(credit: Jenna)

For the first 16 years of my life, I was an actor. Not a big-time actor, of course: I starred in school plays and local amateur productions, usually as the lanky comic sidekick or later as sonorous historical figures. Playing Osiris in a school play about the Egyptian gods was probably the peak of my thespian career.

I saw a lot of weird things over the years, backstage and in dressing rooms, but unless you're interested in men in tights or pranks involving oil-based makeup, most of them wouldn't make any sense to recount on a technology website. One story involving a six-inch iron nail is definitely worth sharing, though.

It is safe to say that my school, if it had ever been inspected properly, would've failed almost every electrical safety check. The building was about 200 years old, and over the decades had been the victim of many hodgepodge extensions, electrification retrofits, and "ooh, all we need is a bit of electrical tape" fixes by handymen and groundskeepers.

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