Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Handy Guide To Surviving a Blackout

As some of you may or may not know, I once lived in a land far, far away during a war.  As a result, there was a shortage of EVERYTHING.  Sugar, butter, meat, water and electricity.  Things were rationed, and one learned (even as a child) that you be without any given thing for an undetermined amount of time at any given moment.  Since I was a child and didn't have to worry about food things that my parents obtained, my biggest concerns were electricity and water outages, which happened every summer--all summer long (and other times as well, but summers were especially horrible).  The upside of this is that I thought I was an expert at blackouts.  Turns out, not so much in modern times.  Which is why I thought I'd put together a nifty little guide of things to do and avoid during a blackout*.

  1. Avoid sarcastic conversations with your nice, older neighbors.  For some bizarre reason, sarcasm seems to be generational and people may get the impression that you're a nudist, trying to organize a block party.  It is always a safe bet to nod and smile as you walk by.
  2. Don't plan on entertaining yourself by watching movies online.  Or listening to your favorite Pandora station on your ipod.  Apparently, wireless routers also require electrical power to function.
  3. Reading is an excellent option.  Feel free to work on that giant pile of books and old magazines that are gathering dust.
  4. Scratch the old magazine reading.  For some ungodly reason, they catch on fire if you hold them too close to your light source.
  5. Candlelight is very flattering.  Enjoying looking at yourself in the mirror in candlelight.  You'd be surprised at how soft and beautiful you will look with fifteen tea candles flickering.  Please note, it's VERY IMPORTANT that you keep you hair away from the candles.  An up-do is your friend.
  6. Don't feel pressured into improving on the perfection that is your candlelit reflection.  Your eyebrows?  They can wait to be plucked/trimmed during the daytime.  Maybe on your patio even, but evening time is for relaxation.   NOTHING GOOD COMES FROM SHAPING YOUR EYEBROWS IN CANDLELIGHT.
  7. Life has handed you a bag of hot lemons under the guise of a power outage when it's 95 degrees outside.  Make yourself a tall pitcher of lemonade by planning out your day off.  While the city fumes what to do with itself, you can plan to spend a delightful day at the beach, complete with water activity of your choice.  Maybe even a picnic lunch.  How exciting are you?!
  8. You've made it to 8:27!  Only three more hours till your bed time!  Don't open the fridge door, because all the cold air will escape and all the groceries you bought yesterday in a fit of hunger will be doomed.
  9. It's 8:42.  Trust me, trying to eat all of the food in your fridge in a desperate attempt to save them from going bad will not end well.  You live alone and you've shopped for an entire week.  Accept the sad fate awaiting your food.
  10. Massages are a great idea!  They will help you relax.  The room is already lit with candles.  Your neighbor is accompanying his opera singing wife on piano.  All you need is someone to actually give you a massage.  Avoid mentioning this to previously mentioned neighbor, who still looks confused about your lifestyle.
  11. Board/card games are also a great way to pass the time.  As long as you have enough people to participate.  Of course, you could announce yourself Scrabble champion if you play on your own but people may not believe you as there are no witnesses.
  12. It's 9:31.  Don't call anyone on your cell phone.  Well, you couldn't if you wanted to--it's dead and it will take forever to recharge it in the car.
  13. You've made it to 10:05.  Just accept that going to sleep is the best thing you can do until you have power back.  Make sure to blow out all the candles and leave one light on, so you  will know if/when power returns.
  14. Don't wake up cursing at 4:30 in the morning because power is back and your carefully laid plans are all for naught.  Yes, you were smart and made yummy, yummy lemonade with the stupid lemons life gave you.  But sometimes life punches you in the gut and steals your lemonade.  Lying on the coach with a groggy puppy and cursing will not change this.

I hope this guide helps you in some way. I realize technically you won't be considered 'prepared', but with any luck you won't do too much damage once you're thrown into the darkness.  For the record, I did extensive personal research on some of the points above.  For you, the two people who may benefit from my suffering.

*None of the things listed will help you with actual survival in the traditional sense.

1 comment:

Polly said...

Welcome back! It's nice to hear from you.