It’s incredibly windy here. Or, as our British friends like to say, blowy. I realized it’s also trash day, while I was outside letting Andy (Black Lips Houlihan) sling some urine around. Nothing short of fantastic…
A few years ago I was nearly decapitated on an especially blowy trash day, by a cardboard discus from the bottom of a pizza box. The thing came sailing out of nowhere, at exactly neck level! So I was on high-alert this afternoon, dammit. I will not be taken-down by an airborne Hi-C bottle; I will NOT go out as a Fark link.
But everything worked out OK. I just stood on the porch and watched the endless parade of garbage march past, while Andy searched for another dog’s pee to trump. I imagined me out there with one of the Secrets, when they were younger:
“Look there! It’s a Frito’s bag — family sized! And look what’s behind it! An empty butter tub, and a vortex of Tide bottles!!”
“Daddy, can I sit on your shoulders?!”
It was fairly amazing, and Andy got a surprise as well. I don’t think he’d ever seen his pee go in an L before. It went straight out, as normal, then made an abrupt left turn, because of the high winds.
And that’s as far as I got with Thursday’s update — before the loud explosion, and the complete and absolute nuclear winter loss of power.
Turns out a telephone pole tipped over. And how does something like that happen? Aren’t they generally in the ground pretty deep? Sure, the wind was blowing at an accelerated clip, but it wasn’t exactly a hurricane out there. How could a telephone pole just fall down like that?
And it’s a good thing nobody was driving past at the time, because it fell directly across a well-traveled street(!). The big transformers (or whatever the hell) at the top EXPLODED when they hit the pavement, and stray wires were dangling from the treetops.
Wotta mess. But luckily, and miraculously, several elderly men were on the scene within seconds, sporting reflector vests and carrying flashlights with plastic extenders on them. Where do those guys come from? Are they always standing by? Apparently so.
In any case, they kept the traffic from approaching the danger zone, and just a few minutes later several police cars, an ambulance, and a couple of fire truck were on the scene. Eventually, the power company arrived as well.
Our electricity was out, of course, and I told Toney I was going to use the opportunity to get a haircut. I’d been needing one badly, but couldn’t find the time. Since everything was now disturbingly quiet at our house, and getting colder by the minute, I figured the time was right.
So, I went to the mall and paid some guy to dance around me and carve great hunks of graying fur off my head. The dude moved as if on wheels, just gliding from here to there. If there was ever a man born to cut hair, he was it. Holy crap.
While driving home my cell phone rang, and it was Toney. She’d called the power company to get a status, and the recording told her we’d be without electricity until at least 7:30. So, she was proposing dinner at a restaurant.
Well, if we absolutely have to…
We went to Five Guys, and my burger was uncharacteristically disappointing. Way too saucy. Whoever was manning the ketchup pump got overzealous with it, and rendered my dinner a gloppy mess. The prick.
Afterward, Toney called the power company status line again, and they were now saying 10:30. What the hell, man?? It was dark outside, and the temperature was plummeting. Plus, we had a new episode of LOST to watch. I didn’t care for any of it.
The younger Secret was supposed to have basketball practice, so we went home and he changed his clothes by flashlight. Toney and the older boy went to swim practice, and we left poor Andy in the dark: the Woody Allen of dogs.
Since a big section of our neighborhood was now closed-off, I had to take an unusual route. And near the elementary school there was roughly a thousand flashing lights — emergency vehicles as far as the eye could see. What the hell, man? Are we under attack??
Traffic was completely balled-up, and we couldn’t get through. As we sat still, waiting for an opportunity to escape down a side street, I saw a horse standing in the middle of the school’s playground. Way off in the distance, with nobody around. A horse!
“Is this the Sundance Channel?!” I said out loud, while performing a fully-illegal U-turn at 2 mph.
I drove through a residential section, and eventually emerged near a grocery store a few blocks away. And cops had all the main roads sealed-off, directing cars away from downtown.
“Screw this,” I told the Secret. “You’re going to miss practice tonight, because we’re going home.” There was far too much incomprehensible weirdness going on. Were we under martial law, or something? I seriously thought those thoughts.
We returned home, and it was inky black inside. I went to the baffroom and took a leak with a flashlight in my left hand. At one point I thought I heard something, got confused, and pointed what wasn’t a flashlight in the direction of the shower stall. Woops. Where’s a towel?
I grabbed a Yuengling from the fridge, and the Secret and I spent the next hour sitting in the living room, smiling into the darkness. I felt like David Putty. And it was freakin’ cold in there.
Needless to say, I blamed Obama for all of it.
Toney and the older boy got home around 9:00, and all four of us sat there talking without being able to see each other. I noticed a candle flickering in the living room of the house across the street.
“Well, this blows a whole flat of eggs,” I said. And even though it made no sense whatsoever, the family agreed to the general spirit of my statement.
The Secrets went to bed, and Toney and I had another beer each. She called the power company again, and they were still saying 10:30. “Forget this, I’m going to bed,” she said. I considered doing the same, but it was still so early… Wonder if I could watch a movie on my laptop?
So, I fired up In Bruges, and made it two-thirds of the way into it, before the battery died. I really liked the first two-thirds, though. It was a really good partial-movie.
Finally, I sighed and climbed atop the platform. And I did something that’s completely unheard of: I wore socks to bed. I hate that, in warm weather I don’t even like my feet covered by a sheet. But these were unusual circumstances; it was like a refrigerator in that room. Sweet Maria.
And at exactly 12:27 am I was awakened by a low hum, and sudden light in my eyes. Finally, we were back in business. Toney got up and adjusted the thermostat, and within minutes it started to warm-up a little.
Yesterday, before tragedy struck, I sent out an email announcing that I’d bowed to public pressure and would be offering a limited edition long-sleeve Surf Report shirt. Several people said they wanted them, but I wasn’t convinced we could meet the minimum order requirement of twenty-four.
But, to my surprise, twenty had already been ordered by the time the power went off. And this morning I was pleased to learn the number had nearly doubled. Thanks, folks! I really appreciate it, and am genuinely shocked.
I’ll keep the order form active until noon on Friday, February 20, and will then call the T-Shirt Lady with our numbers. I’m not ordering extras this time, so if you want one you’ll need to pre-order. Sorry, but it gets too complicated and convoluted; it’s better to do just one big mailing, all at once.
I do still owe a few of you short sleeve shirts, and those will go out on Saturday morning. Thus closing-out the category.
Thanks, folks! Your support is much appreciated.
And that’s that. I’ll leave you now with another deceptively simple question from the Stealing Clive Bull‘s Topics desk. I’d like to know what you’re addicted to. What do you have trouble doing without, for extended periods?
For me, it’s beer (especially on Fridays and Saturdays and on days when we have no electricity), email and the internet, the maintaining of this website, and music.
What about you? Tell us about it in the comments.
And I’ll see ya on Monday.