Let me explain to you what electrocution means. I have no doubt that many of you have hear the word before, probably from someone who told you that they electrocuted themselves while unplugging something. A Google search for “electrocuted myself,” even excluding the word “almost,” turns up over 11,000 results.
The problem is that “electrocute” means to kill with electricity. Kill. Dead. That means, therefore, that no one should be able to ever say “I electrocuted myself” because if that were true, ipso facto, they would be unable to say it.
This kid is the exception.
That there is Kyle Dubois, an 18-year-old from Dover, New Hampshire. Kyle was in an electrical trades class in March of last year, at which point he got the brilliant idea that it would be super cool if he were to shock himself with a live wire. Just to make it more XTREMEtastic, he clamped a power cord to his nipples, and then had a friend plug the cord to the wall.
He died. Obviously. Basically what he’d done there is set up an impromptu defibrillator, running 110 volts across his heart, which OH HEY is not that much less than what they use in actual defibrillators. Fortunately, death by electrocution doesn’t do much physical damage, so they managed to resuscitate him.
Five days later Kyle was back from the dead and out of the hospital, and in September he filed a lawsuit against his teacher, the City of Dover and the school district.
Why? For having electricity? For having schools? For teaching classes? No.
For not warning him that putting live electrical clamps on his bare nipples was dangerous.
Yes, Kyle is one of those people, apparently, who believes that the responsibility of people smarter than him (seemingly everyone) is to make sure he does not fuck himself up in stupendously retarded ways. Like the woman who sued Universal Studios because she went in a haunted house and suffered “extreme fear.” THAT IS WHY YOU PAID TO GO IN THERE. Well as someone who is smarter than most people, I object. I will not be held accountable for your inability not to breathe through your mouth and drool while watching television.
Apparently, some students in the class have said that the teacher was complicit, saying that if Kyle tried it with his nipples he [the teacher] would give him [Kyle] a Mountain Dew. Kyle actually defends his teacher, saying that it was in fact a friend who offered him the drink.
I guess even if he wasn’t the one issuing the dare, it was still the teacher’s job to make sure that teenage boys didn’t find creative and insane ways to hurt themselves? That’s hardly fair. That’s what teenage boys do. And Kyle’s legal team is claiming he suffered permanent brain damage. Like anyone would fucking notice.
See, this is why we need labels on packages of peanuts that tell us explicitly that packages of peanuts contain peanuts. This is why we need labels on toothpaste to tell you not to eat it, and don’t try to tell me those are directed at kids who might like the taste. Only grown-ups read labels. That’s directed at an adult human being who might actually consume toothpaste for pleasure and then wonder why their kidneys have suddenly turned into bocci balls of cemented fluoride.
This is why there are labels telling you not to insert curling irons into your body, or not to iron clothes while wearing them, or not to use your hair dryer in the shower, or not to eat the silicon packets that come with electronics. Those labels are there because companies don’t feel that they should have to financially support the unbelievably idiotic things people do with consumer products just because no one ever told them not to. They’re not there because companies think you’re stupid.
They’re there because you are stupid.