Monday, August 9, 2010

Lights Out

A few days ago we had a power outage in our building, and my husband and I were without electricity for about 24 hours.

It was complete mayhem.

About 20 seconds before we lost our electricity, I had every light in the condo on, was running the blender to make a banana-mango smoothie, heating up my flatiron, listening to the radio, and cruising the Internet for topless pictures of Taylor Lautner.

And, suddenly- there was silence. And dark.

"Honey?" I said into the blackness. "Where are you?! Dear god- I think- I think we lost power! I can't see you!"
"I'm sitting six inches from you at the kitchen table," he said, munching on a bowl of cereal. "We're in a 600 square foot condo and it's like, one o'clock in the afternoon. You're hardly blind, sweetie."
"Oh my god!" I screeched. "We're going to DIE!"
"It'll turn back on in about 30 seconds," my husband said.

But he was wrong. 2 hours later, we were still without electricity, and I was hysterical.
"My hair- it's frizzing out! The flatiron doesn't work! I can't get onto my favorite Hollywood gossip website- and how are we going to eat?!" I had a point there. The food in the non-working fridge was going rotten.
"I guess we'll just have to eat whatever is in the pantry," my husband said.
"God! It's a fucking Apocalypse!!" I screamed, and fell to my knees. "Why, god, why us?! Why now!?"

That night, I had to wash the dishes, by hand.
"What is this, Little House on the fucking Prairie?!" I sobbed, my perfectly-manicured hands immersed in hot suds. "How did people live like this?"
"We'll be fine," my husband assured me, while he scraped down a piece of wood with a pocket knife.
"Are you whittling?"
"Sure am. I'm carving out a little wooden creature. I think it's going to be a mouse- should look nice on the mantle."
"What is happening to us?!" I screeched, the water in the sink scorching my soft hands.

That evening, as I worked on my needlepoint by candlelight and gently swayed back and forth in my rocking chair, I couldn't help but admire the simplicity of the lifestyle they had back in the day. I sighed contently. "Remember, Pa, when we used to be slaves to our cell phones, computers, and the information age?"
"You mean this morning?" Pa asked from his desk, dipping his feather into its inkwell. He was writing poetry now, and I was extremely proud of him. "It is nicer," he mused, leaning back in his chair and running his fingers through his suspenders. "I'm enjoying this power outage." He glanced over at me. "And you made the best darn Cornmeal Mush and Bean Porridge tonight that I ever did have the pleasure of eatin', Ma," he said to me with a wink.
"Oh, Pa." I blushed up to my ears. He just might get a look at my petticoats tonight!

The next morning, as I was frying potato cakes over the fireplace and Pa was oiling up his boots, the lights flickered, and then came on. We looked as each other in astonishment.
"The's back on," Pa said, astonished.

Darn it. Guess I'm going to have to wait to finish that needlepoint pillow until the next Apocalypse.


  1. I experience similar levels of panic whenever the power goes out as well. Which is kind of funny because it was only a little over ten years ago when I had to endure living a week without power due to a vicious ice storm and survived (and trust me, you haven't lived without power until you've had to spend a week holed up in a house with four other people. Also, there was no running water. I'll give you a moment to let the severity of that sink in. Gross, right?). Of course, that was before I was addicted to high speed internet, cable and looking like a fully functioning and capable human being. Happy to hear you survived the ordeal.

  2. I live in south Florida where hurrican season basically = power outage season.

    People go crazy - CRAZY! - when there's city wide power outages, save for one IHOP and one gas station that are both half buried under tree debris.

    Also, nothing makes you want to eat everything in sight like having food reserves. You know you might have to live off Cheetoes and canned peaches for weeks, but you want to eat it all NOW.



  3. Your effin hilarious! It's been said!!

  4. LOL - I'm definitely tweeting this.

    The best is when the power suddenly goes off at work, and we all look around not daring to say anything, just hoping, praying that it will stay off and render us utterly useless for the day. It just makes you wonder what people used to do without their computers, like how did they conduct business? Yikes.

  5. Yeah, I definitely had to tweet this shit. I hope other people find it as amazinglyawesomesauce hilarious as I did.

  6. I want to be you when I grow up.

  7. I enjoyed this a lot. Thanks.

    All the best, Boonsong

  8. Very clever use of an interesting conceit. Liked this a lot.

  9. I wish I had those kinds of luxuries... my sink stopped working 2 weeks ago and ny landlord still hasn't fixed it. I literally have no running water. Fucking middle ages is what it is!

    - Calhoun

  10. You mean you don't ALWAYS have to bicycle for electricity to get your internet to work??