Gut Rumbles

August 21, 2005

expiration dates

This guy is damned lucky to be alive. His expiration date obviously wasn't up yet.

High-voltage electric lines are nothing to fuck around with. They'll kill you. When Hurricane David blew through Savannah sometime in the late 70s, it knocked down a live power line in the street right across from my house. That thing was bouncing around and throwing sparks as if it were some kind of live, angry snake.

A local dog made the mistake of attacking it. The juice not only killed the dog, but it cooked him well done.

By the time the firemen and the electricians came to fix that line, the dog smelled like pork ribs on the grill. After the SEPCO people cut the power on the line, the firemen dragged the dog away and it just fell apart, the way well-cooked stew-meat does.

One of the firemen told me, "I haven't eaten anything in two days. That dog doesn't smell bad..."

I worked around all kinds of toxic chemicals and dangerous stuff in my life. I learned a healthy respect for that kind of thing, but it never frightened me. High-voltage electricity does. I've run generators and I've done a sinc many a time. I've thrown more knife switches than most mama's have sliced tomatoes. That shit ALWAYS scared me. You get only ONE MISTAKE dealing with that stuff.

This guy was extremely lucky.


They will get you in a heartbeat. One of the luckiest people I knew was someone I jumped with, who missed the drop zone and took out the power line to a college dorm with his chin/jaw. Cut him, cut power to the dorm, but that was it. His date wasn't up yet that day...

Posted by: Laughing Wolf on August 21, 2005 06:18 PM

Saw a story on TV once about a High-Voltage line worker for some electric company.

The guy told a story about one time, he accidentally became a path for 10,000+ Volts from point A (left fingertip) to point B (right fingertip).

The camera was doing a head-and-shoulders shot as he said this. Then he said, "if the current had gone on a different path through my chest, it would have stopped my heart."

As the camera panned back, I saw a pair of prosthetic arms attached to his shoulders. Apparently, the current was hot enough to barbeque his arms. He doesn't do line-work anymore.

You're right. High-Voltage is dangerous stuff, and most people get only one mistake.

Posted by: karrde on August 23, 2005 10:36 AM
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