Sunday, October 28, 2007

Zero sparky equals no malarkey

Directly opposite my bed is my little ol' telly, and my little ol' VHS player - bygone relics of the pre-high def era, and carryovers from when I lived in a six-foot square room at Sparky Ma and Pa's. In addition to playing the occasional videotape (how quaint!), the video also plays the far more important role of acting as a glorified clock when I wake up during the night; I just raise my head, stare bleary-eyed at the little blue LCD display, then slump into unconsciousness once again, maybe uttering "jus' 'nother 15 minute…" to no one in particular.

This morning I woke up to find the display blank. Oh, I thought, must be a power cut, before throwing the duvet back over my head and having "jus' 'nother 15 minute…"

I nevertheless had to get up early 'cos the decorator was coming round to start work on my exterior woodwork, so I eventually jumped out of bed and quickly got dressed, because it's been pretty cold lately. I flicked the light switch - nothing - definitely a power cut then. Ooo, chilly - I know what'll warm me up - a cup of tea! And then I remembered that you need to boil water to make tea, and without electricity you can't boil water. Damn. I'll just check my email then.

Oh.

Surely there's something on telly to take my mind off this?

(I think you get the general idea of how things were going)

Of course it wasn't all rosy for the decorator either; he had to sand everything by hand rather than use his sander, which obviously made his job a lot more difficult. I couldn't even offer him a cuppa. And let's not forget that I'd planned on spending the day Xboxing, watching movies, and faffing about on tinternet.

Anyway, I called the power company on my mobiley (which was running perilously low on juice itself), and they sent some bloke round. "Might just be a fuse in the subsystem," he said cheerfully, giving me a thumbs up. "Or it could be a break in the cable - in which case we'll have to dig the road up."

"Oh," I said. "How long will that take?"

He spread his arms wide. "How long is a piece of cable?"

I was very close to saying "I don't know - you work for the electrickery company, you tell me," but I figured it was probably in my best interests to not direct potent sarcasm in his direction. I smiled and shut the door. Then I reopened the front door, and looked at the decorator. "Sorry, did you want this open? It's pretty chilly."

He let me close the door.

Anyway, long story short, it was WORST. CASE. SCENARIO: a friggin' break in the cable. They sent a lorry and a little digger, and some shouty men, and they started digging holes in the road. And I sat inside reading my book, writing bits of my novel in a knackered old writing pad, and looky all misty-eyed at my Xbox and computer. Then the decorator wanted to open all the windows so he could work on the closed bits.

Bugger.

I think I actually just sat there for about two hours after that freezing my tits off and wondering which god I'd offended this time.

By half four the decorator had kind of had enough (can't say I blame him - he's probably wondering what sort of shoddy operation I'm running here), and the electrickery guys where still digging holes and taking tea breaks. Alright for some.

Salvation was at hand, however! For in celebration of Sparky Nan's birthday (I tell you, last week Diamond wedding anniversary, this week a birthday - she's gone celebration crazy!) I headed over to Sparky Ma and Pa's for a family gathering where I was given tea and hot food! Hurrah! And I even stole some of their electrickery and charged up my mobile.

By about 10 o'clock, though, I'd run out of excuses why I should hang around any longer, and got back in my car and headed home. Things didn't look good - next door has a massive hole outside, and I couldn't see any lights on in my neighbour's houses. I figured I'd just have to go to bed and see if the situation was any better in the morning. But wait! What was this - a small light emanating from the kitchen - a spark of electrickery! POWER WAS RESTORED!!

I'm not afraid to say that I might just have jumped in the air like I was starring in an 1980s advert for a revolutionary new type of panty-liner.

24 comments:

T-Bird said...

Are you sure you didn't jump out the window and breakdance in excitement about your pantyliner... electricity?

I wonder what a post- apocalytic world without electricity would be like? I think I'd be like Fry crying because I can't get the can opened.

Dinah said...

First Apple, now 80's-style panty-liners...you just won't stop until you're the spokesman for every product!

I hate the feeling when power goes off...cold, yes, but also the "everything good in my life needs power!" feeling that makes me feel a little scared. Not that I really want to change.
I would make a very bad pioneer.

Tim said...

T-Bird - I used to think I'd be a John Conner-esque super-leader if the world went tits up (I was totally prepared for the Millennium bug), but this has made me think that I'd just sit in the corner crying for a bit.

Dinah - I'm a media whore, what else can I say?

It's terrible how much we forget that we rely on electrickery for *everything*. Maybe I should get a little generator?!

skillz said...

I'm pretty sure you can make electricity by rubbing your feet on the rug and touching something metal, though I bet it would've taken a hellsa lotta rubbing to power up the xbox.

No that you've lived without the leccy, I'd suggest you purchase a rifle in case this post apocalyptic world comes about and you need batteries or the last tin of beans.

WillowC said...

I believe this calls for a great big "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAHHHHHH bodyform" welcome back

Tim said...

Skillz - I've got wood flooring. Dammit!

Will a spud-gun do? Not only will it keep away zombies and perverts, it also provides yummy bite-size potato portions. It's like the Swiss Army penknife of the personnel defense world!

Willowc - Oh, totally! But only if I'm rollerblading in a sunny park!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

If it should happen again, give me a call and I'll fly down so we can huddle together for warmth...

Tim said...

But there's nothing of you! I'd look like a cold person pole-dancing!

Inexplicable DeVice said...

* snigger *

Yeah, maybe you're right...

Dammit! Foiled again.

Tim said...

Muwahahahaha!

Tara said...

Isn't it amazing how we take our electricity for granted? I won't even go into the horrors of being out of electricity for four days straight in the midst of a summer heatwave. No way.

Anyway, I used to have my computer plugged into the socket in my room. I think the socket had a short or something, because I'd wake up in the middle of the night and my computer monitor would turn on by itself. Scared the hell out of me.

iPandah said...

You should get a UPS, then you can at least do SOME computery gubbins. Do you have a gas hob? If so, have a stand-by hob kettle (IKEA do some for about £4.00) so you can make hot drinks and fill a hot water bottle or two.

Or, go to Starbucks and drink coffee whilst using their wi-fi facility. For that, I think you also need a stand-by MacBook. Any pics of 'the' t-shirt by the way?

T-Bird said...

I think the Starbucks option is by far the best.

Tim said...

Tara - I know! It's awful to be without it, huh? I'd make a rubbish caveman. On the plus side, at least I didn't have a spooky monitor switching itself on in the night. If that was me, that thing would've been right out the window. I've seen Poltergeist.

iPandah - What's a UPS? A little dude in a brown uniform? No gas down my road - we're electric only! I could get a little camp fire though. Or rub two sticks together…

I'm liking your Starbucks idea a whole lot more, though! Top idea, or in the words of Captain Kirk from Star Trek VI: "Officer thinking, lieutenant."

I'll post some pics of the t-shirt in my next post. Suffice to say - it ain't half lovely!

T-bird - Isn't it? You ladies are right on my wavelength.

Will said...

Stoopid electricity. By the way, here's some hot Shatner action for you.

iPandah said...

Unbreakable Power Supply - We have one cos we sleep our Macs all the time rather than shutting them down. Mainly we do this for the purposes of downloading stuff, so if we have a power cut we don't have to worry!

T-bird - I agree, much better idea, and a lot less faffy!

missy&chrissy said...

whew, we're glad your electricity came back! what would the rest of us do if your computer was down for any longer?!

Tim said...

Will - Tell me about it (the electrickery, not the Shat, that is). Shatner would never allow it. He'd probably punch something. I have faith he'll pop up in the movie. They'll at least get him out whoring for publicity!

iPandah - That sounds like technology from the fuuuuuuuuuture! I shall investimagate!

Missy&Chrissy - You'd all probably find a better blog to read!

iPandah said...

It's not from the fuuuuuuuuuture, it's from Amazon!

Tim said...

Ooo! I could get one and have it gift-wrapped…

T-Bird said...

I love The Shat's comments about how his presence would basically be a big part of making the movie a success.

But I guess if they are coming at it from the angle that Kirk did die, and Vulcans live a lot longer than humans, it would be a lot harder to write him in.

None of that "I not really here, but in Yosemite in your dreams" schtick, thanks.

Tim said...

I think they could squeeze him in without violating continuity. Bearing in mind the film apparently dodges about all over the timeline in a non-linear story telling fashion, maybe they could do a scene set post-Star Trek VI, pre-Generations that shows Spock's last meeting with Kirk before the launch of the Ent-B? It wouldn't move the plot along, but it would be a nice character moment - and would please all us fans in a suitable fan-wanky fashion.

Just my two cents.

(You can have that for free, JJ)

T-Bird said...

You've clearly thought of an excellent solution... I keep forgetting it's your job to be in synch with all things Trek!

Tim said...

Tragic, isn't it?