Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

I was powerless

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Last Saturday we had a power outage for about two-and-a-half hours. My immediate response was to check to see if I paid the bill. Old habits are hard to break. Don’t give me that ‘look’. Fess up, you have missed paying a bill or two yourself back in the day.

My next move was to check to see if I blew out a circuit breaker. Since I live in an old house, about 100 or so years old, electricity was added as an after-thought years after it had been built. I am still working on the indoor plumbing. I am not one to rush into these newfangled things, but that is a story for another time.

I checked with my neighbors and those who did not set their dogs on me said that they were experiencing the same problems. Thank God that dogs can’t climb tees, but some of them can jump really high. Oddly relieved that it was not my fault, I called the city to report the outage. Evidently there were a whole bunch of others with the same idea because something we don’t hear much nowadays, a busy signal was buzzing away. No, “Your call is important to us……” on the answering machine.

I figured everything that I could do about the situation was done so I packed the Kilkenny Brothers in ice, they were not pleased, and I settled down on the front porch in a comfy 99 degree day with a cold adult beverage and waited for the power to come back on. Therein lies the problem.

When I am left alone without any diversions such as the TV or the ‘puter I start to think and thinking usually gets me into trouble. My bright idea was every time the power company kicks out the plug it is we bill-payers that get to suffer. So, why not break the dependence and get off the grid with either solar or wind, or a combination of both? I made a few calls and the local solar sales rep came over on Monday.

We have all seen the car dealership commercials on TV where the salesman comes across as the most pushy, obnoxious person ever. You can switch channels or if you go to the lot you can run off screaming. However, when you invite one to your home there is no place to hide.

The second Mr. Polyester walked through the door it was pitch city. I could barely get a word in edgewise. Those words were, “um, er, ah” and “but”. A one-sided conversation indeed. So after about an hour we finally got down to the bottom line, $27,000 and $8,000 installation, batteries not included. Woof! I pay around $2,100 per year on electricity. That means it would take me a little over 16 years to break even. No batteries!!! What about cloudy days and that daily occurrence we call night?

I finally had enough. I gave him the bum’s rush and bought a battery operated fan. © 2015, Jim McGowan

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Written by harmonycounty

June 25, 2015 at 4:42 p06

Posted in Humor

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