Spiders, snakes, heights, germs....everyone has an irrational fear of something, and I think I've finally discovered mine. Every winter, it rears it's ugly head and terrifies me.
Yep. During the cold season, I'm forced to plug things into the power outlet, and then submerge them into water!!! I know...it goes against everything we all learned as a child! It's in the top 10 things that are taught by moms across the world:
Stop, drop, and roll.
Look both ways before crossing the street.
Don't run with scissors.
Don't touch the stove or you'll get burned.
Wait 30 minutes to swim after eating.
Don't cross your eyes or they'll stay that way.
Never stick your finger in a light socket.
Don't swallow your gum.
Wear clean underwear in case you get into a car accident.
Never submerge electrical things into water or you'll DIE!!!!!!!!!!!
In the last week alone, I've had to plug in a water- pump and submerge it...cord and all... into a river, and then into a water tank MULTIPLE times to haul water to the cows. I've had to plug in a de-icer and submerge it into the chickens' waterer to keep it from freezing. Then, I've had to submerge multiple stock tank heaters into water for the livestock. Each and every time I plug something in and go to submerge it, my mother's words of wisdom scream in my mind! Flashing lights and sirens buzz in my head. It goes against every instinct I have. I break out into a cold sweat.
Consequently, I usually plug the cord in, and sort of toss the heater, letting go before it touches the water. Then I wait for an unsuspecting chicken to come for a drink. If the feathers fly and I hear squawking...I'll run for the breaker box! If all is well, then I know that things are working despite my fears.
The stock tank heaters are the worst because:
a. They are heavily used and deteriorate quickly.
b. There isn't much between the electricity and the water; just a thin piece of rubber and plastic.
c. Curious calves gnaw on things. What if they chew through the cords and ZAP? Dead.
I'm sure that if I had a better understanding of how these things are made, I might not be so worried. Ignorance about electricity is to blame. I'm sure that there are some protective measures in water heaters: like those switches that pop the breaker every time I plug my curling iron, hair dryer, and hot rollers in at the same time. But what if those switches malfunction? What if they're faulty?
Does anyone test these things before they are sold? If so, what is the turn-over rate for a water heater tester and is there hazard pay? In olden times, the king had a royal taste tester/ cup bearer who ate and drank everything before the king did so that if it was laced with poison...the tester was the one to die, and not the king. I guess the chickens sort of serve this purpose, but what about the stock tank heaters... cattle are much more valuable than a chicken. I wouldn't want to lose one.
I'd much prefer to just chip ice every day, but with temperatures in the negative numbers, some things start to freeze solid this time of year. So for the next few months...I have to re-conquer my fear of electricity. I've done it every winter since I've lived in the frozen arctic tundra...and I'm still alive to tell the tale. But I'd like to research some alternative ways to keep the tanks from icing up...that don't involve electricity.
What about you? Do you have a creepy fear of anything? Just shout it out in the comments section...whatever it is. I need to know that I'm not alone in this.