Lights Out

At about nine-thirty, my brother decides to call my parents to warn them about the storm warnings going out. I don’t know why; my father watches the Weather Channel all the time. I don’t mean that he flips by and checks the current conditions frequently — I mean that he will stop and watch The Weather Channel for a half an hour. As he is dialing, the power goes out.

Great. I’m at my computer. I don’t know where the flashlight is. I remember the WTC stories and grab my iPod. I turn on the backlight. Psuedo-Flashlight! (Thanks, Apple!) I remember that I was using my flashlight to work on the plumbing in the bathroom. I find my 4xD Cell Maglight. Time to light a fire.

You ever been to a woman’s place? Candles all over the joint. You can’t set your beer or your firearms down without knocking over something with a wick. Here’s the inventory of a three bedroom house with two guys living in it:

  • Two Hurricane Lamps — No Oil
  • Three votive candles with almost no wax left (They came with the house)
  • One apple shaped novelty candle, barely used (part of a gift basket)
  • One Bic Lighter
  • One Shriner Zippo that I inherited from my grandfather
  • One Bottle of Lighter Fluid
  • Three boxes of incense

That’s it. I didn’t want to use the Maglight much, so I could keep it as a reserve. Ditto for the apple candle, since I didn’t know how long power was going to be out. We lit the three almost gone candles, and sat inside listening to the AM radio and NOAA Weather Radio on my little FRS radio. I got the Mossy handy, just in case. I tried to call my parents. No answer. I guess they have forgotten that they have an old line-powered Princess phone unplugged in one of the bedrooms. All the ones that they have plugged in are cordless, and don’t work when the power is out. (Take note, people.) They are close enough to me (1/4 mile) and the outage is widespread enough judging from the sirens that I’m sure they are dark too.

Pretty soon, it got hot inside. Being urban hillbillies, we knew how to handle that. We sat outside on the front porch in a couple of lawn chairs. I had the radios and a longneck. My brother had his .45 revolver, the Maglight and Coke. At about 11:30, the lights come on. Five seconds later, they flicker. Five seconds later, they go out. Way to overload the grid starting it up, guys.

At about 12:30, we decide to just go to sleep and hope we wake up before we are too late for work (since we have no alarms.) I leave my bedroom lights on. They wake me up at about 3:30. Yay! I set my alarm clock and go back to sleep.

I wake up and look at my alarm clock. Black. Great. My watch says it is about 7:00. I turn my lights back on and go back to sleep. I’ve got an excuse to be late today. (As opposed to most days, where I just show up late with no excuse.) Power comes back on at about 8:30, meaning I can shave again.

What a giant pain in my ass. I think I got a little bit of perspective on what Baghdad power is like. It wasn’t life threatening, but it sure was an aggravation. I’m glad I live in the USA and don’t have to deal with it all the time. Of course, they are saying another storm like that could hit tonight. And if you are one of the people in Tarrant or Navaro County that got smacked by the hand of God, you have my condolences and sympathy.

One Comment

  1. Neil says:

    Yeah. I live in Florida — land of the tropical storm. The power goes out pretty often here in the summer. (Hey, aren’t we coming up on summer? Oh shit!) Anyway, yup, it sucks ass.