By Lee Pitts
I know a thing or two about living without electricity because our formerly bankrupt electric company has had a hard time keeping the juice flowing.
We frequently suffer through rolling blackouts because the electric company wants everyone to suffer “going green” equally. Our area has a knack for going dark during the last scenes of a good movie, in the fourth quarter of great games or in the midst of cooking supper.
I bring this up because I live in Communist California, whose leaders have announced all gas-powered yard equipment will be outlawed in 2024 and all cars sold after 2035 must be of the electric variety.
They say the future is in “green energy” but I think it should more accurately be called “black energy,” because when the lights go out, it’s blacker than being inside a casket buried six feet deep.
The state has already asked citizens to stop charging their electric cars after 4 p.m. on hot days, and this is when only 10 percent of cars on the road are electrified. Can one imagine how powerless we’ll be when we multiply this by 10?
It was during all of these outages I used the remaining power in my laptop computer to write “The Blackout Diaries.”
We played cards by candlelight, and I actually had a conversation with my wife who seems like a very nice person.
After shaving with cold water and boiling our bathwater using an oxyacetylene torch, we spent 30 minutes in the garage trying to free our car from the clutches of our electrified garage door opener.
We drove into town in our fossil fuel driven car to see if any restaurants were open where we might get a hot meal. We had no luck, went home and had a dinner of popsicles and ice cream because we knew they’d melt first.
We read with coal-miner lamps strapped to our foreheads.
I’m just glad toilets don’t operate on electricity.
Surviving a blackout is all about refrigerator and freezer maintenance and using up the foodstuff that will go bad first.
We had butter sandwiches and the last of the ice cream for lunch, threw the spoiled milk down the drain and ate the last of the Oreos and Triscuits. We had plenty of canned dog food, and I admit, I looked upon the dog with envy as she ate her normal fare.
We ran out of chips, crackers, Cheerios and even the fruitcake we got for Christmas five years ago. Yuck! Next time I think I’d rather starve.
I don’t know what we’ll die from first – the lack of food or heat.
I’m wearing two pairs of long underwear and making a mental list of which furniture to burn first. I can’t even sleep at night because the cocky neighbor runs his extremely loud generator 24 hours a day.
I tried to syphon gas from the tank of his motor home, but accidentally on purpose, gulped some gasoline. It tasted better than the homemade hooch we’d been drinking.
In an attempt to light a furniture fire, I tried to do it the way the mountain men did using dried grass and a flint but no one knew what, or where, a flint was.
We stole the batteries from all of the drills and grinders in the shop and robbed all of the clocks of their batteries so we never knew what time it was.
For dinner we had 10-year-old marshmallows roasted by candlelight which smelled like propane, and in the process, started the curtains on fire. But, I couldn’t call the fire department because our “smart phone” land line required electricity to operate.
Sexperts say the number one way to pass time during a blackout is to have sex, but as Country Music Star Darius Rucker sings, “Fires donʼt start themselves.”
I bet sexperts never tried it with a smelly, frozen, grouchy and irritable partner who has just taken his or her third cold shower in as many days, doesn’t have the energy for strenuous exercise and is showing all of the early symptoms of starvation.
My wife was startled when our bankrupt electrical company called to say the power was back on. She’d been so used to living without modern electrical conveniences that when the phone rang she asked, “What’s that sound?”