One of the concessions made in the sometimes-turbulent weather of summer is the wicked thunderstorm…often swiftly accompanied by the frustrating plunge into darkness that is: The Power Outage.
Oh, joy. It doesn’t happen often…but when it does, besides becoming immediately stupid and flipping every light switch on as I enter a room, I’ll become restless and bored after approximately 47 minutes. This seems to be my personal limit. This is immediately followed by being either too hot or too cold…(why is it that outages never occur during a breezy, gorgeous, low-humidity day?) and if it’s dark, I become the illumination-equivalent to claustrophobic…but instead of freaking out at an enclosed space, I’m suddenly in desperate need of massive amounts of light.
By this time, I’ll assume you’ve concluded that we lost power recently…that some of it occurred while it was dark and that I did a share amount of whining. Check. You guys are so smart.
Actually, I’d initially thought that I was responsible for the loss of power. No, I’m not that self-absorbed…but I’d just turned on my room air conditioner and I thought it was a pretty big coincidence. I’d assumed we’d blown a fuse. After a few choice expletives…and a frighteningly-extended moment of amnesia where I couldn’t seem to remember where the circuit breaker box was located…Connor & I discovered that this was not my handiwork.
We broke out the playing cards. He whooped me at Gin Rummy. He whooped me at Crazy 8’s. He whooped me at War. He suggested checkers…but I was getting tired of getting my ass kicked by a 13-year-old. I have my dignity.
By this time, it had been about 47 minutes…give or take a few. It was getting dark and I’d had enough. I decided to call the electric company to alert them to this important fact. Maybe if they knew I was done, they'd turn the power back on.
Electric Company Recording: “If you are calling regarding your home address, please press 1.”
I press 1.
ECR: “If you are calling regarding a life-threatening potential gas leak or downed power wire that is spewing hazardous combustible sparks in every direction and your very existence is in considerable and unquestionable jeopardy, please press 1. Otherwise, press 2.”
Visibly shaken, I press 2.
ECR: “If you are calling to report a power outage, please go to double-you, double-you, double-you, dot power company dot com, back slash outage, forward slash n-o-n l-i-f-e t-h-r-e-a-t-e-n-i-n-g….or hold for the next available customer representative. (Pause) Your approximate hold time is…(voice change) thirty-seven-minutes. (voice change again) Please hold…”
We got the power back about 10pm that night. In honor of the return of the light, we boogied to The Electric Slide....then went our separate ways, back to our respective computers.
Ah, family bonding. Ya gotta love it.
What’s your M.O. when the power goes out? Do you hit the mall? Take a nap? Read with a dying flashlight?? Do tell.