Please Tase Me, Bro!
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
It takes a true friend to attack somebody with a stun gun.
Luckily, I have such a friend.
One afternoon, while sitting in the Texas A&M student newspaper office, I happened to mention a list of things I would like to do before I die. Somewhere between being a guest host of Saturday Night Live and wrestling with a grizzly bear, I mentioned the fact that some sick and twisted part of me actually wanted to know what it felt like to be Tased. To be Tased seemed like some new and interesting life experience that would define the rest of my life. At the very least, I could perhaps discover I had some heretofore-unknown immunity to surges of electricity and would be free to embark on a life of crime.
As the weeks passed, word got around the newsroom that I was curious about being Tased. People would stop and ask me if I was serious. Had I had my psychological check-up lately? During an opinion desk meeting, the editor brought my name up when one of his writers proposed a column about Tasers. As luck would have it, Jay, one of the opinion writers, happened to have a stun gun sitting in his car. To this day, I’m not sure why Jay owned a stun gun, but it did not matter. In no time, events had been set in motion that would finally make my wish come true.
It wasn't until I was standing outside, looking at the stun gun, that I began to rethink my idea of excitement. Maybe swimming with dolphins would be more my speed. Sure I had never experienced being shocked by a stun gun, but I had also never free-fallen from a skyscraper. Maybe these were good things.
I had taken my shoes off (for some reason I’m still not sure of), removed any items of metal from my pocket (I wasn't going to take any chances with electricity), and was beginning to brace myself for what I imagined would be a near-death experience. I tend to have a very vivid imagination. People tried to talk me out of it. I tried to talk myself out of it. I jumped around like a spaz trying to psyche myself up. For a while, it seemed like I was going to chicken out and, in the process, disappoint the large crowd that had gathered around Jay and myself. Fortunately, Jay was a true friend and went through with it, whether I wanted him to or not.
After 10 minutes of nervously leaping from foot to foot, he simply reached out and glanced my side with the stun gun, shocking me for just a fraction of a second. I don't remember too much about the actual pain, albeit that it felt similar to a bee's sting — if the bee had a semi-automatic stinger. As soon as the stun gun hit my leg, I fell away from it, falling toward the ground. I bounced up soon afterward in no immediate pain.
A few hours later, though, my nervous system was telling a different story. With my leg sore and my head throbbing, I decided that a life of crime isn't for me as long as stun guns and Tasers are hiding in the purses of women (and cars of men) nationwide.
Post-script: This piece originally ran in The Battalion, Texas A&M’s student newspaper back in 2007. This took place around the time of the University of Florida Taser incident in which a college kid was Tased while interrupting a speech by U.S. Senator John Kerry.
A day after this article was published, I received an email from Taser, the company that made and sold Tasers. They informed me that, based on the photo that accompanied the article, it looked like it wasn’t an official Taser that my friend Jay stunned me with and that they would need me to append the article to remove their brand name. Don’t sue me, bro!
The photo, which only now exists in a super low-res format - the original file long lost to the sands of time, haunted me for years. I would go to a job interview and, within a few questions, the photo would come up. Whenever you Googled my name, the photo would come up and the interviewer would want to know why I had a picture of me being Tased on the internet. So why am I resurrecting this photo? Because I still get questions about it to this day and now, instead of having to explain my choices in college, I can just link to this blog.