It was dark. Pitch black. "That's not right," I thought. "Where are those big red digital numbers on my alarm clock?" It took me a moment or two to collect my thoughts. Then I got it. Another damn power cut. We had two last Sunday, but that was during a hurricane. There was no hurricane today. How could we have a power cut without a hurricane? "Uh oh," I said, apparently out loud. "Yes, it went off at five o'clock," said my wife from the darkness beside me. How would she know that? She must have been awake looking at her clock when the power went off, I guess.
I lay in the dark. I wasn't going to go back to sleep now. I needed a cup of coffee. The first think I do every day when I wake up is make some coffee for both of us and we drink it in bed while she reads her book and I do another couple of puzzles in my MENSA Absolutely Nasty Level 4 Sudoku book. Hey, use it or lose it! But how am I going to make a cup of coffee with no power? Hmmm. I guess I could boil some water in a pan on the gas stove and make some instant coffee. But then I would still have to open the fridge to get the milk out, and someone told me last weekend that you should never open the fridge when the power is off because you never know how long it is going to be off and once you have let warm air into the fridge all the food will spoil. Damn!
I lay in the dark and thought about how much I needed my cup of coffee. Maybe we should get up and drive around until we find somewhere open that sells coffee and possibly breakfast too? I wondered how extensive the power cut was. Are our neighbors off too? I got up. I looked through the curtains. There were no lights on in any of the houses around us. But it was only just after five o'clock so what did that prove? Maybe the power company doesn't know about the outage yet? Maybe I should report it? Where's the flashlight?
My wife found a flashlight and I went off to find an electricity bill to find the phone number to which to report power outages. I looked in my office filing cabinet. Duh! Of course I don't have any electricity bills. I went to paperless billing years ago. All my electricity bills are on the Internet. And the cable modem is down because we have a power cut. Duh! Eventually I found the number to report power cuts on another notice from the power company and dialled it. I was really needing my coffee by now...
I spoke with a very friendly machine at the power company's phone number. I pressed "1" in answer to one question and then "8" in answer to another. Then the machine wanted to know the phone number associated with this account. Hmmm. I wonder which of our several numbers that would be? Or failing that I could tell the friendly machine the account number that is printed on the electricty bill (which of course I don't have.) I guessed which phone number we had used when we opened the account and I guessed right. Now the friendly machine wanted to know if my neighbors had power cuts too. "Please say Yes, No or I Don't Know." I said, "I Don't Know." The machine didn't understand me. I said, "I Don't Know," again. The machine still didn't understand me. I really needed my coffee by now. Eventually the machine let me press "3" to indicate that I had no clue as to whether my neighbors had power and that I wasn't going to call them at 5am on a Sunday morning to find out. The friendly machine thanked me and wished me a good day. Hmmm.
I went back to bed and daydreamed about coffee. I wondered how long we would be without power. My son was without power for four whole days this week. Maybe we would have to go and move in with him if it's going to be that bad? My other son and his wife and my minus-two-month-old grandchild are coming to visit us today. If power doesn't come back soon I will have to call them and tell them not to come. Maybe we should go and visit them instead? I was desperate for coffee by now.
Just after 6 o'clock the power came back on. I got up. I made coffee. I went back to bed and drank coffee and completed a couple of MENSA Absolutely Nasty Level 4 Sudoku puzzles.
Carol Anne made me do it.