Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Way It Is: Benjamin Franklin, eat your heart out

Daily Forum column for 6-30.

Electricity has its perks.

Without it, I wouldn't have light or blistering hot appliances for which I use to get ready in the mornings. My male counterpart would have to do my laundry by hand. Our pampered pooches wouldn't have the luxury of napping the day away in a climate controlled environment.

So when a tornadic thunderstorm roared through our town, knocking out power, we did the most logical thing possible in such a situation. We freaked out.

Within minutes we were using our flash lights to monitor the battery-operated thermostat as the temperature in our house began to rise.

"It's so hot in here," whined the already sweaty man of the house.

Our Shih Tzu princess Stella, cowering with fear, refused to leave my lap only adding to my heat-related problem.

"The fish tank!"

I reminded Mr. Steamy that his precious, saltwater tank inhabitants could also suffer as a result of the outage.

As Stella and I found our storm watching spot in the middle of the living room floor, armed with a flashlight and an already dying cell phone, we watched as neighborhood tree limbs whizzed by at NASCAR speeds.

Oblivious to what life would be like without electricity and cell phones, we thumb-wrestled for use of the car charger.

Mr. Steamy walked laps performing his manly duties of monitoring the home while assuring his fishy friends that they would "be OK."

Two hours and two phone calls to our electric company later, I began to fear for his sanity.

Not so long ago, when an ice storm knocked out the town's power for almost a week we lost nearly all of our freshwater fish when temperatures in our home took a dip.

Visualizing his most recent collection of not-your-average-goldfish buddies belly up was heartbreaking.

With nothing to do but wait, we retired for what would be a warm and dark night of sleep.

As my brain slowly began to comprehend exactly what was going on and my eyes adjusted, I realized the electricity had come back on.

Turning to alert Mr. Steamy, I found that he had already sprang from the bed and was nose to the glass.

"Everyone's alive and OK," he assured me.

"It's 3 a.m.," I reminded him.

With his spirits lifted, he coaxed me out of bed to perform a complete home assessment of the storm damage.

Shuffling into the kitchen, I completed my womanly task of resetting the microwave clock and went back to bed.

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