I do most of my writing on a MacBook Pro, in a big leather easy chair. Often with a cat or two in my lap. Owing to this frivolous practice—and the bone-dry Colorado air—I’m frequently packing a heavy jolt of static. Enough, I suspect, to fry my hard drive and destroy my work.
Last winter, I decided to ease the risk of self-immolation by dipping my finger over the top of the lampshade and touching its metal ribs whenever I shuffled into the room. It worked, raising a spark and neutralizing the charge, and now it’s become a habit. A ritual, really. Like dipping your fingers in holy water.