I am not the smartest of the people in the world. -- No, far from it. I am now 59 years old, but my 'radio' experiences started at my tender age of 9.
My Dad was a forestry technician in the northern part of Quebec. He had a beautiful office, and a lovely company house. Sometimes in the evening, maybe once or twice a month, he would take me with him as he headed back to work, get on what looked like a 160M dipole, and talk on AM to the fellows up in the lumber camps. He would fire up the company radio, a Hallicrafters I believe, and chat away about how a new piece of equipment was operating. I gather his role was to evaluate the new and upcoming forestry equipment to see if the company should invest in it or not.
So, at a tender age, young, (and handsome), Dan was introduced to HF. A year later, I went swimming. The swimming hole was located a good 3 miles from home, so it was a bit of a hike. Normally I would follow the road around a large field to the tiny beach. You would never dare cut across the field because it was home to a large bull.
I had a great time swimming, and finally had to face the march home for supper. That shortcut across the field looked very tempting. It would save me 10 minutes or more. The bull was nowhere to be seen. In the middle of the field was the local AM broadcast station vertical tower. -- All nicely painted red and white. It was gorgeous! I ducked under the fence, and headed for the tower. It was exactly where the shortest distance in my shortcut would take me.
As I approached this work of art, this marvel of engineering, this magical radio thing, this gleaming structure standing so tall, I noticed something. A ground strap! The strap was a piece of heavy tin about 3" wide. I didn't figure out what it was hooked to on the tower side, but it had been carefully bent in fine style out and over the concrete base that supported this heavenly beauty. It was meticulously contoured to follow the base down towards mother earth, where it disappeared in the grass. Nice, I thought, very nice. With a young, clean, outreached finger I chose to carefully 'touch' this wonderful workmanship, to give it my blessing, to commend the individual who had taken so much care in its installation.
The 'touch of Dan' turned into a jolt of the most excruciating pain I had ever felt. The current rippled up through my (ever so masculine) 10-year-old arm, through my upper body (Charles Atlas, of course), into my hungry stomach, down my both legs, out my tennis shoe shoelaces, and into the immediate area I was standing in. 'HOLY COW' I kept repeating as I did the proverbial dance of stricken heroes. 'GEEZ' was all I could formulate as my heart rate dropped from 300 BPM. 'WHEW' as I quickly scanned to see if there were any witnesses, and in particular of the Bull type.
So I made it home, I didn't speak of the event. I kept it to myself and finally decided to share it with you fine folks.
It was only 30 years later that I stepped into a canoe with an HF rig, a battery, a vertical, and a trailing bare metal ground. But that is another burn, sorry story.