Saturday, June 21, 2008

And Out Go the Lights!

It’s a little after 9 p.m. and I am on the sofa, typing away, and there’s this loud POP – and the house goes dark. I used the laptop to make my way into my room to retrieve a mini flashlight. Mom was asleep and I left her that way.

I made my way outside to see if it was us – a blown fuse, perhaps – or if it was the neighborhood. It wasn’t just us.

Just a block away is a major intersection. The traffic lights were dark and the passing cars were all engaged in a dangerous game of auto polo. Before I could walk back toward the house, I saw not one, not two, but THREE police cars pull into the bank’s parking lot. Apparently the power outage had rendered its alarm useless.

Toby the Cat was very freaked out. He did not understand why there were no lights in the house and he kept pacing from room to room, yowling. I went downstairs, tiny flashlight in hand. Since the massive storm of 2006, we’ve had enough outages to know it pays to be prepared. To that end, we have two battery-operated Coleman-style lanterns. On the same shelf, is a fully stocked plastic container of batteries, and a plastic bagful of candle holders.

I brought up the lanterns, set them up, lit a few candles, and then went outside to see what was up as I kept hearing what was no doubt Ameren trucks driving by. As soon as I reached the driveway, I saw one at work down the street.

I met up with one of my bus buddies’ husbands. He had just talked to the lineman who said it appeared to be a “ squirrel vs. transformer” incident. The lineman had said midnight to 2 a.m. before power was restored, but we lucked out. The lights flickered back into life by 10:45 p.m.!

Carole is not good during power outages. She says it’s too dark. It’s hot. She needs a TV. She has to go to the refrigerator, constantly. I pray that if the world ends and I’m at home, she’s not with me. She just is not a survivalist.
What was an even bigger and more pleasant surprise, when the power came back on, cable came with it. (This is not always the case.)

So, now my 65-year-old had her TV and could stand with the refrigerator door open if she wants to.


Dee said...

I love the phrase "squirrel vs. transformer incident." And apparently the squirrel won for a short time, if he knocked out the bank! Go, squirrel! (Yeah, I know it's dead now, and the electricity has been restored, but ... *singing Rocky theme*)

Ann said...

LOL - I just love your Carole stories, they're so great.

Poor squirrel...don't they know better by now? After all this time?

NV said...

If it WAS a squirrel, and I'm doubting it was, he really did achieve a major victory the rotten little bugger. RIP electricity menace!

Anonymous said...