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Electric Shock

The Woolly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum, Vic...

Available in all good middle class delicatessens

The horror! The inhumanity! The sheer terror! No, I’m not talking about the latest episode of the X-Factor, I’m talking about the fact that I have come home to a power cut. This means I’ve been unwittingly thrown back to some kind of stone age-like existence and I may be forced to leave the house in search of woolly mammoth for dinner, dressed in nothing but a pair of sheep-skin knickers and a ferret-skin hat adorned with pigeon beaks. (I will of course purchase the woolly mammoth from the local deli. This is a well-to-do area and we don’t allow extinct livestock to roam freely, leaving giant fossilised droppings on the pavement.)

This could be a very long night and a very short blog post as my laptop gives me little more than one or two hours grace before plunging me into a land of unsaved Word documents and guttural screaming. I would switch to my iPhone but it’s currently serving as my only source of light and heat. I’ve tried making a stir-fry on it but I appear not to have downloaded the latest version which supports wok based cookery.

On returning home to my pitch black abode this evening, I did what we all do in times of darkness. I flicked several light switches fruitlessly, huffed a little, reached for the torch which I know hasn’t had working batteries in it since 1996, puffed a little, realised I don’t know where the fuse box is and sat down in the dark to sulk. Well, sulk and announce very hurriedly to everyone via Facebook for iPhone what an awful tragedy had befallen me. I then did that other thing we all try and do in a power cut (well, if you’re English, anyway), I think “I know, while I’m waiting for someone to come and rescue me from my opening-scene-of-a-horror-film quandary, I shall put the kettle on for a nice cup of… oh.”.

Upon realising that there are to be no hot beverages, I think to myself “I know, as there isn’t going to be power for watching a film on TV, I shall stick on a DV…. Oh.” This is followed up by the novel idea of looking at piffle on the Internet, only to be met with a blank screen and the realisation that absolutely everything I do during my waking hours is electricity based and I am doomed, DOOMED I tell you!

I would call up a sympathetic ear to bemoan my lot but that would mean wasting the battery of my beloved phone and I’ll need it for playing Solitaire once boredom reaches the levels where I find myself testing the possibility of being able  to lick one’s own ear or not.

I may have to call in sick tomorrow if the power doesn’t return by morning. I mean, how can I possibly leave the house if I haven’t used my electrical gadgetry to tame my unruly bouff, oh and it requires several thousand Watts to fire up the cement mixer in order to apply an even 12 inches of make-up. I don’t mind doing without the top 4 out of 17 layers of varnish but when small children run screaming at the very sight of you and grown men choke back their stomach contents while asking you if you realise that Halloween is over, you know you’re only going to be locked in the stationary cupboard anyway.

I’ve been home a whole hour and 45 minutes now and panic is setting in. I may only have mere minutes of laptop and then what? I may just have to read a boo…. Oh.

If my friends were here, we could play Charades! We would have to shout out what we were doing with our limbs though, or it would be a very long and even more tedious game than usual. Or perhaps we could spice it up and grope around wildly in order to guess what TV show each player was miming. Actually, that’s starting to sound like a very different kind of night in and I’m pretty sure someone would end up either dead or pregnant. Best leave that to the politicians.

It’s ok, I’ve checked with the neighbours and they are all in Hell too. They seem to have taken it rather better than I have though; they’re all dressed in Victorian garb and have taken to singing round the piano. Shame none of them knows how to unlock the lid.

Two hours without electricity. My laptop battery is getting weak, I’m getting weak… I’m fading away. Cold, so cold. I’m not sure I can hold on much longer. *cough* tell my friends and family I loved them. I wonder if I can lick my own ear… RIGHT, I’m going to do the sensible thing , I’m going to the pub!

About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

40 responses »

  1. Glad you finally got around to realizing the best place to seek shelter. When we had a hurricane at the end of August (I think) I lost power and it meant no coffee and no hairdryer. Which was a blessed travesty. I had to go to work so it wasn’t too insufferable but no coffee and no hairdryer?! Please repost soon so all will know you are still alive.

    • Someone somewhere must have had an evil sense of humour as half the street was left without electricity and the other half without water. It begs the question, would you rather smell like a week old sock but have ironed clothes/neatly coiffed hair or would you rather rock up to the office delightfully free of pong but looking like a tramp?

      (I know, you’re amazed I’m still alive to comment.)

  2. Hope you’ve been zapped up by now!

    • Happily zapped and now possibly taking celebrating a bit far by having every single electrical appliance I own on full blast. The electric whisk and the vacuum cleaner are currently wrestling in the hall while my toothbrush frolicks in the open freezer door.

  3. I do that same exact thing. Freak out. Freak out some more. Have a ton of tiny realizations that I can’t do this and can’t do that (can’t even really go potty either! the horror!). Scrounge about trying to find things to do. Stick my tongue out and try to lick my ear as well. All before realizing that I could just go out to a normal place with electricity and frolick in the glory of it all. =) Hope you have power now!

  4. Good thing you turned it around at the end there… I was starting to get worried.

    Person 1: What did people do before power?

    Person 2: Um, I think they drank a lot.

    Person 1: Right… to the pub! 🙂

    • It was gritty stuff, wasn’t it? I can tell I had you right on the edge of your seat as you contemplated the horror of no internet for a whole evening. It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

  5. Ah but what if the pub had no electricity? What would you do next? Howl at the Moon?

  6. eremophila

    ROFLMAO! You’d better get used to it! There’s going to be lots more of these events happening as the system topples to the ground…..
    Stock up on candles – beeswax ones, so you can eat them if all else fails….and don’t forget the matches! Never seen matches eh? A little stick with a sparky top 🙂 Sounds like the latest teen idol doesn’t it! Then get the playdough out……

  7. No electricity ARRRRGGGHHH. You did a great job creating mood of the mounting panic and dispair – so glad you sensibly headed to the pub….and go energized

  8. thanks for another delicious romp through your humorous musings. If only I could figure out how to make personal development half as fun and interesting, then maybe someone would subscribe to my blog.

    But I’m a dinosaur. I actually like a quiet evening with no electrical stimulation.

    Or maybe a drink!

    • If the dinosaurs had had laptops and electric toothbrushes, maybe they would still be knocking about. Just a thought…

      I’m sure you’ll get subscribers. These things take time and as long as you enjoy blogging then there’s one person who has been personally developed!

  9. That dinosaur comment reminded me of the Flintstones! Lol!

    Since I live in Pakistan, I know exactly what a few hours of power cuts and the what-do-I-do-now questions feel like. I’m supposed to be used to that situation, I guess, but the frustration hits anew every time. Glad to see that you found an activity, though! 🙂

    • I don’t think we should ever get used to life without power. It’s a chilling reminder of how our ancestors were forced to endure frizzy hair and sending each other hand written letters. Barbaric.

  10. Don’t you hate it when the lights go out? Because everything else blinks shut, too. We used to try to entertain ourselves….”You want to play cards?” “No.”. Checkers? No. etc.
    Although according to my Pioneer research, knitting was one of the activites they could do with very little light.Perhaps by the light of your dying laptop, you could knit up some socks? Fun post.

  11. I really wondering how long you were going to last before you said f’it I am going for pint! lol

  12. Have fun at the pub! Hoist a few for The Hook!

  13. the distance between my desire for something to do and the realization that it requires electricity is both treacherous and long. it’s the chilean mountain road of my grey matter. i have a similar pathway between activity centers for things i enjoy and the realization that they take more than 10 minutes and will make me late for something. ex. screwing around on your blog.

    • It’s something of an embarrassment, isn’t it? Intelligent beings such as ourselves having a brainwave of some fabulous distraction and then the humbling realisation that we’ve been bested by modern technology’s dependency on the power grid.

      And yes, I have been made late by just tweaking that one last update on my latest post. It’s not our fault, the world should learn to accommodate such creatives!

  14. …hilarious! I luv luv your blog!…this post reminded me of last week when my main water heater decided to shut down at the most unexpected moments (like in the middle of a nice long shower right when I was soaped up and washing my hair), leaving me living in fear of icy cold water for two days before someone rescued me!…I still check every morning if the heater turns on when the water is running…*sigh*…

    • *shudder* You just reminded me when my hot water broke. There’s only so much you can clean with a pan of hot water from the stove. I’m sure the Jetsons promised us hover boards and sonic showers by now…

  15. randomsensibility

    Girl, you wouldn’t last five minutes in a Wyoming snowstorm. LOL

  16. I’m sorry. I wasn’t going to comment on every post I read filling you sidebar with my amazing well touched-up face (isn’t Photoshop great), but I can’t help myself.

    love it, Love It, LOVE IT

    Why didn’t I find your blog sooner?

    • The point is, we’ve found each other now and the love-in will reign long in our kingdom of awesomeness.

      You’re welcome to fill my side bar with your pretty face, it makes a change from me pratting about on there.

  17. After reading this posting, I immediately thought of the perfect solution. It comes from my past, specifically back in 1962, while I was stationed in the Philippine Islands with the U.S. Navy. It didn’t involve a power “cut,” as you put it, but hear me out.

    After a party at the club on the base that was going especially well, so much so that we decided to take it to someones’s private residence, about twenty of us gathered in a large living room, each armed with their favorite drink. The man of the house dragged out a large wooden sculpture, about three feet tall, of a Filipino Pigmy, known as a Negrito, and in his right hand he was holding a severed head.

    As everyone was sitting in a circle, he placed the sculpture on the floor in the center of the room, and each guest in turn was asked to assign a caption to the scene, such as, “What’s the best way to prepare a head?” Considering the average state of sobriety of the guests, and lack of inhibition, the captions got steadily funnier as we went around the room.

    I might suggest that the next time you have a power “cut,” you might gather such an item for a subject, invite a few guests, and since you have no lights, use a candle to create a bit of atmosphere, and enjoy assigning captions to your centerpiece. You might find it fun!


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