2013-08-01 / Lifestyles

Lights out

Lois A. Corcoran

At first I thought my computer monitor bit the dust. Parked in front of it in the wee morning hours, I saw it flicker before going black.

The room, too, had plunged into darkness, leading me to suspect a blown fuse. But when I left my office, I saw that the lights were out all over the house. This prompted a theory that a potential killer had cut the power. Like maybe he could find me better in the dark.

Soon it dawned on me that the entire town lost power. I groped my way through the living room without so much as a sliver of light to guide me. A peek out the drapes confirmed my suspicions. Either that or all the street lights burned out simultaneously.

May as well sleep since I can’t do anything else, I thought. So I stumbled my way upstairs and back to bed. It never occurred to me to use that high-tech device known as the flashlight.

Tracking it down would have been my husband Dan’s first order of business. Like the battery, he’s ever ready for an emergency with alternate lighting and heat sources and other paraphernalia.

He also loads our coolers with perishables from the fridge, except for those that perished before the lights went out. Moments like these, however, are as good a time as any to polish off the ice cream.

At any rate, the power returned three hours later. Officials determined the reason for our lack of electricity to be a thunderstorm somewhere to our left.

Plenty of other factors can cause blackouts, though. Animals are the biggest culprits, with squirrels and birds leading the pack. And a kamikaze snake that slithered into a switchgear down south left nearly 2000 North Carolinians without juice.

People cause their share of trouble, too. I heard about a guy who dropped his cell phone while driving, then tried to recover it and ended up taking down a power line.

Then there was the inmate from Tennessee who plunged the prison into darkness when he nudged some electrical wires while trying to escape through a crawlspace.

Given nature’s practical jokes and the antics of half-witted humans, it’s best to be prepared for power outages. This means keeping supplies like emergency food, camp stoves, etc., on hand.

I read that on the Internet – after the power came back on.

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