Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Blame My Animal Magnetism

Spiderman villain, Will o' Wisp... feel his magnetism!
Mr. Editor knows if I stop by the newspaper office, I’ll have just one question – “Who has an available outlet?”

I possess the dubious gift of fouling up any electrical device. The “four-hour battery life” on my netbook is closer to twenty minutes, and my BlackBerry® lives tethered to its umbilical cord of power. Hotel room keys and debit cards become unreadable if I slip them into my back pocket.

Here’s your Marvel comics refresher course for the day: Will o’ the Wisp was a Spiderman villain, and the alter ego of character Dr. Jackson Arvad. Arvad was a physicist who discovered how to control the electromagnetic attraction between molecules of his body, allowing him to adjust and change the density of his body.

Yeah… I can’t do that.

I also can’t own a car with an all-electronic dashboard. The digital speedometer and gauges in my Ford Probe were constantly blinking out without provocation, and no number of trips to the auto shop provided an answer as to why. The power windows and seatbelts in most of my cars fail, and I once had my power driver’s seat catch fire while I was driving.

And a compass? Fuggedaboutit. I can’t get a steady reading. Either it’s me, or magnetic north does a tectonic dance every time I try to tune in.

I blame my grandfather. If I’m relaying my mother’s reports correctly (and if I’m not, I blame her for not making her reports more memorable), Papa couldn’t use a compass, either. His effect on the needle was more profound, though, causing spinning and Bermuda Triangle-like chaos.

In a time of windup watches, Papa’s wrist was bare because the hands of any watch stopped, no matter how recently it had been wound. He tried again when battery-operated watches became popular, but drained the batteries too quickly to make watch-wearing an affordable fashion statement.

I get lifetime replacement batteries for my custom watch from my jeweler. Trust me; I’m getting more than my money’s worth. By the way, I had to have a special titanium casing and band clasp made for the thing, because I’m allergic to all metals but titanium, platinum and surgical steel – all low-conductivity metals. Coincidence? I think not.

About my BlackBerry®… I’ve had it for maybe two months. I don’t run a ton of apps, and Lord knows I don’t want to actually talk to anyone long enough to drain the battery. Mr. Editor blames my Twitter addiction. I disagree.

I’m researching the phenomena, though. Watch my Twitter feed for updates!

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