October 01, 2007

Life in the Outpost

…is anything but dull. Don’t let The Big Rip’s location or lack of big city amenities fool you. There is excitement to be had even when you least expect it.

Take Sunday morning for instance. I’m at the computer, scanning emails, when I really should have been getting ready for work. B-O-O-M! I jumped a mile high. Electricity goes out in the room and then comes back on. Oh. My. God. The electrician had mentioned continuing problems with the electricity and, of course, I haven’t had the cash to get them corrected. Please, Lord, work with me.

Heart’s still quivering when I notice that the television has come back on but no signal. Turn the computer on. No internet connection. Try the phone. NOTHING! Okay. NewWave will be back in action shortly. Shower, get dressed, contemplate going to my neighbor’s, whom I never see, to ask to use her phone. Good grief! That is going to take a bit of nerve. We’ve only seen each other two or three times.

So what about plan B? Surely Wal-Mart has a public phone. A big house in need of major repairs, a big car, and you have to resort to using the public phone? Mercy. Here’s the plan, Stan. Call NewWave from Wal-Mart and let them know about the outage. Or, call brother or SF, and ask them to call since I must be at my good job at 10 a.m. Killing two birds with one stone, kind of. They’ll know I’m without service and can stay on hold with the company, which I would not be able to do. Works for me. Still upset with NewWave, though.

I must eat before I leave. Being told when to break, eat, etc., takes a bit of getting used to. My stomach doesn’t quite understand why it can’t be fed when it asks. Look out at my freshly-manicured yard. It looks good all over. I might have to keep working at Wal-Mart just to keep the lawn mowed. But I digress. What should be basking in the sun but one of my unwanted pets? AAAAAARGH! NOT TODAY. No phone, no cable, no computer? And you want to bask in the sun and eat my grass? Which cost me my last bit of change to have done? You. Have. Lost. Your. Mind. Grabbed the big bottle of ammonia and off I went, like a bat out of hell.

Now, I’ve been doing a little research. They don’t like Epsom salts because of the taste. Poured out my only bag and it rained. I’ve sent away for some sure-fired, get-rid-of groundhog stuff which, in all likelihood, will not work. In the meantime, I got this huge jug of ammonia from my favorite employer because I read that they don’t like the smell. I doused the hell out the area by the shed/barn/garage. Is ammonia bad for your shrubbery? Too bad if it is, I’m going to buy more.

Off I go. Worried. What if they need to come inside? I have to work. I’m not off until mid-week. I can’t go that long without communication. I don’t have anyone to let them in. And, no, I wouldn’t have had anyone to rely on in DC, either. And, why the hell are they always having a problem on the days when football is on? Since I have to work and can’t see the day games, I’m entitled to watch the night game. Couldn't even get my praise on before going to work. Don’t see a public phone. And, obviously, the cell is not operable or we wouldn’t be going through this dissertation. Now what? Nothing to do but hope the service comes back on.

Scoot home for lunch. No service. Spy a pay phone in the entrance of the store, stuck between some vending machines. Great. I’ll call when I get off. Calls are fiddy cents. I have 45 cents. Back into the store to make a purchase of anything to get change. Back to the phone. What diseases are on this thing? After being put on hold, “Your call is important to us,” I learn that the outage is widespread in my neighborhood and not just my house. The library and some surrounding streets are affected, as well. They’re working on it but they have no idea as to when it will be corrected. Of course they’ll give me credit. Just call back when the problem is corrected and they will make the adjustment. Self: Excuse me. You can tell when someone is using your service illegally but you can’t make an automatic adjustment to my bill when service is restored?

Return home and admire the grass. It is a beautiful fall day. There has been a run on charcoal all weekend. Somebody is having fun. Still No Service. See, I knew there was a reason for keeping the phone, cable, and internet services separate. Game time. No service. I go to sleep (which my body needed anyway), wake up at 9 and NO SERVICE. This is why, at 10:30 p.m., I am typing this damned blog in Word and will copy and paste when I finally have some SERVICE! Does anybody know when?

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