Monday, July 19, 2010

29 hours, and oh, how about a few more just for fun?

Bad Energy Company has quite the sense of humor! Saturday at 7 p.m., a horrendous storm knocked out power for almost 5,000 people here in College Town. Good thing I buy candles like a crazy survivalist. I lit candles all over the house, and the storm had chased away the humidity, so the evening was rather pleasant. I'd just charged my cell phone, so I chatted on the phone with a couple of friends, took a candlelit bubble bath with the hot water remaining in the tank, and read by candlelight, which appealed to the Amish woman who lives inside me. Bad Energy Company's hotline estimated the power would be back on by 10 p.m. Piece of cake! I can stand anything for three hours.

Except the hotline LIED. The estimate changed to midnight, and then noon Sunday. So I woke up Sunday to the horror of no coffee. I threw on some clothes, and I might have brushed my hair but who knows, and went to the grocery store, which has a little coffee station. I bought two huge cups and promptly spilled half of one down the front of my shirt. I don't recommend this technique as a way to wake up. I refilled the spilled cup and bought some ice for the cooler.

Sunday was, of course, hot and humid. By noon, there was no sign of Bad Company's trucks, so I went to the library. I browsed around and found a few exercise DVDs; one's a workout from the New York City Ballet. I took ballet lessons when I was little, and when I see professional ballet dancers, I still get tutu-and-leotard yearnings. Of course, I had no way to play the DVD at the moment, but I assumed my power would be back on when I got home.

The AC in the library wasn't much cooler than the AC outdoors (which is to say NONE), so I went to the mall and wandered around. I don't particularly enjoy malls--at least not often--but it was cool, and I was grateful for the respite from sweating. A tiny Chinese man was offering free massage "samples" and coaxed me into his massage chair. Kevin offered to hold my glasses, but Massage Man glared at him and insisted he would take care of them. Heh. His hands were so warm and felt great. He hit a tight spot on my back and said, "Ooooh, many knots. Very tense, right?" RIGHT.

When I got home, still no power. Bad Company's hotline estimated restoring power at 8 p.m. FINE. I took a cold shower, and let me just say that I can see why it's recommended as a libido-killing method. I continued reading (I finished an entire book) and sweating and peering down the street for a sign of Bad Company's trucks. Meanwhile, the city sent out trucks to pick up tree branches piled in front of every house, but no Bad Company trucks. Finally, at 10 p.m., Bad Company arrived. The workers stood out on the street and, as I believe they're contracted to do, laughed and joked and wasted time while I glared at them through my window like Gladys Kravitz in the throes of a hot flash.

Finally, at midnight, the power was back on! I fired up my computer--my sweet baby, how I missed you--and answered a few e-mails, joyously proclaiming the Return of Electricity, but 45 minutes later, boom! The power was out again. Ha ha, Bad Company! Stellar practical joke! I sat here in total blackness, stunned. I groped around for the flashlight, found my cell phone, and called Bad Company's hotline for the 3,897th time. Estimate: noon Monday. I threw my phone across the room and stomped off to bed.

At 3:00 a.m., power was restored. I got up, closed the windows, turned on the AC again, and went back to sleep, muttering dark curses aimed at Bad Company. I suspect I wasn't the only one.