Saturday, September 20, 2008

Power to the People

Ike Day 6 - Thursday evening

Kink and I sat in the gathering gloom enjoying a bowl of Cat Chow and a glass of wine, respectively, and listening to the sounds of the night: the incessant drone of the generator across the street, Barky Dog going nuts for no apparent reason, the lone cicada trying to mate with anything with wings and the thumpa-thumpa of helicopters in the distance which for some strange reason drove cicada into a frenzy. Ambition, I guess.

It might have been an optical illusion but it appeared that the familiar pink glow to the northeast that defines the Houston light pollution halo was becoming more prominent. Or it could be that my eyes were becoming more accustomed to the darkness. There were rumors that CenterPoint was getting more and more people on-line every day.

There were rumors of Elvis sightings, too.


Kink chomped. I slurped.

It was a quiet and calm night when suddenly a shot rang out!

Click! Whirrrrrr! Whump! BuZzZzzzzZz!

And there was ...

L I G H T ! ! !

Beautiful, glorious, photon drenched LIGHT!

Kink jumped. I gulped. Neither of us could believe it. We heard voices in the den as the TV came to life. We saw hundreds of billions of photons pouring out of the open refrigerator in the kitchen. Clocks were screaming in their little beepy voices, "Reset Me! Reset Me!" Fans were whirring and the alarm system was going nuts shouting "There's someone at the front door."

In an instant Kink and I were transformed from a Pleistocene existence gnawing on raw bones to the 21st Century complete with anti-gravity belts and warp drive. Nurse Chapel, report to my private quarters.

"Kink!" I shouted, "we're back!"

Kink looked up and we did the power dance. Put your left paw in, take your left paw out. Put your right paw in and shake your tail about. Do the Kilowatt Boogie like nobody's watching and that's what it's all about!

I checked my iPhone and by Jove I had Wi-Fi. I punched in Google and queried the Magic 8 Ball site: Is this real?

"Only Time Will Tell"

Our calm, quiet, dark, peaceful evening had been transformed into a carnival of photons, beeping and crazy noises and we were loving every microsecond.

Every. Microsecond.

But (why is there always a "but?")

900,000,000 microseconds into our party Fate gatecrashed.

"Who's the goth guy at the door with the sickle and bony hand?" Kink asked.

"Hey, unless he's carrying a six-pack of Corona tell him to drop dead," I replied.

And then the lights went out. Flicker, flicker, fump. Silence. No beeping. No whirr. No nothing.

That was it. Fifteen minutes of joy. The gathering gloom wrapped around us and we knew that was it for the night.

"Oh, well," I told Kink as I relit the candles on the patio table, "we're no worse off than we were earlier today. At least we were planning to eat outside and we still can. I chopped up a bit of the hamburger I cooked, scraped it on a small plate and pushed it to where Kink sat.

Kink sniffed the hamburger, cocked an eye and asked, "This isn't Barky Dog, is it?"

"No," I replied, "that's on the menu for tomorrow if we don't get power."

After dinner I surveyed the neighbor's yard figuring out where I'd set my snare. Yes, I thought, tomorrow we feast.


Jack said...

Hey! There's some knights in white satin at the door that want their "gathering gloom" phrase back. What should I tell them?


Sorry for the teasing CenterPoint is throwing your way, bud. Give Kink our love!

Jodie said...

Hey Bill, Kink and family: I've been thinking good thoughts for you. Hopefully it happened Friday or this weekend. My ex-daughter-in-law and grandbaby have power in Porter finally! So there's hope for you too. My step-daughter in Conroe is still in the dark though.

Foo said...

Great post, Bill. And congratulations on your impending return to normalcy.

Or getting your power back, at least.