Like a highly amplified tour bus. While discussing current events with one of my charges, the problem of negating false positives during the testing phase rose to the top of the stack, resulting in a noticeable puff of smoke that alarmed the fire department's chief observer, who chided us for leaving the lightning rod unplugged during the height of the storm.

When he had finished plugging in, the familiar strains of an old Hendrix song woke the neighbors, who came over to complain, but changed their tune when they realized that the drummer hadn't removed her breathing apparatus. As midnight came and went, it became obvious that the fire department intended to play until someone apologized for interrupting their sleep. They didn't see the humor in our reckless disregard for fire safety during a thunderstorm; they said we might as well have been on the roof, naked, with a metal pole.

They were right, of course. Like grounding a charging horse, a negative charge on the lightning rod guarantees a few extra winks in the firehouse, where the path of least resistance often leads to a brass pole, even at night.

wonder if horses understand electricity.


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