I woke up suddenly on Saturday night. The room was dark as a cave. That’s unusual, even at night, because there are normally half a dozen LEDs staring at me from the computer and modem. But there was nothing.
Mrs. Lefty seemed to be stirring, too. “We don’t have any power,” I said.
Other than the obvious, the problem with this is that both she and I have to be up very early on Sunday mornings. That means we need our alarm clock, which is, of course, electric.
“Somebody is knocking on the door,” said Mrs. Lefty.
My first thought was that somebody was coming around to evacuate the neighborhood due to a pack of rabid hyenas on the loose or some similar disaster. I leapt out of bed, actually remembered to put a pair of pants on, and headed out into the darkness of our hallway.
In weeks past, a trip down our hallway would be like a trip through a minefield. Lately, though, we have told our kids never, ever, on pain of death, to put anything in the hall. No clothes, no trash, no unwanted siblings. Nada. Nothing.
I was confidently striding down the dark hallway when I discovered a laundry basket full of heavy towels in the hall. I discovered it when my shin whacked up against it. I said something I won’t repeat in polite company.
The banging was from my 12-year-old son, knocking on his sister’s door. You see, he is a big chicken. I guess he can’t help it. He lives with me part time in a house with a mom and two sisters, and with his biological mom in a house with a grandmother and great-grandmother. He’s totally surrounded by women.
I have tried to counteract the extreme feminine influence by playing violent video games with him, you know, to toughen him up. And though he’s great at blasting virtual people and monsters to bits, anything that moves in the actual world scares him to death.
So anyway, there I was, shin smarting, staring at the dark image of my son. I told him to go back to bed, and I went to peek out the front window. I looked out and up the hill, and for many blocks, there was nothing but darkness. I looked the other way, and just across the street, taunting me, were all the lights on my neighbor’s front porches.
I went back to our bedroom, where Mrs. Lefty waited. She had apparently just realized our alarm clock was out, because she said, “Oh shit, I’m late for work!”
“What time is it?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
It turns out that Mrs. Lefty was not late for work. It was only about 1:30am. I set the alarm on my watch.
It also turns out that it was Mrs. Lefty who kindly put the basket of towels in the hall.
The electric company did get the power back on. Ten hours later.
P.S. Sometimes I really hate baseball.
Labels: alarm clock, electric company, family