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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Lady Bracknell is shocked to the core

Cold, bright, fresh, crisp winter's days - such as were enjoyed in the Bracknell Towers area last week - have much to recommend them. They compete with frosty, golden autumn mornings when spiders webs hang, jewelled with dew, in the hedgerows and skeins of geese honk overhead in Lady Bracknell's personal league table of preferred weather conditions.

They do, however, have two drawbacks.

Firstly, their dry air makes her ladyship's eczema sing.

Secondly, they greatly increase the incidence of the static electric shocks she has ever been prone to experiencing from contact with metal surfaces.

There is a local building which Lady Bracknell has cause to visit regularly. (The purpose of these visits are not in themselves germane to this blog.) Entry via the rear side of this building is effected through something called a "tubestile". Somewhat akin to a turnstile in purpose, this device consists of a metal framework within which there are four floor-to-ceiling glass-walled compartments radiating from a central pivot. Entry to one of these compartments is achieved by swiping a card briskly through a slot containing a sensor. One then pushes the glass pane in front of one's face until one is disgorged on the far side of the barrier. (This process is, if anything, even less entertaining than it sounds.)

Persons who are either slender or flexible can probably achieve this transfer without making bodily contact with any section of the metal framework. Lady Bracknell possesses neither of these admirable qualities, however, and has learned, from painful experience, that the portion of her anatomy which reaches the far side of the device first is the one which will receive an electric shock when the appropriate climatic conditions are in force. It would be indelicate of her ladyship to refer to the body part in question by name. Suffice it to say that she has developed a technique for entering the building with her arms crossed firmly over her capacious bosom.

Having successfully thus defended herself against the sharp bite of the tubestile on Friday morning, Lady Bracknell was considerably piqued when the generally benign button she presses to summon the lift sent a shock of considerable strength from her index finger to her elbow.

Upon her return to Bracknell Towers later that day, she prevailed upon the editor to research possible solutions to the problem by means of the computing device. It transpires that one may be able to earth one's finger in these situations by protecting the digit with a metal thimble.

Sound though this advice may be, until such time as the wearing of thimbles outside the confines of the sewing room is considered appropriate for ladies of good breeding, Lady Bracknell prefers to run the risk of further shocks. (Although she ought, perhaps, to make greater efforts to limit her expostulations when thus shocked to those of a refined and cultured nature.)

6 Comments:

Blogger The Goldfish said...

May one inquire as to the materials of her Ladyship's footwear during this shocking encounter? Although she felt it between finger and elbow, it must have travelled through her entire Aristocratic personage to the ground. She obviously enjoys high conductivity as well as a sparkling personality. Boom boom.

1:54 pm  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I used to work with a lady who had so much static electricity in her body that not only could she not wear a watch, as they stopped after only a coupleof hours, she also shorted out about 20 contact centre head sets. Her chair had to be placed on a rubber mat in the end to stop her blowing anything else up.

8:25 pm  
Blogger stella said...

I once got my chair jammed in one of those glass twirly things and it took 45 minutes and a number of construction workers to dismantle the apparatus to set me free!

Mind you, I could have pressed the button to slow it down, but I decided it would be much more fun to just GO FOR IT!

As for Marmite's story about that woman - HOLY CRAP!

10:26 pm  
Blogger m56160 said...

I would have thought that wearing a metal thimble would have increased the number of shocks received by her Ladyship, unless said thimble had been earthed by attaching it to a suitable cable, the other end of which trailed along the ground. In order to ensure that the thimble acted as a lightning conductor, would her Ladyship have to walk around with finger outstretched?

1:57 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

This is the source of Lady Bracknell's information on the wearing of thimbles in order to avoid electric shocks.

Of course, Lady Bracknell is aware that, just because something is available on the Interwebnet, that doesn't necessarily mean that it should be trusted...

5:07 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

I now realise I was thinking about the problem back-to-front. My apologies. My general misfortune has leads me to have had several electric shocks from objects which have been charged themselves, which I might have avoided by wearing rubber shoes - but it sounds like her Ladyship would be better wearing highly conductive shoes such that the charge was not allowed to accumulate.

Electricity was the one area of physics I never really understood.

5:42 pm  

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