It’s complacency really. That’s my defense. Complacency – along with a side order of impatience topped with boredom – is how I came to post such a silly thing as From the Shoulder of Hurricane Sandy early on Monday evening. Ho hum … another “Monster Storm” bearing down on the East Coast.
I was so thoroughly unimpressed.
Three days later without electricity, heat, hot water … Creeping towards the edge of Unplugged Insanity … You tend to learn a few things about yourself.
- You take way too many things for granted. Could not count the number of times I mindlessly pawed a wall switch expecting the lights to come on as I entered a room. After the first 100 failures, you would think your brain would make the adjustment.
- When the Power goes out, you lose all perspective of what’s going on around you. All you care about is how YOUR problem(s) will be resolved.
- You resent The Lighted People, that cluster of homes just 100 yards from your backdoor that somehow had their power restored two days before you.
- You can handle the stress of family challenges, work issues, health scares, and an important election. But let a creature comfort – or two or three – disappear, and suddenly you’re fighting a long slide down into hysteria.
- When the Power comes back on, and you see what other people are dealing with here and elsewhere as the result of Sinister Sandy, you feel like a schmuck for complaining about your situation.
- And you come to realize if The Big One hits, you probably won’t make it – physically or mentally – to the end of the Week 1!
Sad that last one, but probably true. You realize how fragile your relatively sane existence is, based as it is on mass technology, connected to a network that can be thrown into chaos by a few strategically placed trees and a good huff from Mother Nature.
Yes, that’s an over-simplification of what happened this week. But you get my drift, don’t you?
If the definition of Insanity is repeating the same action over and over again – like pawing at a powerless wall switch – and expecting a different result, I was technically insane by Tuesday evening. The same holds true for reacting as though every truck you hear coming down the street is a caravan of utility trucks (The techs wearing white hats and halos, no doubt.) coming to the rescue … or that every rumor you hear (“The guy who lives down the street from my sister’s hair dresser says we’ll have power by 8:00 PM tonight!”) is based on any whiff of fact.
You resolve to change a few things, you know you won’t. Buy a generator; pay serious attention to the weather forecasters; take a survivor skills course (for The Big One, ya know!); watch Doomsday Preppers without laughing; learn to camp, fish, hunt; pledge to reduce your Carbon Footprint …
eh … Who am I kidding?!? When the NEXT 50-year storm hits, I’ll be long gone. Won’t I?!?
(Tip of Cranky’s Lawn Mower to the guys from Illinois, whose company name I cannot recall that were responsible for getting a nice chunk of us Horshamites back on the grid!)