Pillsbury crescent rolls may have saved my life.
Like about three million other people, I lost power Friday night when the drunken, pissed-off, wife-beater-wearing grandpappy of all thunderstorms tore eight states a new a-hole. It came out of nowhere and whipped itself up into such a frenzy as to compel me to turn on the news to make sure death was not raining from the sky. I had come back from futile attempts to see out my living room windows, and the weatherguy had just finished saying that winds were 70 miles an hour, when every source of light and coolness in my apartment went dead.
I’m not one to complain much about power outages. It doesn’t happen that often where I live, and I figure I’m healthy, relatively young and not a mother of small children, so I can deal. Plus I work a lot, and work has generators. Every morning since the storm, I’ve gotten up, called work, they’ve told me to come in ASAP, I’ve taken a cold shower and then gone to work, returning around midnight to find that, unsurprisingly, the power had not returned.
On Sunday, with all hope of refrigeration lost, I opened the fridge door to start cleaning out the more heat-sensitive items. Reaching half-blindly, my hand found something sort of sticky and spongey.
The crescent rolls.
The crescent rolls had functioned as a kind of turkey timer, popping on their own when the temperature inside the fridge had reached a higher-than-ideal range. Though there was still some amount of chill, I found this to be a handy reference. I supposed it meant all dairy and meat must definitely go, but there was still hope for the condiments, juices, and my blessed dozen bottles of wine I had stored in there to shield them from the merciless heat. The bread, peanut butter and jelly were still viable. I lived on them.
I got home from work at midnight-thirty Sunday night/Monday morning to find a new use for my wine thermometer. It’s the only way I knew for sure (confirming tactile perception) that it was a full 90 degrees inside my home. Using my cell phone for a flashlight, I found the cat (she’s black – not helpful in the dark). She was panting like I’ve never heard her before. I hauled her into the blacker-than-space bathroom to baptize her with cold water from the sink faucet. She was not happy about it, but I think it helped.
With my cell phone dying and work my only access to the internet, and I quickly found that all my friends are pains in the ass who complain too much. Sure, it sucks to be without power, but these are first world problems, people. If you’re young and healthy and bitching from your hotel pool, you should reevaluate your life circumstance vis-a-vis your right to complain about the temporary lack of a utility.
You know how I said I’m not usually one to complain about a power outage? It’s true, I’m not, but I decided I could conquer the damned world for want of three things:
A battery-operated fan
A battery-operated hair dryer
A battery-operated coffee maker
These three things, people. When sh*t goes down, they’re all I really need. I could tame the wild frontier if I had these three things.
Sadly, I did not have any of those three things.
Returning from work late Monday night, I noted how many more streetlights were on; how many more traffic lights were working. And I kept telling myself not to get my hopes up. From work, I had checked my power company’s color-coded outage map. I was still red-bad, meaning my area’s concentration of outages was higher than any other. But as I pulled to the curb, there arose above me my building, glowing golden light.
By the power of Grayskull! IIIII haaaaave the powwwaaaaahhhhhh!
The A/C was roaring. The thermostat said it was 79 degrees. The cat was not in renal failure – nay; she was yelling at me as I came through the door, declaring our victory, practically doing the conga with a party hat on her head. The television was on. The cable! The cable was working! There was light. There was the hint of refrigeration! The vodka in the freezer was chilled enough to drink!
F*&k the wild frontier!
I slept without the aid of a wet towel. I took a hot shower this morning for the first time since Friday. I made myself coffee (albeit with the rinsed-out previously used filter, because I ran out, and without half-and-half, because, well… all my once-refrigerated foodstuffs live in the dumpster now). I wanted to hug a transformer. I still had peanut butter and jelly before I left for work, but that’s because I didn’t have time to go grocery shopping.
Finally, being at work is no longer better than being at home. And the 13 hours of overtime I’ll have will fit nicely into the real estate fund.