My Week 189: I’ve Got The Power

I don’t know about you, but I’m frankly very sick of all this extreme weather. Two weeks ago, we had ice storms. Ice storms in April. As T.S.Eliot once famously said, “Oh my f*cking god, April—you truly are a dick.” I believe that was in his greatest work “The Wasteland”, or “Etobicoke” as it’s known today. (I tweeted this out at the time, and it didn’t get a single like, as opposed to my lame tweet about Canada being ready to defend its sacred Maple Syrup, which got over 200 likes and numerous retweets, all of which taught me one thing: that people don’t appreciate obscure literary references and I should stick to tweeting about Maple Syrup). And then of course there’s terrible flooding out East in Saint John or St. John’s— I’m not sure which one. I initially thought that it must be the height of Canadianism to name two provincial capitals practically the same thing, but then I looked it up and the capital of New Brunswick is actually Fredericton, so I guess the height of Canadianism is to NOT know all the capitals. I DO know that up until recently, Canada had 9 teams in the Canadian Football League, and two of them were called the Roughriders. One of them was the Roughriders, and the other was the Rough Riders, just so you could tell them apart. This would be like if the NFL, for some bizarre reason, named half its teams The Patriots. Can you imagine the play-by-play (which I have to do because I have never watched the CFL)?:

Commentator 1: And the Roughriders take the field.
Commentator 2: As do the Rough Riders. Go teams!
Commentator 1: And the Rough Riders have scored a touchdown!
Commentator 2: Aw—now the Roughriders are behind by 22 and a half points.

Anyway, about the weather. I came home early this week with the intention of getting some writing done. I had the remaining chapters of my new novel laid out, and I’m itching to get it finished because I sent some sample chapters to my publisher and he said they’re definitely interested in it. But then I sat down to write and realized that I had forgotten about the chapter I had started BEFORE working 16 straight days in Etobicoke, and I had no plan for it. So that meant a lot of pacing, and thinking, and sitting and staring into space while the whole thing crystallized in my mind. By Friday morning, I knew what I was doing and I sat down at the computer. I was getting close to finished when I noticed that the wind outside had REALLY started to pick up, like the trees in the yard were whipping from side to side in a rather alarming way, and things that used to be on the porch were now in the middle of the yard. Then the power started to flicker. Then it went off. I tried to call Hydro but the line was busy, as always. But then the power came back on, so I stopped panicking and finished writing. Ken came home, and we went out to see Infinity Wars at the VIP theatre with K and her girlfriend. It was pretty good, even if I hadn’t seen all the other movies and had no idea who half the people were. Luckily, K was with us, so I could ask her, even if it meant being subjected to a LOT of eyerolling:

Me: Who’s that?
K: That’s The Falcon.
Me: The what? I don’t remember him from the last Avengers movie.
K: Which one was the last one you saw?
Me: The…Avengers? Who’s the guy with the mechanical arm? I feel like I’m really out of touch here.
K: Bucky. Stop talking.
Me: Where’s Batman? I heard he dies in this movie.
K: Mom! Batman is DC, not Marvel. They’re two different universes!
Me: So no Aquaman? You know what this movie REALLY needs? The Wonder Twins.
K: Sigh.

But then the Guardians of the Galaxy showed up, and I was like, “This is so unfair! How come the raccoon and the tree are here, but I can’t have Batman?!” But apparently, the Guardians are “Marvel” too, but just from a different franchise, and I had to resign myself to drinking wine, eating my poutine, and silently wondering where the f*ck Vision and Wanda came from.

After the movie, Ken and I drove home. But as we got into town, I noticed something terrible. There were no lights on anywhere. No street lights, no house lights, nothing. And sure enough, the power was out in the entire town and surrounding areas. I checked Facebook on my phone and someone had posted that power wouldn’t be restored until the next day at 6 pm.

So I did it all by the numbers.

1) Get out all the jar candles.

I have a drawer in a desk in the living room, where I keep jar candles. I currently have 23, all in varying shapes, sizes, and states of use. Why, you ask? Because the POWER MIGHT GO OFF. I started lighting them with a lighter wand thing, which ran out of butane by number 17. I haven’t used matches since I was a teenager, and I couldn’t get them to light on the sandpaper strip on the box, so I just stuck them in the open flames of the other candles. I am nothing if not resourceful. Candles lit. Check.

2) Find all 8 flashlights and realize that none of them work. Look for batteries. Try to install the batteries into the flashlights by the light of a “White Linen and Vanilla” jar candle. Remind Ken that “the pioneers might have been way better at living rough than me, but I bet their houses didn’t smell as good”.

3) Also remind Ken that under no circumstances should he open the fridge in order to keep the food from spoiling. Open the fridge myself to get out a bottle of wine.

4) Lie in bed in the dark, drinking wine and plotting my revenge against nature by candlelight. Eventually blow out all the candles so that I don’t set the house on fire.

Day Two

In the morning, we checked again. Now Hydro was saying the power wouldn’t be back on until Sunday at 6 pm.

5) Have a minor meltdown, and order Ken to take me out to buy a barbeque so that we could cook dinner (our previous bbq had broken during the winter when I rather vigorously threw open the lid and it snapped off). I also bought one of those big camping lanterns. The only instructions for its use involved three pictures that were all upside down. After ten minutes, I lost my sh*t and called for Ken. He looked at it, then pushed the button and it came on. “You have to press harder,” he said.

“Yeah, well, just wait until you have to put together the barbeque!” I responded. Which he did. In under the time suggested in the instruction manual.

6) Call my mom and complain about the lack of electricity.

7) Call my aunt and complain about the lack of electricity.

8) Post on Facebook complaining about the lack of electricity.

9) Realize my phone battery is almost dead.

10) Remember that our neighbour has a generator. Message her to ask if I can use it to charge my phone. She says yes.

11) Take my phone and a bottle of wine across the street. Spend a couple of very pleasant hours with my neighbour, talking and drinking while my phone charges.

12) Go home and light all 23 jar candles again. Lie in bed, drinking wine and plotting revenge against Ontario Hydro, who will rue the day they ruined my plan to kick back and watch Netflix so that I could get caught up on The Avengers movies. Enjoy the aroma of “Lavender Sky” mingled with “Christmas Berry”. Read the fifth book in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and get seriously pissed off at being over halfway through and still not knowing who the f*cking Wolves of Calla are.

13) Blow out all the jar candles and go to sleep. Wake up sometime in the night and realize that the hall light is on. Wake Ken up to tell him, but he already knows and has been watching Netflix without me. I forgive him, silently rejoice, and congratulate myself on being hardy like a pioneer. Make plans to buy my own generator. Just in case.

45 thoughts on “My Week 189: I’ve Got The Power

  1. Wonderful read! If the early pioneers had had scented candles, the world might be a better place now. Who wants to start a range war when there is a lilac and butter-cookie candle flickering on the table?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Your posts always make me laugh! Do you have any published books available to buy? I’d love to read more of your writing! (Sorry if I’ve been living under a rock and you are a prolific writer.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In addition to a generator I suggest wine that doesn’t need refrigeration. And more of those wand lighter things. If you run out of candles those provide a nice light. Like you’ll ever run out of candles.
    And that T.S. Eliot joke was brilliant, although I’m also an English major and read “The Wasteland” a dozen times. I’m glad you didn’t have to get through the loss of power by eating lilacs, although they might be tasty barbecued.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I would call them “The Roughriders one word” and “The Rough-space-Riders” if I was doing the play-by-play, which is probably one reason why I will never be in charge of that sort of thing. Another reason being that I know nothing about sports – any sport – so I’d be less than useless if, say, there was a flag and I tried to speculate as to why. “The tall guy was doing something to that other guy – is that allowed? Could that be why there was a flag? There’s probably a rule against that.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Football is weird, and the rules are complicated. I coached rugby for years and I still don’t get football, which we called “rugby for people who don’t like to get hurt as bad.” I always assumed the commentators would just give a long pause between Rough and Rider, do that it didn’t sound like a sci fi movie…

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Heeeeeyyyyy… Am I the only one who was waiting for #17 after reading #1, and got to #13 and thought “Oh nooooooooooo, WordPress is censoring Suzanne!!!” Where’s #17! I want 4 more #s!!

    Jokes aside, I wasn’t aware you had a novel out… I’m going to check that out too!!! I just loooove your writing 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonder Twin Powers, Activate: Form of a linen/vanilla scented candle–Shape of a butane lighter. (I am hopeful you get the 70s cartoon reference, although I think one of the Wonder Twins was always shifted into some form of water which means this doesn’t really work). There is a big superhero-scented response I wanted to throw in, but I am a millimeter away from piecing it all together.
    Fail! something about you snagging the bottle of wine from the fridge just makes me giggle, but confirms at least one of your superpowers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so happy that someone else besides me knows who the Wonder Twins are!! And yes, it was “form of running water” but in this case “form of running wax ” would definitely apply. My superpower is the ability to disregard my own instructions in a rather mercenary way!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I do exactly the same thing, except I have only one candle lit at a time and I make everyone carry it from room to room. I think I do that to keep the power bill down, but it doesn’t make sense when I write it out like that. Maybe I’m just afraid that if the power is out for 23 days in a row we’ll run out. How do I heat hot dogs without candles?

    On the other hand I have, like, 73 flashlights and an entire cabinet full of just batteries. Of course, they are always the wrong ones.

    I’m finally going to see Infinity War tomorrow night but I’ve watched every single other Marvel movie, sequentially, at least twice. I still haven’t seen all the Batmans, because, as T knows, he’s DC. Is he still being played by George Clooney?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can actually heat hog dogs with one of those wand lighter things. It takes a while, but you can simulate barbeque stripes if you really work at it. Why is it that flashlights always need the most expensive batteries like the triple As or the 9 volts, instead of those cheapass double As? Oh, and Batman is now Ben Affleck, but Matt Damon is not Robin. Nothing makes sense anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, I remember that now! I saw Superman vs Batman (or was it Batman vs Superman?!). My favorite part of the movie was when Superman said, to Batman, “If I wanted to kill you then you’d already be dead.”

        Because no one in their right mind can think Batman can take on Superman. He’s got like super speed and heat vision, for gods sakes.

        And, now that I remember all that I can honestly tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that Matt Damon would make a better Robin than Ben Affleck makes a Batman.

        Why can’t Robert Downey Jr just play all the parts?


  8. I had to flee an incoming tsunami (it was a false alarm) in the middle of the night several months ago and realized how grossly unprepared for the ocasion I was. Definitely, need a survival kit that includes a blanket and a hell of a lot more wine!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My God, the Wonder Twins! They’d be so useful in the era of extreme weather. Jayna could transform into a bird and fly over the wildfires out here in California, and Zan could be a bucket of water she carries in her beak to quench them. (More Super Friends references and less T.S. Eliot is probably — and sadly — in order, mydangblog.)

    Liked by 1 person

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