I was one of those kids that put batteries in their mouths. I used to like the big 9V bad boys. The ones that give you just a hint of a tingle, going right to the root of your tongue. That’s how it started.
It was the choking hazard rather than the electricity that concerned my parents. Didn’t bother me, though. Every time they would extricate a saliva-covered Duracell from around my gums, I would wait until they left the room before slipping it back in again. Buzzzzzzzzzz. Eventually, once they could safely disregard my swallowing the battery, they let me be. It was just a phase, and better a little sulfuric acid than LSD, right?
The problem came about with the discovery of the first electronic components – a radial capacitor stuck between my molars on each side. After a trip to the dentist, some strenuous denials from me, and a lot of well-you-got-them-in-there-Jonny-so-they’ll-have-to-come-out talk, the man in the face mask shook his head and said that I’d have to return in a week for a general anaesthetic. By the next morning I had a gob bristling with thermistors, trimmers, and carbon film resistors.
It didn’t stop there either. I was taken out of school once my entire torso became covered in copper circuitry. I thought it was kinda cool, but the other kids still preferred tattoos, and when I stopped my teacher’s pacemaker when accepting a science prize I really had no choice.
Soon I didn’t want to leave the house at all. Would you? With capacitors coming out of your ears and two L.E.D.s blinking in unison from your nostrils? Mum used to have to pass me food whilst wearing rubber gloves, and the cat soon learned to give me a wide berth. What could the outside world offer someone like me?
Then wireless charging arrived and my life changed. I stand on Princes Street most days now in a pair of welly boots. Passengers pour out from Waverley Station, their phone batteries drained and their clients waiting. Pound a charge, and it’s done in thirty seconds, one under each armpit. Not bad, eh? I can do three at a push, but you’ve got to be pretty desperate to put your phone there, if you catch my drift.
***Thanks for reading. I’d be delighted to read your comments and please, please don’t put batteries anywhere you’d later regret. Or phones for that matter***