I love those commercials. Where the rotting fish and angry diaper and dirty paper plates parade across the screen, and then the heroic trashbag comes in and swoops them up to save the nigh-defeated noses from the horrors around them... Good stuff. Advertising gold.
As may (or may not) be apparent, I live and work and recreate in an area that did not go unscathed by our recent Weather Anomaly.** Although she failed to give us the whipping we were threatened, she did louse up many a weekend plan with her Windy Wind and Rainy Rain. Saturday night was spent wrapped in blankets, listening to the sound of the rain pounding outside my window. Sunday morning was spent deep in the heart of heathendom, lounging in my jammies and watching episode after episode of a classic Seth MacFarlane comic rife with political incorrect-ness, and eating some of the canned goods I had squirreled for the Impending Doom. (Don't judge. It was hash, and it called to me. Corned Beef Hash doesn't hang around long in our home... Even in imminent apocalypse conditions.) Sunday afternoon was more of the same, with my still-unshowered-and-lounging-
in-my-jammies-and-starting-to- radiate-toxic-aromas condition just beginning to push me towards making a decision to start my day... When the power blinked. And blinked again. And then shut down.
It wasn't a hardship. I live and work and recreate in a very centralized location (read: much more "City" than my upbringing. Usually a good thing, like when the power goes out and I know it won't last forever-and-a-day. Sometimes not so spiff, like when I forget where I live and run around naked with the windows open and terrorize my neighbors.) so I knew that we wouldn't be without for long. This knowledge is amplified by the understanding that I live in close enough proximity to a happy little Bad Guy Time-Out Station that a power outage will be addressed even more hastily, to keep the aforementioned Bad Guys in their happy little Time-Out boxes. So, minor inconvenience. We can handle this.
First on the agenda: read. I LOVE to read. It has always been an escape for me; however, it was tainted by the dirty brush strokes of Required Reading Lists throughout my educational career. I am slowly working my way back into enjoying more than just the fluffy chick-lit stories and children's books that got me through many a dark and dreary semester, but it's rough going. Sometimes my eyes are tired. Sometimes my brain is tired. And sometimes I've dealt with so much reality that I really can't imagine sinking into anything deeper than a glass of rum and a situation comedy. But sometimes, moments of opportunity present themselves and I can sink into a book that stirs a higher level of activity within my gray matter, and reminds me that not all books need to be fluff. And so, on Sunday, I took this opportunity. I curled up on the couch and stuck my nose into a historical fiction novel...
And promptly fell asleep.
It didn't take more than half an hour for Reading Time to become Napping Time.
And so ended my adventures in The Land Without Power. I read, I napped, I adventured to find hot food (not for lack of ability to make the same in our home: more for the convenience of a well-lit bathroom. DULY NOTED: Someday, I will live in a house. And in that house will be a bathroom... or two... or four... And EVERY SINGLE ONE will have a window. This closet-of-a-bathroom madness has to stop! I simply cannot pee under those conditions.) and came home to a neighborhood brimming with electricity.
This makes me fortunate.
It is now Wednesday - a full 72 hours from when most of the state lost their power - and there are still whole towns without electricity.
Unfortunately, this no-electricity thing is, by and large, affecting people in more rural communities.
Which means that they don't have the privilege of City Water.**(1)
Which means that they don't have electricity OR running water.
Which means that they smell pretty ripe by now.
Which brings me to my Public Service Announcement for today:
Public Service Announcement to Weather-Ravaged Employees
While I admire your persistence in coming in to The Big City for two days in a row after the storm rampaged your town and left you and your family without modern conveniences, I am convinced that nothing is so important that you need to work when only able to clothe yourself in baggy sweatpants, a ratty tee and a greasy ball cap. If you won't use the shower facilities that your employer provide, may I please attempt to convince you to toddle home and return another time? Or perhaps just go sit in the parking lot. You are a lovely person... But you smell like something I wish my Hefty bag would swoop up. And definitely NOT like someone I want handling my morning pastry.
**Named as such because she did NOT hurricane at me. Not that I mind that at all. I don't take lightly the fact that she was in other states, that she obliterated other towns, and that there are people who have been badly hurt both physically and emotionally for whom the rebuilding is going to take years after the floodwaters subside. To them, my warmest thoughts and best wishes travel through the Cosmos for healing, health and strength to carry on.
**(1) City Water is AMAZING! When the power goes out, the water still runs. And it still gets hot, if you have a gas-powered water heater, so you can wash your hands and the dishes and any really offensive laundry you might have [except you wash it in the sink, because washers and dryers don't work]. And your toilet still flushes, so the inevitable Oh My Goodness The Power Just Went Out So I Absolutely Must Turn On The First Light Switch I Encounter And Then Go Pee isn't a problem anymore. Oh, and THE WATER STILL RUNS. I hope you're understanding how epic this is.