When Darkness Falls

I know I'm going to regret saying this, but after the past week, I can not wait to go back to work tomorrow. Be sure to remind me of this around lunchtime when I start whining that I want to go home.

Our electricity started flickering early Friday evening, shortly after the snow began to fall. I rushed to run the dishwasher and fix dinner because I knew they were gonna go.. and sure enough, the lights went out around 10pm. They stayed out until the following Tuesday afternoon, I worked on Wednesday, then the power died again on Christmas Eve, a result of a different storm bringing ice and high winds. We finally got back to the 21st century Christmas night.

I'm not going to mince words. By the time it was over, I was one hateful bitch. I didn't kill anyone, but I thought about it. Yesterday morning I snuck out of the house, went to Big City, got my hair cut, shopped and blew money I couldn't afford.

And I don't care. It was get out or lose my mind.

Anywho.. during the power outage, I complied a list of things I learned during my adventure. It's not that I was looking for a touchy feely spiritual experience in the midst of the mayhem, I was just trying not to go completely over the edge or think about how dark it was.

Things you learn when the lights go out.. for a long time.. and you're already a little batshit crazy:

  • No amount of sink baths will take away certain body odors for very long. They need to invent body Febreeze for the nether regions. I am so not joking.
  • An absence of electricity means there is no fart fan in the bathroom. When you live in a single wide trailer with the bathroom near the front entrance, a nice, healthy, daily... event.. will deter intruders and cause your adult child to squeal like Jerry Clower when she comes in from work.
  • When you are cold and down to your last Duraflame log, even the most upstanding citizen will resort to walking around the rental cabin across the road, looking for some firewood on the back porch. The Amazon referred to this as "looting." I called it "trying to keep my nipples from falling off."
  • Spam, fried in a cast iron skillet over an open flame, is pretty darn tasty.. for the first day or two.
  • Chinet paper plates are the best kindling ever. Especially when pre-soaked with fried Spam.
  • Don't panic when your dish washing liquid freezes. Just tell yourself it's because it sits by the window where it's colder.
  • Don't worry about when it's time to give up and toss out everything in the fridge. It will let you know when it had been too long. There will be no doubt.
  • People will lie and tell you anything just to watch your eyeballs bulge out of your head. Stuff like, it's impossible to get out of town and it'll be another two weeks before they even START on getting power restored to the holler. Feel free to take a piece of firewood to their knee cap when they start talking.
  • Assign a home for the flashlight and make sure everyone knows where it is supposed to go. This is important when you need it to use the bathroom at 3a.m. and it's so mother feckin' dark you think you're in the throws of Armageddon.
  • You know those had warmer things you can buy at the checkout line at Wally World? Someone needs to make those for the toilet seat. Your butt is gonna freeze.
  • Pets will get just as freaked out and stir crazy as the rest of you. When the cat gets that look in her eye, goes all kittywampus and shreds the shower curtain, then goes around collecting garbage to hide in the bath tub, be afraid. Very afraid.
  • She also stashed old Redbook magazines in her litter box. I am so not making this up.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and checking your cellphone (for just a little bit of light, to keep from going nuts) and finding silly text messages from a friend will make you feel alot better, just when  you're about to give up.
  • When part of the area gets power restored, family members will abandon you in a hot minute when offered a steamy shower at the home of their lucky friends.
Take these hints to heart and you'll be prepared when, God forbid, you're left for a week without electricity. I'm shopping for a solar powered cell phone charger, if you know of a good one, let me know.

I hope ya'll have a booty kicking week. We'll talk again soon.

Later Taters!


poopie said...

well, when ours went out in the great tornado of 2003 i went on vacation for a week and shacked up with my friends :)

Teressa Flye said...

Has been through what you have, many years ago. That was back when I was married to kid's bio-dad. We put her between us in the bed and let a whole herd of cats keep us warm.

If you Google "solar powered cell phone charger", you'll find several options. Lemme know what you pick out; the geek in me wants to know!

rennratt said...

Is there anything the rest of us can do to help you?

Mahala said...

Now, poopie has the right idea lol. Renn.. I'm good :) Just having ya'll to listen to me vent is the best therapy in the world.

tiff said...

Whoa - "nipple falling off cold" = very cold indeed. Glad you're all safe and sound. We have hot water if you need it, and can get here.

kenju said...

The next time that happens, make your way to Raleigh. There are at least 3 of us here who will give you a warm bed and a hot shower for as long as you need it.

The last time our power went out for an extended period, mr. kenju was in VA and I was all alone. I know what you mean about sink baths and cold toilet seats. Next time that happens here, I'm going to a hotel!

BetteJo said...

Only time I've ever been without power for an extended period - was after a tornado made it's way through southern Illinois - or close enough to it. It was hotter than hell and humid to boot. But I think cold would be worse, I don't envy you the lack of electronic diversions and I don't know - HEAT!!! Glad it's all back on now!

Anonymous said...

I noticed JC Penney had a hand crank cell phone charger. Might be a handy thing to have! Stay warm