Originally Posted 11/13/15
Football fanatic is such a harsh word. Just because I’m sitting in front of the TV at 10:00 A. M. tuned to the station where the big college football game is coming on, and the big game is not coming on until 7:00 P. M., some people want to label me that.
And then suddenly the whole world ends. Well, not exactly, but my world ended. The power went off. What? It had rained some the night before. Not now though, only some clouds. No thunder. No lightning bolt that descended upon the power line, went through the transformer that services our house, and followed the rest of the line to our house, and jolted me while I was getting ready for the game.
So what if I had been struck by lightning? When I went to the emergency room with my gray and blonde hair singed black, and my skin now a baked hue, and my eye brows no more, and they asked me if I had been struck by lightning, I would have said, “Where’s your TV?” Of course I would have asked a second question. “Do you charge emergency room rates for anyone sitting here watching your TV?” They would probably have said, “No, we only charge for treatment we provide you.” I would have said, “I’ll get treatment after the game. Can I have some privacy now here with the TV?”
I had gone out the day before and gotten pizza, and my wife had stuck it in the fridge to only have to warm it up before game time. I had fed the birds and the chipmunks and scattered some food in case any animals might run through the yard that night on their journey to someplace else. For all I knew, they might have a TV they were watching the game on out deep in the woods somewhere.
I thought about calling 911. Then I remembered those crazy 911 calls they put on TV sometimes, and I could just hear myself talking to 911. “911. What is your emergency?”
And I’d answer, “Our power is off.”
911 would answer, “You’ll have to call the power company.”
But lady I would try to explain,” I’m calling you because if we don’t get our power back on for the game, I’m going to have a heart attack.”
And the 911 lady with all patience would reply, “Sir we don’t consider pre-heart attack calls an emergency.”
I thought about going down to the fire station that’s only about 2 miles from the house, and knocking on the door. I must admit the normal protocol is to call from where the fire is, and scream into the phone, “My house is on fire.”
The fireman who came to the door looked like an understanding fellow. “Yes?”
“Sir,” I tried to be courteous, “our power is off. Can my wife and I come to the fire station, and watch the game tonight if they don’t get our power back on?”
He would have given me the rules and regulations. “If we are gone on a fire, we have to lock up the firehouse, and no one can remain inside.”
“I had my counter for that one. “My wife will bake you a chocolate cake at halftime.”
Then it dawned on me. We have two kids, well adults now. Why did we raise them? For moments like these. I called my son, and found out his entire street was on its way to the game. Is there a key to his house somewhere? I could have broken into Fort Knox easier than finding the key where he said he had it. Then he launches into how I turn on the TV in the living room to watch the game. He has ten remotes, eight of them not related to the TV. I do believe one of them is a Santa Claus alert specifically for December 25th. I conclude that by the time I am able to turn on the TV, the game will be over.
All is not lost. We have a daughter. There is one problem. She lives on a mountain, and my peripheral vision is not good. One side of the mountain has a lot of nothing that you can descend very rapidly to the bottom of the mountain, which is 700 feet below, as the ensuing rocks, dirt, trees and other miscellaneous debris try to slow your terminal velocity. She and her husband say they will pick us up and bring us home after the game. I have to use my best fakery to pretend like I don’t want them to pick us up. Naturally I want them to do it, but I can’t be over anxious. After all, there might be another game with these same set of circumstances, and I’ll have to pretend a second time. I’m at my best for only one truly, genuine fakery.
Then the clock turns 12:00, and, as though from some magical power, the power comes back on. I’ve been sitting in front of the TV for two hours. My old age tells me my bones and joints are locked frozen solid in place from my inactivity. My wife comes in, and asks if she should call the paramedics. I tell her no. They will just come out to the house, and because they can’t straighten out my body, and they can’t put me on a stretcher, they will just have to put me in a chair, and I’m not sure where they take people who are frozen in a chair. It’s probably not the emergency room, and I don’t want to find out, because they might not have a TV there.
My body didn’t thaw out that night, but at least I could follow the game with my eyes. Our team won. I thought the very thought our team had won would provide some sort of thawing mechanism for my body. It didn’t. My wife refused to sleep with me that night. I don’t know why. She seemed to think it was a little awkward to try and cover herself up, when another person was lying in bed like they were sitting in a chair.