Scorched earth policy of 'static man'
A VICTORIAN man conducted 30,000 volts of static electricity in his jacket today but walked away without a scratch.
Frank Clewer, from Dennington in the south-west of the state, left a trail of burned carpet and molten plastic through the nearby city of Warrnambool.
Authorities later tested his polar-fleece jacket using a device that measures static electricity, and said the dial initially went off the scale before settling on a figure greater than 30,000 volts.
Mr Clewer's wife, Margaret, said her husband first heard a loud crack while inside a Warrnambool community employment centre, thinking a fire cracker had gone off outside.
"He said he went in for his interview and they could smell this terrible burning smell and, not realising it was Frank, they called the fire brigade," she said.
Fire authorities evacuated three buildings and began cutting into the carpet at the employment centre yesterday afternoon, believing wires in the ground were on fire.
"But there was no wires there, and the carpet wasn't scorched on the underside - just on the surface," Warrnambool Country Fire Authority (CFA) leading fire fighter Troy Cleverley said.
"While we were there you could still hear cracking and electrical popping noises.
"I've just never seen anything like it. Imagine a room of four or five firefighters, two electricians and an electrical inspector all standing around scratching their heads."
Mr Clewer solved the mystery after he returned to his car and noticed the plastic on the floor had melted.
"As he got out of the car there was this loud bang again, and that was when he realised it was him," Mrs Clewer said.
Mr Clewer was left with just a small scorch mark hole in his jeans.
Mrs Clewer added: "He never felt a thing. He's very very lucky.
"It's lucky he wasn't a shopper or he would have burned down half or Warrnambool.
"The CFA fellows had to check all the clothes, and then when he took the jacket off it was still generating electricity. It is bizarre. It is unbelievable really," she said.
Mr Cleverley said Mr Clewer was not injured because the electricity had very low amperage.
"Everywhere he had walked in the building he had left a burn mark," he said.
"Every two steps there was a burn mark in the carpet.
"In my experience, I haven't heard about anyone carrying that much charge to be able to scorch carpet - let alone not being able to feel it."
My farts can do that and more.
I need me one a them thar jackets!
My wife already hates it when I do the shuffleshuffleshuffle ZAP! thing all winter long....
Here Kitty Kitty....
The only dial going off the scale in this story is the bullshit meter.
DUPE from a few hours ago.