Last Saturday is a good example of my day-to-day life. I awoke at 6 a.m. to no electricity. Couldn't find my flashlight. Couldn't find my lighter either. I should have taken the time to learn how to apply makeup in the dark. I could have pretended to be blind. Now, applying makeup in the dark would have to be added to my SKILLS I NEVER LEARNED list.
The world outside was completely void of light. It was true after all – the world really was coming to an end and my neighborhood was the first to go.
As I looked into the abyss that was my neighborhood, I knew I had to be the one to call Com Ed. It might take hours, but somebody had to do it. However, my electric home phone didn't work. So I grabbed my cell phone, which has numbers that don't match up to letters on my home phone – the letters for "1" on my cell phone, for instance, are "ER" – not to be confused with Emergency Room. Holding my lighted cell phone up to my home phone, I dialed 1-800-EDISON1. FINALLY after what seemed like hours, I was talking to a real person.
Sadly, she reminded me that I must have moved because I no longer had Com Ed as my provider. Oh, yeah.
Fortunately she knew who that provider was, because she used to live in my neighborhood. YEAH! My luck was changing. Here is my conversation as I remember it:
Yes, I'm calling to report an outage.
So...when do you think we'll have electricity?
Well, to be honest, we don't consider it an outage until at least three people call. You're the first to call.
But the entire neighborhood is without electricity, and I've been up for more than a half hour talking to Com Ed.
Why were you talking to Com Ed?
It doesn't matter. Can you turn it on?
As I said, it takes three calls and you're the first.
But what if nobody else calls?
Sorry, that's our policy.
Can I hang up and call you back two more times?
Oh, you're in luck. Two more people just called.
Yeah, lucky me.
After I found the flashlight, the lighter, the oil lamp, my clothes, and my makeup, I went out to my ice-covered car. I body slammed it open, turned it on, and waited another half hour to thaw it out. And then I did something I had never done – I ice skated – in my car – out of my neighborhood. Apparently salting roads is a thing of the past. Costs too much. So where are the wheels with ice blades, I wonder?
The further north I drove, the more blizzardy the conditions became. But I got there, said Happy Birthday, Mom, ate a taco, drank a margarita, and left.
By the time I returned I needed more gas. So I pulled into a gas station, pushed the "pay inside" button and waited (and waited and waited) until a voice came over the loudspeaker that said, "you can't pay inside at that pump." OK, so I pulled out and drove to another pump, where the exact same voice said the exact same thing.
SO WHY DOES IT HAVE A PAY INSIDE OPTION IF NOBODY CAN USE IT ?
They just lost a customer (like they care). I'll never go there again (like they care).
By the time I got home I had electricity and it would be close to a week before I had no water. Did you know that pipes can freeze in less than a minute? UGH!