Agony

Tased and confused

I never had 50,000 volts pass through my body.

Here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice. If, for whatever reason, you ever find yourself on the wrong side of the law and a cop draws a taser and levels it at you, go ahead and surrender.

Earlier in the year, I wrote a story about Georgetown Police Department’s reactivation of the Citizen Police Academy. There are a lot of benefits to participating in a class like that, and I encourage anyone who has the time to commit to the Georgetown class (it’s free) to do so. For those of my readers who don’t live in Georgetown, check with your local police department or sheriff’s office to see if they have something similar.

Anyhow, when I interviewed Sgt. Todd Stone, the academy’s commandant, so to speak, he hooked me with a single line.

“And you can find out what it’s like to get tased.”

I’m not a masochist, but I am a journalist, and there’s a certain intrepid spirit that we kindle in ourselves and when we aren’t actively pursuing trouble, we’re trying to make it ourselves.

So I signed up for the citizen police academy to learn about the relationship our officers in Georgetown have with the community, but what I really wanted to do was ride that taser eight seconds and dare it to toss me off.

On Tuesday, I got that wish. About eight of my classmates and I linked arms, forming a human chain. One of the cops serving as our instructor hooked one of the probes from the taser to a person at one end and the other probe he hooked up to me, at the opposite end. We all kneeled, putting ourselves closer to the floor. The classmates of ours who elected not to get zapped knelt in front of us in case we buckled forward.

At first I questioned whether eight of us linked together could possibly experience the full taser effect. I resolved to ask for another round of tasering if I didn’t feel the first round was adequate.

It turns out I am a dumbass.

With little warning (and no foreplay), the officer pulled the trigger on the taser sending 50,000 volts through me and my classmates. The pain defies description, but I will attempt to do so for you.

As I listened to the rat-tat-tat-tat of electricity arcing through the taser unit, I thought of drums. It was as if Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa were playing dueling drumsets and my skin was a snare drum head. And then someone gave those two bastards matching sets of electrified drumsticks. Gene, everybody knows Buddy’s a prick, but you?!

It turns out that having us kneeling to the floor was a really good idea, since that’s where we all ended up. Swear words are so great, because in the right combination they can create quite a tapestry. And I wanted to use them. All of them, in rapid succession in multiple octaves.

Unfortunately, all I could manage was “Oh! Oh! Oh!” Which is great if you’re having really great sex, but not so much if you’re riding a 50,000 volt tidal wave of pain.

Two-and-a-half seconds after the trigger pull, the arcing noise and the electricity stopped. We were still on the floor, recovering. I’m afraid I can’t adequately describe the aftereffects. The only think I can say, for a fact, is that I will never, ever voluntarily get tased again. No way. No how. Not for anything.

I would be happy, however, to pull the trigger.