Wooden Toothpick


Before I even start this story, do not, I repeat do not do that. That is a really dumb thing to do. I don’t care how gullible you are, do not do that.

I ran across this photo on Facebook and it made me think of this kid I knew in ninth grade. He thought he was so smart, and I showed him….it was funny, at least it was for me.

I was in ninth grade, as I already mentioned. We were working in the lab this day. It was late 1998 or early 1999 in Puyallup, Washington.

The science lab was state of the art, for that time. I went to a good school, better than I think I would have had if I stayed in the state of Nebraska.

Every table had a box of electrical sockets, and marble counter tops. Kind of like an inspection table at a machine shop that has a flatness tolerance of plus or minus 0.002 (inches). There were 4 to 5 chairs around each table.

There were about 10 of these tables on one side of the room that was on the same side as the hallway. On the other side of the room were long and cheaper tables with a small projector in front of it. You could also turn around and see outside from that side of the room.

We could see outside from anywhere in the room, but that side was closer to the fire escape door and all the other windows that took up most of the same wall. It was where the teacher would give lectures before we split up into groups.

I think we were dissecting frogs that day. Which is what it is. We had all the tools needed at said tables.

After the lecture and taking count of who was there and who wasn’t we split up into small groups of three to four people.

I was new to the state of Washington and only lived there for about half of a year at this point, so I really didn’t know anyone yet.

Coming from another school in another state, one in which I got picked on, on a daily basis; I wasn’t much of a social person.

I can’t remember anyone in my group other then this blond hair kid that looked like Anton Tobias in the movie Idle Hands.

He had blond hair that was parted down the middle and dangled down to his ears on each side. You could stereotype this kid as a stoner. He seemed to be trapped in 1993 and still dressed like Kurt Cobain, which being the time in the greater Seattle was not too uncommon.

We were sitting there at the table while the teacher was on the other end of the room helping another student, we didn’t even start yet. No one else did either, we were all waiting for the teachers instructions.

We were sitting there as this kid we will call Nirvana is looking at the table and says, “dude, I dare you to stick that in the outlet.”

I just stare at the table and say, “okay.”

As I’m sliding my hand across the marble table top and reaching for the wooden toothpick he says, “no man, don’t do that, you’ll die or some shit.”

I grabbed the toothpick and smiled as I said, “no I wont, I’m invincible.”

I’m now holding the toothpick a few inches away form the outlet and he is freaking out saying, “no man, don’t do that, really, don’t do it.”

I’m still holding the toothpick a few inches away from the outlet as I look up at him and say, “watch this shit man, I’m about to blow your mind.”

The toothpick is now fully inserted into the electrical outlet and I look up at him to see him as he is questioning the meaning of life.

Then he tries to tell me it must of been because I was only doing it with one toothpick. Apparently I had to have two of them if I wanted to be electrocuted.

I’m smiling at him as I say, “I’ll do it with two toothpicks man, nothing is going to happen.”

I finally can’t do this anymore so I say “dude, we’re in science class.”

He responds by saying “so.”

I continue by saying, “wood is not a conductor of electricity.”

He is trying to defend himself by saying, “but wood can catch on fire.”

I kinda laugh as I say, “yes, yes it can.”

After pausing for a second while looking at the priceless look on his face I continue by saying, “fire is not electricity”

He is now looking down as to say, “man, I tried to make fun of this dude in a wheelchair, but he just made me look stupid.”

It just felt good.

From ninth grade on I knew why people were making fun of me and that turned me into a fairly popular kid from that point on, my popularity peaked in my senior year of high school, but that is totally a different story that you can find in the ‘Imaginary Filing Cabinet’, look in December of 2013 if you care to look for it.

This was just a story about the kid and the wooden toothpick.


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