I was in Middle School (about 7th grade), and I was in my elective class. Since schools rarely offer interesting electives, I chose a business class. We learned how to write in shorthand, how to use a 10-key calculator, and how to type using the "asdf jkl;" bullshit.

Anyway, the classroom was laid out in 6 rows. Each row had 5 typewriters on each row, and 2 rows were buddied up. Basically, there were 3 two-sided rows, with 5 typewriters to each row. In the middle of the buddied rows were power strips for the typewriters. These were standard 6 plug power strips, and the room had two per row. Obviously, there were a few empty outlets.

I was sitting at my station, and the dude next to me was fucking around with a pencil, some paper, and paperclips. We were done with our assignment, and waiting for the rest of the class to finish. So this dude gets a thought that pops into his head, and starts to wonder what would happen if he stuck a paperclip into one of the outlet holes. Me, being the genius I am, suggest a more interesting course of action:

"Why not bend the paperclip into a 'U', and stick one end into each outlet hole?"

His eyes lit up with excitement, and he was ready to give my experiment a shot. I, of course, had to watch the action, so I leaned up to the power strip to observe the festivities. He came up with the brilliant plan of lowering the paperclip into the outlet with a pencil "just in case anything should happen" - as if there were any doubt. Slowly, he lowered the pencil to the outlet, with the bent paperclip dangling over its shiny granite tip. Lower, Lower....


There was a burst of bright light as well as a short audible accompaniment, and the room went dark. The lights in the classroom went out, and the room quickly grew quiet as the typewriters' fans died down. All eyes were on us. I sat back, looked at our teacher, and said "I just wanted to see what the heck he was doing back there."

Eventually, a workman came to the classroom and restored power. Seems a circuit breaker was tripped. No harm, no foul. We got strange looks for the rest of the class period, but we got in no trouble.

Ah well, Life's an adventure.

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