Damn you Ben Franklin

When I was a kid, power outages were cool. The house would be bathed in black and Dad would stumble about — cursing as he kicked the coffee table — and eventually retrieve a flashlight the size of a dictionary. I’d tote that thing around for 5 minutes until the bulb fizzled out and we’ d scour the house for D batteries.

But by that time, the power would be back on. That’s the advantage of living in populated areas: outages are short lived.

That’s not the case in Sticksville where we share a power grid with 12 houses. When there’s a power outage, we’re the bottom feeders on the food chain.

The other bummer is that we’re on a well, so no power to the pump, no water for us. You’ve got what’s in the pipes — enough to brush your teeth — but that’s it. Years ago the power was knocked out for four days and people fetched water from the river to flush their toilets. Now that’s old school.

But at least that incident was legit: a hurricane slammed the east coast and no one had power.

We have freak outages all the time. And up until last year, you could call Allegheny Power and talk to a human being and get a detailed report. You’d get an operator who’d say “yea, you have an outage. Old man roberts ran his turnip truck into a utility pole. Two hundred houses are affected but you’ll have power in an hour.”