Mark Tamer

I was an an inquisitive child. Usually a trait to be welcomed, but it was something that got me into trouble on a regular basis. My thought process was along the lines of “hmm, I wonder what will happen if…?” So, I went though a period of putting my finger into places it shouldn’t go. I have scars on a number of fingers after getting my digit stuck in a metal egg-cup (hacksawed off at the fire station) and in a hole in the middle of a 4 ft. square piece of plywood (the woodwork teacher released me by chiselling both the wood and my finger) to name just two incidents.

My big obsession though was electricity. I couldn’t get my head around how all that power flowed all that distance in those tiny wires. I’d take appliances apart, often while still plugged in. Electric shocks were both frightening and fascinating. My most dramatic encounter came as a twelve-year-old. On a quiet afternoon I casually asked my dad what would happen if I were to push a knife between the plug and the wall socket. “There’ll be a flash and a bang and you’ll going flying across the room,” he replied.  Five seconds later there was indeed a flash and a bang and I did fly across the living room. I was both shaken and exhilarated. The knife tip fared worse and had completely melted. These days I don’t stick knives in plug sockets but I do still wonder “what if…?”