Tuesday, March 13, 2007

COLUMN: The Ice Storm

Diary of An Ice Storm

Once Upon A Not-So-Distant Saturday:

Noon-ish: Yawn, it's too early. I'm going back to bed.

1-ish: That's better. Our trusty weatherguys have called for an 80% chance of the end of the world today, but so far it looks alright. Well, it's sleeting a little, but hey, sleet's just rain having a bad day. I'm a macho dude. It can sleet all it wants.

2-ish: The alien menace proves to be no challenge for me and my carpal-tunnel-hindered wrists of fury. It's a good afternoon on the X-Box. I wish I could play all day, but I've got a trivia night fundraiser to dominate tonight.

3-ish: I don't have a trivia night fundraiser to dominate tonight. It's been cancelled due to the weather. That's funny, everything just looks a little wet outside. Those over-reacting weenies. Now I need to find something to do until I have to DJ at the club later tonight.

4-ish: I don't have to DJ at the club later tonight. It's been cancelled, too. Maybe I need to take a look-see outside.

4:15-ish: I take a step outside... and promptly fall down. It's icy out. REAL icy. The kind of icy you only see in comic books where some nefarious supervillain has a machine that controls the weather. Sadly, I see no Superman. I'm starting to be VERY glad that I've got a frozen pizza in my fridge.

4:45-ish: I'm even happier now that the frozen pizza is out of the fridge and in my belly. The TV says that basically anything going on anywhere has been cancelled. And the cancellation scrawl is ruining my otherwise hi-def picture. Sheesh. The news is talking about people losing power. I crank my heat up to max in case it happens here.

5:30-ish: I'm sooooo bored. Can I get out and go anywhere? I walk/skate out to my apartment's steep uphill Driveway o' Doom. There's no way anyone's getting up it. And I'm not risking my neck going down it.

6:00-ish: I call up friend Jason. "Sure, man, come on over. The driveway? It'll be fiiine."

6:30-ish: It is not fine. Jason calls from his cellphone. From his car. From my driveway. Which he is now sideways on. I walk/skate out to help. I help by getting into the passenger seat and laughing uproariously when we ditch the car over and over again.

7:00-ish: We give up and park Jason's car 3 blocks away and hike back to my apartment complex. Whew. At least I won't be bored tonight. I've got a friend over and a video game aching to be played. Life is sweet. Time for a little


7:01-ish. It is dark. Real dark. Someone asks if I've got any candles. I sure hope it's Jason.

8-ish. Milton Bradley describes the game of Rack-o as "keen competition for 2-4 players." As Jason and I struggle to play via candlelight, it doesn't seem so keen.

9-ish. Jason asks that I not write a newspaper column about two macho single guys spending a Saturday night playing Rack-o by candlelight. I tell him not to worry, I wouldn't dream of it.

10-ish. Jason leaves. More specifically, Jason leaves me in the dark. And boooored. Strangely, it's not much different than playing Rack-o.

10:01-ish. REEEEEEALY bored. And really quiet. I can hear my cats breathing.

11:30-ish. Bored enough to watch the entire third season of "The Office" on my miraculously fully-charged iPod, it turns out. The upstairs neighbors are celebrating the blackout by -- whoa, Shane, it's a family newspaper -- jumping up and down on their bed really fast over and over again. Ha ha, those silly neighbors and their jumping!

Midnight-ish. I return from navigating to the bathroom to find my cat. More specifically, to find my cat ON FIRE. Apparantly, she thought that the three molten candles on the table might want to be her friends. She was wrong, and now has the scorch marks on her side to prove it. She's fine, but the whole place smells of burnt cat.

1:00-ish. How did human beings survive without power? No TV... no internet... no surround sound stereo. My life has no meaning. I fear I may be losing my mind.

2:00-ish. All dark and no light makes shane a dull boy. All dark and no light makes Shane a dull boy. All dark and no light makes Shane a dull...

8:00-ish-a.m. Happily I must have fallen asleep before I could go into a murderous rampage. Unhappily, I'm still without power, and now its cold in here. Grr. And brr. Grr-brr.

Noon-ish. Enough's enough. I pick up the phone and call the power company. Some dude named Tim answers. Tim does NOT sound well. Tim sounds like he's about 3 calls away from going postal. Tim tells me he has no idea how long it'll be, then reads me some corporate-written speech about work crews doing the best they can yada yada. I feel bad for Tim. Rather than thanking him, I instead compliment him on doing a good job under pressure. Tim brightens up. I may have just saved the lives of countless call center employees.

My power eventually came back on Sunday night just in time for the Oscars. And yeah, I know that a lot of other people had it MUCH worse than I did, so I'm grateful for only being powerless for a day. I guess I just didn't know how literal the word "powerless" would be.


31kats said...


i seriously almost peed my pants when i read about your cat being on fire.


emilene said...

Um...excuse me, but you had to be "bored enough" to watch The Office? What!?!?

-shane- said...

Yeah, I should've been more specific...

"...bored enough to watch The Office FOR THE FIFTH TIME IN A ROW."

Best. Show. Ever. Well, next to Lost. And Heroes. And Twin Peaks.

The GUCC said...


Another killer performance.

I had power the whole time as everyone I knew had none. I sat up and watched Night of the Creeps for the 100th time. I also drank several ice cold beers.

I called the power company to report I had a limb sagging on a power line. I got the operator who sounded like she had been sniffing glue for the last 8 hours. By 9am the next day, the power company had cut the limb.