Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Lightning strike? Car crash?

Or, was it just another Southern California Edison screw-up?

Whatever….there I was last night, enjoying a Friends rerun and finishing dinner, when I heard that odd, indescribable sound (which is actually the onset of non-sound) accompanied by instant darkness.

No power.

I groped around on the coffee table past the Healthy Choice ice cream bar wrapper and the 100-calorie Cheese Nips bag to locate my lighter. Next I fumbled for the nearest candle but the wick was so buried in wax (I estimated 3rd degree burns for sure) I had to do my best 80’s concert impression and use the Bic to find another one.

Okay, so I had light. What now?

Maybe I’ve seen too many slasher movies, but my first inclination was to make sure The Serial Killer hadn’t cut my lines, so I peeked out the window and confirmed the rest of the neighborhood was in darkness. Check.

So how do you pass the time when none of life’s modern conveniences are available? Aha, I thought. The laptop runs on a battery! That is, it does when the battery’s charged. Mine wasn’t.

Second aha! The radio my dad gave me for emergencies—the one you can crank 100 times for an hour of power when the batteries are dead! Oops. At the office.

If only…if only…Forget it. You need a male partner for that.

I settled for taking a nice hot bath and headed upstairs, mindful of my steps since I had this horrible vision of ending up in folklore right next to Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. Alas, as it turns out, candlelit baths are not what they’re cracked up to be when they’re forced. More like creepy. Or maybe it was the absence of Enya playing in the background.

Anyway, after exhausting myself with a couple marathon phone calls, I went to bed—a daunting task when you’re used to old sitcoms for lullabies. As I tossed and turned, I heard the welcome sound of heavy trucks lumbering up and down the streets of my complex. Each time one roared off into silence, I waited with crossed fingers for the power to go on and when it didn’t, I wondered if they had to go back to the shop to flip a switch or something.

Finally, total silence again. No trucks, no workmen. Also, still no power.

Then, at midnight, va-voom. The TV blasted to life and an overhead floodlight glared a path straight into my eyes.

Cool. Too bad I was sound asleep at the time.

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