by PammyMcB

“Soon I was spending all my time in the basement, and I had moved from taking things apart to putting new things together. I began by building simple devices. Some, like my radios, were useful. Others were merely entertaining. For example, I discovered I could solder some stiff wires onto a capacitor and charge it up. For a few minutes, until the charge leaked away, I had a crude stun gun.

…So I decided to try it on my little brother. I charged the capacitor to a snappy but nonlethal level from a power supply I’d recently removed from our old Zenith television.

‘Hey, let’s play Jab a Varmint,’ I said. I tried to smile disarmingly, keeping the capacitor behind my back and making sure I didn’t ruin the effect by jabbing myself or some other object.

‘What’s that?’ he asked, suspiciously.

Before he could escape, I stepped across the room and jabbed him. He jumped. Pretty high, too. Sometimes he would fight back, but this time he ran. The jab was totally unexpected and he didn’t realize that I only had the one jab in my capacitor. It would be several years before I had the skill to make a multishot Varmint Jabber.”

~ John Elder Robison, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s