Stupid as kids are

When I was about 8 or 9 years old my brother told me that if you stuck a pencil in the wall socket it would look like a 4th of july sparkler. He was right, I went flying across the room. The lights went out in 3 rooms. My mother wailed his ass. But yet, I saw the sparkles. I’m 47 now and I’ll never trust my brother again.

Good thing YOU didn’t look like a 4th of July sparkler.

How does a pencil do that? Unless it’s a U shaped pencil and you stuck both ‘prongs’ in both holes?

Sticking a straight pencil into a socket does not create a circuit at all, let alone a short one. Isn’t some kind of circuit needed for anything at all to happen?
Or is my knowledge of electricity flawwed?

Well, it creates a circuit to ground through the holder of the pencil. The danger of this would depend on the resistances involved in a pencil, the clothing, the skin, clothes, and housing materials. But I’m no electrician.

Technically, If you ONLY held the wood part, you would see no sparks or flying bodies.

Heh. We played “Hide The Key” at my cousin’s house when we were kids. I have no idea how they put the key in the socket, but darned if I wasn’t the one to pull it out. And fly across the room like a scene out of the Matrix. It wasn’t pleasant.

The house was a converted schoolhouse. all the wallsockets were 2 prong old style and I was the ground. The first socket I stuck it into nothing happened. But the other one was “old lightning”. My brother still laughs at this story since I wasn’t hurt and he got his ass whipped.

Graphite is an excellent conductor. I remember making pencil line circuit cards in a basic electronics class in high school many years ago. And most old timers can tell you what happens when you use a pencil inside the distributor cap of a car.