Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Be Sure To Invite Me The Next Time You Go Camping!

Late yesterday afternoon I was minding my own business, cooking a little supper, thinking about your comments from this post, and the phone rang. I looked at caller ID - not that I'm, you know, a SCREENER or anything (ahem) - and I saw the words "IMP. MESSAGE" and a number.

No way I was answering. I figured the "IMP. MESSAGE" was a candidate who wanted our votes or a telemarketer who had an AMAZING OFFER regarding a home water filtration system. But a few minutes later, to my surprise, I saw the message light blinking on our phone, so I checked our voicemail.

As it turned out, it was SUCH an important message. I can't even tell you.

Alabama Power wanted us to know that they needed to do some "emergency line maintenance" in our area, and oh, by the way (by the way? BY THE WAY!), we would be losing power at midnight.

Now a lot of y'all know that I do not enjoy the heat. As a result, I do everything I possibly can to avoid the outdoors in the months of July and August unless there is a body of water involved. And I don't know if you've been following the weather here in Alabama, but the temperature has been averaging somewhere around 192 degrees a day with infinity percent humidity. More or less. Our air conditioner runs all day long, and I can honestly say that, if our finances demanded it, I would rather not eat than go without air conditioning. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME.

So you no doubt understand that being cool is serious business around our house (though only in the literal sense...in the figurative sense, we are the antithesis of cool, the place where cool goes to die). And when I heard the message from the power company, I went into Serious Planning Mode. If the power was going off at midnight, then clearly I would need to immerse myself in a tub of ice cubes by 11 o'clock, at least, in order to significantly lower my body temperature. Because you must trust me when I tell you that even though the temperature in our house might have remained 72 degrees for the duration of the outage, the psychological impact of knowing THERE IS NO AIR would certainly convince me that I was sweltering from the heat of a thousand fiery suns. In fact, when D. came upstairs for supper and I told him of Alabama Power's "IMP. MESSAGE," he did a bit of a double-take and said, "WE'LL BURN UP!"

Which is reason #1,784 why we're married.

Anyway, after supper and bathtime and playtime and email time and comment reading time, I found myself staring 11 o'clock straight in the face, and I hadn't even had my ice cube bath. So I panicked. Just a little bitty bit. There was so much to be done - not to mention a core body temperature to be lowered. Time was of the essence.

Over the next 60 gloriously air conditioned minutes, I cleaned the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, took a bath (no ice cubes - just cooler water than usual), dried my hair, wrote a comment and published it. Almost as soon as I finished on the computer, the house went black. And the air conditioner stopped. I think I started to sweat instantly.

And as I stumbled around in the dark, the wheels started to come off my un-air conditioned train of thought. What if it wasn't Alabama Power who called us after all? What if it was a DEN OF THIEVES who left the message as some sort of clever ruse so that they could cut the lines and then burgle and pilfer without arousing suspicion during the "planned" outage? What if I fell asleep and didn't hear the thieves (clad in black catsuits, skicaps and gloves, no doubt) when they came in the house? And OH MY WORD why didn't I order one of those little solar fan thingies off of that infomercial? Was it 102 in the house? How was D. even under the covers? Isn't it possible to smother when there's absolutely no air circulating?

It was a late night carnival-o-smokin'-hot-fun. That's what it was.

The power did come back on around 2:30, so I was grateful for that...but air conditioning, how I missed thee. Verily.

Needless to say, tonight I'll be cranking down that thermostat to the point that my teeth chatter and hopefully getting some, you know, rest.

See y'all tomorrow. :-)


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