I'm going to break character for a second and tell you something about myself: I was just struck by lightning. A nearby lightning strike sent a power surge through my outlet, into my computer and up my arm.
I wish I could tell you that electricity arced in my eyebrows, my hair caught fire and I had to put it out by sticking my head in a toilet bowl. But it was actually pretty boring, for a lightning strike. Earlier this evening I was sitting at the desk in my bedroom, happily blogging about Katy Perry's boobs on my MacBook while a thunderstorm raged outside my Brooklyn apartment.
This may have angered some god. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a thin strip of white flash in the window that looks onto an alley behind my apartment—it was so thin it might have been traveling down a wire. Suddenly my left arm shot off the keyboard, pulsing with the same weird combination of numbness and pain you feel after grabbing an electric fence, if you've ever been dumb enough to do that. It was enough to shoot me to my feet, and I stood there for a few seconds wondering what had just happened.
The first thing I did after realizing I had been hit by lightning was scream something along the lines of: "HOLY FUCKING SHIT I WAS JUST HIT BY FUCKING LIGHTNING WHAT THE FUCK." The next thing I did was check to see if lightning strikes were covered under Applecare. (It's not, but my laptop seems to be fine.) Then I ran into the kitchen to tell my roommate. He wasn't very impressed; I think he threw a skeptical glance at my not-flaming hair and un-singed eyebrows. But I really was hit by lightning! Electricity came from the sky and entered my body! If I am making this up, may God strike me with lightning again right... now. See?
After walking around the block four times to calm down (I figured it was as safe outside as it was in my apartment, where I had just been struck by lightning) I think I'm OK. My arm is sort of sore, but that could just be from all those enormous weights I lifted today at the gym. I got off lucky. "Indirect lightning strikes," as they're called, are rare, but can be very serious. According to this medical paper (PDF) one woman in Ireland hit by lightning through a telephone went deaf. Also, "her menstrual cycle was disrupted":
An unusual effect experienced was that on the day after the lightning injury, she had her menses 7 days ahead of time, and for 3 months her menstrual cycle remained at 23 days as compared with her pre-incident 30 day cycle.
This will hopefully not be a problem with me since I'm a guy, but still.
So, everyone, go buy a good surge protector! And if you already have a surge protector but are lazy like me and don't plug your laptop into it because it's all the way under your desk while there's a perfectly fine outlet right there on the wall, plus, what the hell does a surge protector even do? You probably deserve to be struck by lightning.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.
(P.S. Do not ask if I have super powers. Lightning strike victims hate when you ask us that.)
[Picture of tonight's thunderstorm sent in by reader Jeremy G.]