We heard the dulcet tones of sirens after a short time of the power being back on. Sweet Patootie was sure they were coming to rescue some poor schmucks who'd had their generator's hooked up through the electrical grid and had sparked a fire upon the power being turned back on. We'd already noted that the post-hurricane air was noisy with generators in the neighborhood.
Why do you suppose people rushed to put generators on, I asked in all innocence? Was it because they had to pump water for their toilets because they hadn't filled their bathtubs up? Was it to boil water because someone was having a baby and couldn't get through the hurricane troubled roads to deliver in the hospital? No, it was because they couldn't be without their electrical devices - if you're on high-speed even your lap top on battery won't deliver the internet and besides there is NOTHING to do so we need to watch videos.
It seems we simply cannot bear to be without convenience anymore. Not for an instant.
The other day - the day before Earl arrived - I was walking up the hill from having a swim in the ocean with Hoagy. He hadn't loved it like he used to but he'd at least gotten his exercise and cooled off in the process. We went past the park and the mailboxes where people wait to meet their children off the bus. There were two large trucks pulled over. The first one was idling and there was nobody in it. Behind it two men were squatted down having a chitchat. And maybe a smoke, I'm not sure. I called out cheerfully 'Did you know that your truck is running?' Duh, of course he knew. The fellow replied 'hor, hor, yep - it's pretty hot out.' and I said still full of false cheeriness 'but there's nobody in it.' and went unmerrily up the hill while he chortled on while rolling his eyes at his buddy.
Do you think they can stand a moment of being uncomfortable? Why should they? They leave their trucks running in front of the store that is attached to a daycare (think about it) so they can get a case of beer that has been pre-chilled.
Oh, I know, I should mind my own business. I shouldn't think (but I do, I do think) that they don't get the connection between their desire for instant gratification and Earl, a climate that now requires alternative energy sources, the crazy and totally unnatural hot weather we are having, etc...
And just so you don't think I'm some kind of purist holier than thou - I loved it when the power came back on! Sort of.
We were going to play dominoes by candlelight and that can be pretty fun. Instead we all disappeared to our little spots to tap tap tap...or in the case of some of the teens - shower. Yes, they were completely horrified that they might get SMELLY. In nine hours. They had been moaning and groaning about the absolute horror of it all. For if we are somewhat addicted to immediate gratification at least we can remember when we didn't have the world at our fingertips twenty-four seven. I mean I can remember dial-up for heaven's sake. Or gasp - my Selectric typewriter-which I can assure you I wouldn't have lunged for at the first flash of power. Nah, it would've been my record player. That's right folks - I had a record player. It was turquoise.
Here's a few photos of the aftermath of Earl...