Power outage…

Yesterday afternoon, after getting home from work, I was typing away at my computer when all of a sudden, poof!, the lights went out. I saved what I had written and shut down the computer. I checked the circuit breaker box…no problem there. Since the phone was out, too, I fished my-almost-always-turned-off-cell-phone out of my purse and called, or rather, tried to call the electric company, but all I got was an unsympathetic automated voice informing me that I could not use my cell phone to call an “800” number.

“The number you have to call instead is incomprehensiblemillionnumbers,” the voice droned on. Great, except that I wasn’t able to locate a pen while trying to decipher the number. Click…line dead. Uffa. After finding a pen, I dialed the “800” number again, and this time I managed to jot down the number (note: before calling the electric company, always have a pen and paper handy…oh, and a cup of coffee wouldn’t hurt, either, to keep you on full mental alert)…ah yes, I know, this is turning into a long boring…yawn…convoluted story…

Okay, so then I called the correct number…only to be told by the same automated voice that it had been disconnected. Oh, how very helpful…I contacted Stefano at work, asking him to call the electric company’s “800” number. Since I never use my cell phone and (consequently) never ever charge the battery, I noticed that my battery was almost dead. Fantastico. The ONE time I really need my bloody cell phone, and it is about to konk out on me…(it didn’t…phew).

I heard voices out on the street, so I went outside to investigate. Some of my female neighbors had gathered together to complain about the power shortage and speculate as to what might have happened. I joined them, thinking they might have some news. But no, nobody else had thought of calling the electric company…

Like a fish caught in a net, it took me a while to disentangle myself. One of the above-mentioned neighbors is the biggest gossipmonger on Earth, you see. She knows what you are doing even before you do. She is always at her window, checking who is doing what with whom and why and where on our street. And, if you have the misfortune to bump into her, it’s almost impossible to get away…

But get away I finally did, with the excuse of having to call Stefano back. He told me that, according to an electric company representative (= a real human being!), an excavator had accidentally cut our power line, and that it would take two-three hours to fix it. Two-three hours? Well, so much for our dinner plans (it seems that you can’t make pizza in an electric oven when the power is out…although my helpful neighbors suggested using candles…).

I went back outside to tell the gossiping ladies…and once again managed to make a quick escape without seeming too rude. I settled down near a window to read Sophie Kinsella’s new novel while waiting for Stefano to get home. After dinner, a cold dinner!, I went to play cards with my rowdy girlfriends…their power was on, of course…and, by the time I got home, after midnight, our power was back on, too…so all’s well that ends well…

Oh okay, tomorrow’s post will be a bit more interesting… 🙂


  1. Margaret, sounds like the universe conspired to make you just sit back and relax … well, that is after the stress of calling the company.

    Not sure if you have a BBQ but we learned this summer to make pizza in the BBQ and it is delish.

    On another note, we also installed a generator for our home because the power has been so erratic in the past few years, I was worried that in the middle of winter we would be without. This happened in some places in Canada and it was a major disaster.

    Hope you are enjoying your book 🙂

  2. In the Netherlands we average 20 minutes per year without power. But what a coincidence: just before I gave a course about power outage a fire broke out at a big power station … Then you have a couple of hours no electricity, no internet etc. On twitter, I could quickly follow what was going on (I had power). What to do in case of power failure? a book or playing cards together and especially a good glass of wine, cheese and candlelight… 🙂

    Was it still possible to save your work when the power went out?

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