As you may have guessed by the name, it’s shocking how many people exhibit signs of this dangerous yet disturbingly amusing illness.
Electric Fence Syndrome is a mental deficiency (I personally think it’s genetic, but this unproven by scientific standards) in which a person will deliberately expose themselves to dangerous or horribly undesirable effects for no other reason than to verify what their own senses, family members, and friends have likely already explained and warned them of.
I first encountered this disease when I was about 7 years old. I was with a couple of my cousins in a horse pasture. One of my cousins bet the other that he could climb and ride the stud without a saddle with no problem whatsoever. Before he left to try, I pointed out that we knew already that that particular horse hated people riding him bareback and would usually throw you upon trying to sit without a saddle. In addition, the other cousin that was in on the bet also told the victim that he’d tried three times already and couldn’t pull it off. Need less to say, it was an enormous amount of fun seeing sensible family members (that totally knew better) climb an irritated horse solely to prove they would be tossed promptly.
Another encounter…well…legitimized this illness when I watched a man holding a rifle wrong (the scope was too close to his eye), and after being warned about the potential ramifications, ignore said warning and promptly cut his eye ridge and nose when firing the rifle.
Further bolstered by not one, but FOUR instances of warning people about various fences possessing a significant electric current, with little success of deterrence, I found an apt name for this horrible affliction that lays waste to those with even the most reputable common sense.
You can often see signs that the illness will manifest itself when hearing phrases such as the following:
“You shouldn’t be dating each other.”
“Heh, watch THIS!”
“We’re getting married!”
“Do not feed the animals.”
It’s been noted that I missed a very important phrase to be wary of by my friend Lodi:
“Hold my beer.”
And another awesome one has been submitted by Kirsten (of Results Not Typical Girl):
“Will you marry me?”
…the list of scenarios goes on and on. I have found one very clear method of avoiding this disease. It seems that it is distracting and entertaining enough to yield non-dangerous results merely by warning people of potential dangers and harmful situations. I highly suggest this as a deterrent.
In the meantime, I would very much like to hear of your own experiences with this affliction. Or even if you know more phrases to be watchful for.
Please feel free to send these experiences to email@example.com.