I’m taking a break from my ‘London trip’ posts today to write about what happened to me last week. I was casually sat wasting my time on Facebook when my computer began to flicker on and off, as did the lights in my house, and as did the imaginary and severe scenarios in my head.
Indoor lightning! Demons attacking! Burglars flicking the power on and off!
After that stressful two seconds concluded, however, I was left sat in the dark without the company of all my imaginary friends on Facebook. Alone and unable to see the crazed burglars switching my lights on and off. I suddenly stepped into the mode of a child at Christmas. This was a day different from the rest of them – a day where something exciting had happened!
‘Yay powercut!’ I ran round the house screaming, amazed by the novelty of this “new” thing amidst the boredom of ordinary life.
‘It’s dark let’s attempt to get down the stairs,’ I said, imagining myself as some Indiana Jones-type explorer scouring the Earth for treasures.
‘Woooooooooo, we have no power, woooooo!’ I said to my Dad when he came home from work, flailing my arms around like an insane ghost-creature at a nightclub.
I proceeded to sit in this wonderful darkness for quite a while, pondering what new path this situation would take me on. Would I become a better person without the need of electricity and technology? Would I delete my Facebook account and begin learning interesting skills? This lack of power was not a negative but an opportunity to enrich my life, and empower me to become a well -rounded, freakishly-skilled amazing person.
Unfortunately the beautiful fun of a good ole’ fashioned power cut soon became old. Old enough to make me feel as though I was actually living in the dark ages and would have to spend the rest of my life washing my clothes in a bucket, and making tea by setting fire to McCain chicken strips with little matches. Or whatever they did in the dark ages. It had been an hour and I was already growing tired of having to use the mobile version of Facebook, tired of not being able to read without holding a torch like a psychopathic miner, and most of all, tired of getting blinded by the obnoxious torch on my Dad’s hat. But much to my horror, I was going to have to endure this suffering for another 6 hours.
6:30pm: Attempted to read magazine with torch. Occasionally blinded mother. Mother does not like being blinded, must learn to hold torch at an eye appropriate level. Or blindfold mother.
6:45pm: Did not have any material with blindfolding capabilities – had to abandon reading. Managed to amuse self for some time by switching torch on and off.
6:47pm: Torch can only be turned on and off so many times before the pattern becomes predictable. When this is over must remember to invest in torch with more settings for entertainment purposes.
6:50pm: Mother and sister have left the house in favor of sunnier climes (Morrison’s supermarket). Dad has begun playing Elvis on his phone as an attempt at entertaining me. So far this is unsuccessful.
6:51pm: Realised that waving a torch around the room in time to ‘Viva Las Vegas’ makes the living room look like a nightclub. And provides entertainment.
6:53pm: The torch does not have enough settings to make for interesting nightclub entertainment. Must buy new torch with better settings. May be able to run nightclub business in future.
6.55pm: Staring at ceiling for entertainment.
6:56pm: Must invest in television-like device on ceiling. The pattern’s wallpaper is insufficient for 6 hours worth of entertainment.
6:58pm: Attempted reading magazine with torch again. Torch and magazine are not friends. Magazine reflects light back in anger, masking beautiful words.
7:00pm: Thought about other possibilities for entertainment. Decided sitting still in the dark was the only option.
7:15pm: Continued to sit still in the dark.
7:30pm: Mother and sister returned with cake-like foods. Amused self by eating a cinnamon whirl.
7:32pm: Played a word game with the family as we’d all run out of ceiling to stare at. Word games are not as fun as they were when I was six. I have fallen out of love with word games.
8.32pm: Seized to be interested in playing word games. Resumed sitting still in the dark.
The sitting in the dark continued until half past twelve. What had begun as an exciting “new” experience was now becoming a deep cave of never ending darkness, where I would have to sit becoming quietly unhinged for what seemed like would be forever. I now imagined myself rocking back and forth in the dark, forgetting that bright things like light bulbs and the sun ever existed. People would ask me to borrow sun cream and I’d give them a baffled look, scrunching my eyebrows so severely that anyone watching would think right eyebrow and left eyebrow had skipped the friendship stage entirely and proceeded to have violent intercourse. I’d never be able to cope with any social situation post-May ever again. And people would surely avert their gaze to avoid my not-safe-for-work facial features.
I was bored. I was extremely bored. I was having mad eyebrow-related fantasies. There was only one thing I could do to relieve this boredom-madness hybrid. And that wasn’t look for more light-emitting devices to avoid being forever trapped in this tunnel of shadows. That would be too rational. My boredom-madness relief came in the form of moaning, lots of moaning, with an added bit of amateur dramatics over the seriousness of this situation.
‘I cannot cope with this anymore. The dark is becoming painful to look at. Tell the dark to stop harassing my eyes, mum!’ I wailed, holding the back of my hand to my forehead like some post-dragon-attack medieval damsel.
‘If this goes on any longer I may actually transform into a bat, and then I’ll have to spend my entire life upside down and that’ll really ruin my already limited social skills,’ I whined throwing my head into my hands in despair.
In a last ditch attempt to get the power to reappear I offered the power guy in the sky a very serious ultimatum, so serious that he would have to comply. I moaned,
‘If the power does not come on I WILL NOT sleep tonight. I refuse to close my eyes while this house is in such an awful state. I REFUSE!’
Luckily, at half past twelve a “miracle” happened. By some form of magic the cables reconnected and wonderful electricity danced through the veins of our home. Whether it was the omniscient power guy’s dependence on my going to sleep or not we’d never know, but the power was restored in full force. The excitement I had felt when the power had initially disappeared was quadrupled at this moment, with me ready to run round the house at full speed in order to praise the beautiful invention that is electricity. I went with the lazy option of staring at the light bulbs in awe instead, but I was overjoyed all the same.
From this experience I have learnt how much I appreciate electricity. And how much I don’t want to be a bat. I’m not sure which is the more important lesson…