Talk about painful research! I decided that, as I write police procedural mysteries, I need to know more about police procedures. And — guess what? — there’s a procedure for that.
My ‘Citizens Academy’ class at the Tampa Police Department learned about Tasers the other day. I still have the dart-marks in my back. They lit me up, and some others too, to demonstrate just how it feels. It feels bad. Paralyzing pain for five seconds while two friends hang onto your arms so you don’t fall down. I learned some things:
1. Taser time is MUCH longer than regular time. When I thought five seconds had passed the instructor called out, “Two.”
2. We also learned about “Tased-induced Tourettes” when most people not only screamed but usually screamed out nasty curse words.
3. Anyone who agrees to hold onto you is a friend. The electrical current does not transfer from person to person (normally) and your two friends keep you from doing a face-splat on the ground.
4. Wear an old tee-shirt. Or no shirt at all. My old shirt ended up bloody and with small holes from the two darts. Some hydrogen peroxide got most of the blood out later.
5. I felt a pleasant … lassitude … hours after. Understandable, as my entire skeletal muscle system had just been tightly clenched and it was like having a workout without the workout.
Useful experience (for me; I can’t understand why anyone else would want it) because the next day I rewrote some parts of Mangrove Bayou #6 to correct or better describe several scenes with a Taser.
The sacrifices we authors make for you, the reader!