Sunday, October 12, 2008

Power Play

Andrew Sullivan in his Daily Dish blog used to run a feature called “The View Out Your Window” where he would run photos from all over the world that readers had taken out their window. Some of them were quite beautiful. Some weren’t. This picture was taken out my window at 2:15 am Thursday night/Friday morning.

Thursday I had come home and my wife announced that we only had power in half the house. I went around and checked the lights and examined the electrical panel. Sure enough, one whole side of the panel was off. My wife had checked with a few neighbors and they were only on partial power as well.

We called Big Giant Electric Company (BGE) and reported the problem before heading out to dinner. Since the master bedroom was part of the affected problem, I used that as an excuse to stay up until midnight catching up on my DVR inventory. After finally feeling my way into bed, my wife woke me up at 1:45 to say there was a knock on the door.

There in the road was a BGE truck with spotlights blazing and a safety vested crew racing around the neighborhood furiously spray painting the sidewalks. The foreman told me that the problem had been isolated to a short underneath my driveway and they would have to dig it up to fix it. They could do it now or they could have another crew come back in the morning. Here is where my sleep addled thought process went:
  • I want my power back on.
  • My neighbors probably want their power back on too.
  • If I let the truck leave, there is no telling when they would come back.
  • Nobody else seems to have noticed the blindingly bright road crew in their front yard.
  • My nearest neighbors are a nurse and her daughter, an Air Force officer and his wife, and an elderly widow.
  • I'm already awake.
I told the foreman to go ahead and break out the jackhammers but to stop if anybody came out to complain. I got some indication that maybe he wanted to go home for the night when he said, “Your neighbors are going to love you, man.”

It took about twenty minutes to jack up a three foot square hole in my driveway. You can see the chunks in the upper left of the photo. I have the back bedroom in my unit and I could hear the noise all the way back there through the closed third floor window. The neighbors on either side have the master bedroom in the front. And the Air Force guy had his window open. But nobody seemed to notice.

I was just starting to doze back off when at 3 am the lights all through the house blazed back on. I went outside to admire the still steaming patch of asphalt where I had used to have a concrete drive. The foreman said that another crew would be back within two weeks to sawcut and repour the concrete. We'll see.

I thanked his crew for their hard work and they said that they were now off for the night. And not one neighbor has said a word to me about the late night construction crew.

BlatantCommentWhoring™:What would you have done? Wait for morning, or get it done then?


2fs said...

"I had nothing to do with it. It was a surrealistic performance-art troupe doing guerrilla driveway destruction!"

yellojkt said...

I like it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Elizabeth said...

I with you, have them do it when they are there. Who knows when they would have come back! Glad you have electricity again.

Mooselet said...

I would have done what you did, have it done while the people were there and, if necessary, apologize in the morning. Most people have been without power and can relate.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you were doing your neighbors a favor. I would've done the same thing.