synthetic nylon jacket and a wool shirt before heading to a job interview (we're guessing it wasn't a management position). What he didn't know was that the shirt and jacket would rub together, passing electrons around and storing up a little bit of a static charge -- and by "a little bit," we mean so much static that when he walked into the reception area for his interview, he heard what sounded like a goddamn firecracker going off. Probably figuring someone had eaten Chipotle for breakfast, he sat down in the waiting room.
Everything seemed normal until the carpet began to smoke for no apparent reason. No one, including Clewer, thought that a person could be responsible for the weirdness, so rather than burning him for witchcraft before he burned them, they called the fire department, which evacuated the building. Meanwhile, loud firecracker noises continued following Clewer around, and small burn marks appeared on the floor wherever he walked.
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Killing anything hiding there, which was a relief, considering where he lived.
When the situation got to the point where Clewer scorched a piece of plastic just by sitting next to it, the firemen decided to confiscate his jacket and test it. It had built up at least 30,000 volts, which is just shy of "full-on fire emergency." How the hell is that possible? Many on the Internet believe it isn't, while an actual expert at Sydney University said it was unusual and would require perfect conditions -- meaning that, yes, apparently you can cause a disaster with your wardrobe choices if it's dry enough, you step on the right type of carpet, and nature is feeling pissed off at you that day.
Anyway, we don't know if Clewer got the job, but we're guessing his chances weren't that good.
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Related Reading: If you hate traffic jams, read about these poor fools who spent twelve hours inside their cars. And did you know some annoyances can boost human creativity? Drunkenness is a big one. And if you're all about some video game annoyances that need to die, we've got those too.