March 23, 2017
Once upon a time, a few weeks ago, on a Wednesday…there was a storm. Torrential rain and gale-force winds whipped through the area. A tornado watch was issued. Not a warning a watch, which in all honesty is always confusing. It would seem the “warning” would be aimed at there is a tornado and a “watch” would mean watching said tornado, the one we warned you about, to see what it’s going to do. Instead “watch” means there’s not actually a tornado, but we’re looking for one. Maybe it should be called a “tornado-watch out” when they’re just looking. Then again, depending on how you spaced and punctuated it, they might have a whole new kind of confusion on their hands. i.e., “There’s a tornado… watch out!” Anyway… it was really, really windy. And during the night there was a loud “CRACK!”
Next day we find that the House o’ Saw is under imminent threat, as lumber pine no.4 (of the 11 that line the property line) has split at its base and is now looming over the house’s front. Not fallen yet, just looming. Over 40ft tall, clocking in at over 2,000lbs… it is loominous. Immediately my tree guy is contacted. Derek Sexton of Father & Sons Tree Service is on the scene A.S.A.P., surveying the situation. It is classified as an emergency because the loomer also threatens to drop onto the power lines, potentially knocking out power to the entire area. So contact and inform the power company and have them temporarily drop the line. So the illoominated offender can be removed quickly and safely.
They can have someone out by Monday morning at 9am. WTF??? Seriously? This is an emergency! Well they could, maybe, possibly (but most likely not) get someone out this weekend… but there’s no guarantee and there would be a $200+ service charge. But if the tree falls before Monday morning at 9:00- the homeowner will be completely responsible for any and all damages suffered by the power lines and connecting poles… WTF??? OK, okie dokie fine, Monday at nine it is, (like there was another option). Till then… worry and hope.
Three long, restless nights later the tree is still looming, the power company is surprisingly prompt and a heartfelt thanks is extended to Father & Sons, for disposing of the threat promptly, safely and reasonably. But those nights prior to Monday at 9am registered an unknown feeling of dread and horror that won’t soon be forgotten.
What if? - while listening for a devastating crash.
What if? - while fearing how much damage will be caused.
What if? - while worrying of our safety-fire-being crushed-all that sticky pine sap-etc.
What if? - while sleeplessly, staring hopelessly at the digital clocks bright, blood red readout, wondering when the lights will go out? That last one lingers.
What would happen if the power really went out? Not due to a storm induced fallen tree or standard electrical failure but really went out? Not a temporary residential failure but all of it, permanently, the grid completely collapsing on a planet-wide scale? Imagine waking up for work and realizing that not only are you going to be late, not only can you not “call in” but you can’t even go. Even worse you can’t enjoy this unexpected “time off”. No television, no internet and you can’t even microwave a toaster strudel or pop a pop-tart in the toaster… (Our society makes no sense). Experts surmise that if such an event occurred, our advanced civilization would begin to break down within less than 48 hours.
Doesn’t sound plausibly possible? Hard to believe we would completely lose our s*** if the lights went out? Not so hard if you think of all the implications involved. Can you imagine—living in a world with no viable transportation? Can you imagine—the only form of communication being direct verbal… or yelling? Can you image—how many teenagers would lose their little minds when they couldn’t take or post their latest selfie #lookinggoodinthedark. Can you imagine—no heat, no AC, no internet, no phone, no Game of Thrones? Can you imagine… that Bobbi G is either going to be flattered or ticked when she catches me using her catch phrase so recklessly?
Rioting at the grocery (which you’d have to walk to), fighting your neighbors for canned goods and cold pop-tarts, cold baths in a creek, hand washing clothes (same creek), and pooping by candle light (hopefully not in that creek). How many people actually still stock extra candles? Or know how to build a fire? How many people could cook something without the aid of a microwave, stove or pizza delivery service?
Within the first year our countries population would be cut to less than a 4th. Due in part to arrogance, ignorance, panic and lack of milk and bread… seriously, have you seen Southerners during a snowstorm? Our society is so truly, madly, deeply reliant on electricity we would be completely lost without it. So what can we do? How can we assure ourselves that we will never suffer a powerless fate? We can’t! All you can do is breathe a sigh of relief and give thanks when you successfully flip a switch and the lights come on.
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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!