Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Superpowers Alert

The three-day heat wave baked us. My Victorian city house is design genius. If you close it up all day and open it up at night, it ventilates itself and will stay 20 degrees cooler than the summer outside. An attic fan blowing out can cool it in 10 minutes. Our ancestors didn't suffer stupidly; they did the best they could toward comfort with what they had. But this sort of heat -- 94, 95, 97 for three days and hardly out of the 80s at night -- defeats the system.

It broke with a tremendous electrical storm, with lashing rain, hail, storm drains turned fountains, and lightning strikes -- strikes as in a few blocks away from you, wherever you were, and many of them, not just distant rips that give you time to count seconds.

After that heat I wanted to be out in it, like the monsoon dance scene in a Bollywood movie. I had to go meet the wife anyhow, at a bar (I'll let her explain; it's not typical). I opened an umbrella and walked across the parking lot, and I felt, more than saw, lightning crash down behind me. Part of my hand on the umbrella shaft touched bare metal and I felt a powerful electrical shock in that hand, stronger than my house current (I am not the best fuze-changer). I must have picked up some of what was in the air. Brushed by the finger of Zeus.

Since then, I seem to have lost my ability to taste food. No other changes evident, but I will be testing my ability to read roadsigns miles away, see through changing room walls, etc., etc.