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Shopkeeper Electrifies Pavement to Battle Drunken Revelers

Want to relieve yourself in front of John O'Connor's shop? Urine for a shock of your life.

Tired of having his property urinated upon by drunken revelers, the peeved shopkeeper decided to take the laws into his own hands with a measure so drastic it's shocking:

A shopkeeper who is fed up of drunken revellers urinating beside his store plans to give them the shock of their lives by wiring up an electric current to the pavement.

John O’Connor said he could no longer put up with his premises being used as an outdoor toilet by a steady stream of late-night partygoers.

‘If anybody persists and continues with the anti-social behaviour they’ll get a shock, they’ll know all about it,’ he warned today.

Just a little am"pee"rage? What could possibly go wrong? (Got any more puns? I'm all tapped out) Link (Photo: Eamon Ward)


Clearly this guy (or the author, for that matter) has never watched Mythbusters. One of their early episodes dealt with urinating on the electrified third rail of a subway, and they showed that a urine stream isn't even close to being a laminar flow, which means you can't be electrocuted by urinating on an electrified object. Even at subway-rail voltages, which are much higher than the I think 220V the UK runs on and therefore can cross a wider air gap.
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Chances are it's a fake just to scare them off. Aside from that, if he uses an electric fencer, they run around 3-4Kv, non-lethal, but I sure wouldn't trust that the current wouldn't jump the gaps in MY pee stream! [In dry air, 20Kv can jump about 1cm, IIR]
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I doubt that this will work. Even if the guy puts it out there he would be in trouble the first time a sweaty kid falls down on that pavement and gets shocked. Also, if a business in my town did that I know a few guys who would be at his place every night playing with it. At the very least they would pour salt water on it every night to get this guys electric bill to triple.
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If it DID work the way this guy thinks it works (and texym pointed out above that it doesn't), wouldn't that mean that anyone who walks past his shop in the rain would be shocked, including his own customers?
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I peed on an electric fence when I was a kid and got unpleasantly shocked, so it's definitely not impossible to get shocked, even if it is unlikely. I wasn't hurt, but I don't know whether it's risk free or not... I do know that you can do serious damage to yourself down there with a TENS-type device if you're not careful.

Also, as I understand the law, you can not set out "traps" for burglars or others that you find undesirable. If someone was hurt, surely this guy would be up on criminal charges, to say nothing of potential liability if the "victim" sues him.
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