Power off

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I am sitting in my home office with no lights, thinking of how much work I could do had the power not gone off.

No power, no Internet, no lights, no work. It’s not only boring, but I’m falling behind.

The transformer behind my house blows a capacitor a couple of times a year. I have the power company’s outage number saved to my cell phone. I think they know me by my first name by now.

But those outages last maybe an hour. The repair crew brings another capacitor, slaps it in, and we’re back in business.

This is different. A storm knocked out power to a bunch of homes. The repair crews are running all over the place. No telling when we’ll get power back.

The last time I was without power for an extended period of time, Hurricane Ike came through here. When we got back from evacuating, we found half the roof missing and no power anywhere.

And then it grew dark.

I started reading a book I found in the garage, but it didn’t take long to realize that reading by flashlight is not a good solution. Neither is reading by candlelight.

So, we just talked. It was interesting.

But not as interesting as Monday Night Football, so come on power company.

I have decided to write this column on my cell phone during the outage to accurately relay to you the drama of being without electricity.

This is a pretty good way to write, actually. Spell checker is working overtime, suggesting the correct spelling. Click, and the word is replaced. This column is being produced by two thumbs.

Now I wish I would have kept up with those guitar lessons. In times like this, I would provide music to the bored masses who are wondering what to do without power.

We could congregate outside and actually meet each other. Hey, it’s nice to meet you, the neighbor next door for 15 years. Let’s sing a song.

I’m getting anxious. What if the lights never come back on? I know that there is a TV show like that.
What if it comes back on everywhere but at my house? Does that mean that I got left behind?

I’m eating a cold sandwich instead of reheated leftovers. The suffering has already begun.

What next? This is getting to be too much. How did the cavemen do it? I guess that’s one reason they only lived until 30 or so. I’d long be dead if I were living back in those days.

The phone battery is down to 50 percent. I’m ready. Got three more fully charged batteries ready to load in this sucker if I have to. I’m not writing on an iPhone.

If push comes to shove, I’ll put out the entire paper on battery power. I’m not going to let my readers down just because of a power outage.

Wait, the lights are back on. Forget that battery idea. We’re back in civilization. That was close.

There is almost no better feeling than when the lights come on. It happens all at once. One second we’re worrying about the dark, silent night with no football, and the next it’s all normal again.

It’s almost as good as talking your way out of a traffic ticket.

I like this cell phone column composition. I can type it anywhere, under any condition. The phone is pretty smart. It guesses what I want to say no matter how badly I butcher a word. What will they think of next?

Two hours without power. That was tough. Another First-World problem.