Friday, October 21, 2011
Just as I settled in bed to read the other night, the power went out. Total darkness in a city is an eerie thing. Total darkness when you are home alone is even eerier. I might have been able to roll with it-- to rejoice that my noisy neighbor couldn't be in his garage sawing, or grinding, or disposing of bodies with a myriad of power tools or whatever the hell he's doing over there, but that's when the beeping starting. First my cordless phones, then the security system. Little warning beeps at first, then more insistent until the security system was full-out blaring. I had to call them up to find out how to stop it. "Enter my code," they said. Of course. I might have thought of that if the noise hadn't disabled my brain. "It's a courtesy noise," the woman at the alarm company said, "to let you know the power is out." I didn't argue with her, didn't say that there was nothing at all courteous about that noise. Didn't tell her that if I'd already been asleep when the alarm started blaring that I probably would have had a heart attack or jumped out of window right into the arms of Mr. Mayhem and his saws.
I had 27% of my battery left on my iPad when the darkness descended so I went to Edison's website to see what had happened. Then I browsed around a little bit. Here's what I found on the "Safety Checklist During an Outage" under the subheading of "food safety tips:" When you go to bed, leave a bedroom light switched on. It will wake you when power returns, so you can check the condition of your food. Check on my food?? In the middle of the night??
It turned out that I did accidentally leave my bedside lamp on, and when the power was restored a couple of hours later, the light jolted me awake. I didn't go check on my food. I just swore a lot, switched off the lamp, and turned on my fan so I wouldn't be able to hear my neighbor in case he left his lamp on and it woke him up, and he decided to dispose of one more body before dawn.
photo credit: jack-the-ripper.com