The Roof is Cracked.


It seems there was a need to let light in the house. I personally would have opted to have the darkness linger at least until, say, March. This is merely a short blast while I try to find the contents of the overhead compartment where I usually keep the normalcy and intelligence.

But before we get to that, I need to say something.

Thank you.

You are the best!

No, no. You are not listening. Thank you. My sincerity is severely handicapped by my keyboard’s utter lack of body language and inflection.

By Sunday, there were a number of you who noticed I was AWOL. I am still digging though more than 4,000 messages in the SIB, so do not count on Follies tonight unless I get a giant surge of something besides pain.

Thank you to the guest posters who sent me their scripts. I promise they will go live. And to the one who needed images, I got you covered.

Thank you for filling my voice mail. I guess I really should have the code reset so I can listen to them (whistles innocently… What?).

Thank you for the texts. I have been told there were many. To save my thumbs, everything from Monday to EOB Thursday was erased without being read. There was nothing malicious in this decision. It was merely one of self-preservation, both for me and my BlackBerry.

Thank you to those who came to my aid this week. Your assistance with medical care and copious amounts of medicine and food I will never eat is appreciated at a cellular level.

If you are blindsided by any of this, it was a streptococcus nightmare which turned septic. Nothing an infusion of saline and antibiotics could not handle, after the fever was reduced below three digits.

Darkness and Light

Those who are witness to the inner sanctum know blind people would be at home in my home. While I own lamps and light fixtures, the chances of the fluorescent abominations burning are close to nil. So, what is it that brings my inner vampire to hiss when the light burns?

Bamboo matchstick blinds. Love.

During the day, I use natural lighting. No, I do not use solar power panels to burn bulbs. They are called windows. The light is filtered to come through at an intensity which does not sear my eyeballs, but it is natural sunlight.

At night, especially at this time of year, there are around 3,000 fairy lights burning. (Did you already forget about the trees?) A lovely three-wick cube flickers happily beside Grüber and the laptop. If left to my own devices, I would remove the glaring yellow light streaming in all aforementioned windows compliments of the electric company.


Over the course of my seven-year layover in the third circle of hell, I have come to despise the electric company for more than just intermittent service and exorbitant rates. The outdoor lights are the main source of my abhorrent attitude.

Age test: Who remembers when outdoor halogens became available for personal installation? The kind of which I speak are the same breed as the ones which line roads in civilized portions of the world. Do not strain your brain. 1982. I distinctly remember Grahamp and Daddy installing them.

The power company thought this should remain their purview. They offer “security” lights to residents who live four miles past the point all hope is lost. Not those cool blue halogens, but sulfur oxide yellow sodium. I am the ambivalent possessor of two such behemoths, pole included at no extra charge.


Granted, in the years I have been here, the rate has dropped from $19.95 (each) per month to $9.95 for lights which draw no more than $4 in electricity (together) per month. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than calling them to tell them to come replace the bulb when one of my delinquent neighbor’s children disables one of them.

To stand in my driveway and look in either direction, one thing is apparent: I am the only sucker for more than 500 yards in either direction. Lucky me.

When I was really seeking darkness in which to sleep on my couch this week, it occurred to me I really really really wanted the second one (which is not at the road) to be removed. Where’s that BlackBerry?

What is is going to take?

Can I make a work order? No. Is there an online form to fill out? No. Is there someone who is not you with whom I can speak? No.

What I can do? Write a letter and send it to my board member (not the electric company) and request to have the light removed. Oh, and it has to include a money order (not a check, no credit card information) for …you may want to sit down…

Yes, guys and dolls, $200 to request them remove something I do not want at all and did not request to have activated when I opened my account with them. I had already been informed I had to pay for the asinine things even when they did not function, but to have one removed was $200 just to make the request. It may cost more than that depending on how far from the road it was.

What? Like I am going to be charged mileage? Oh, yes. The $200 was only if the light was within 100 feet of the road. It is not. Oh, well, then it would cost an extra …wait for it…

Per five (5, count your fingers) feet after the first 100.

Bend Over. I’ll Drive.

So, let’s see if my handy-dandy calculator was right. $200 just to ask. Plus, another $200 for the additional 50 feet beyond their “cost effective removal distance”. And the board member (who is not consulting anyone else) still has the right to keep the original $200 and deny the request if the light serves a community safety purpose.

(Pause while that sinks in.)

Advanced Mathematics for Idiots

I asked how much would it cost for me to buy a pole and light from them. The chipper answer: $500, plus electricity.

This is where I lost her.

I paid $39.90 per month for the first four years and seven months for a total of $2,194.50. For the intervening two years and nine months, I have paid $18.90 per month, for a total of $623.70. For a $500 light, I have now paid you $2,818.20, but you want $200 to consider taking it down?”

She could not even stammer.

One day, I want to grow up to be an extortionist. Where is Clyde? I think he needs to pay her a visit.

Right turn, Clyde.

© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. I’ve been wondering where you were. Now I’m glad that the annoying light on the pole in the backyard is mine; it’s even on a switch. It’ll be a pain to have the pole replaced but at least I don’t have to pay the morons to do it; I’ll just have to get them to move the meter that is on it and possibly pester them to move the light. After all the complaining I’ve done about the power crews this should be fun.
    Laurie recently posted..Budgeting Money and TimeMy Profile

  2. In reference to the Third Circle of Hell … Is it the third circle as one is moving toward the center or away from the center?
    Frank recently posted..Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 166My Profile

    • If memory serves (which I happen to love Inferno), all of the circles are moving toward the center as the crimes are concentric…one feed into the next. Unfortunately, the third circle is generally content to stay where it is: Gluttony. It breeds and is borne of sloth and selfishness.

  3. Good grief! That utility company is enough to make anyone ill. They are, after all, related to all of the other dysfunctional utility companies. It might be more effective to shine the spotlight on them instead. Publicly.
    Get better soon!
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Harper’s New Legacy : Be Chinese.My Profile

    • The reason I broadcast on the Internet is because no one here has it or knows how to use it for anything beyond Facebook, Twitter (and then those are only the govt workers) and eBay. These ppl do not even grasp the concept of Amazon. o.O

  4. I would shoot the light out and when I got the bill, I’d ask them how they can possibly think of charging me for a light that does not work.

    Then I would make sure that light didn’t function at all. Out near the road, taking the line down with a well placed shot usually does the trick.

    Not that I’m suggesting anything, just musing about getting even…
    MJ Logan recently posted..The Second Day of ChristmasMy Profile

    • The first time it quit working they would not credit me for the time it was out. It took them two weeks to get the part. That is the problem. Even if it is complete dysfunctional, I still have to pay for it and they replace it.

  5. Sorry to hear you were sick, but I’m glad you’re feeling better. I noticed there was no post yesterday and thought you’d taken a day off.
    MJ Logan recently posted..The Second Day of ChristmasMy Profile

  6. So glad you got medical attention and have your ire up again! This electric company fiasco is something of fiction for me. I think the reason they can get away with it with you, is the locale of your home, and a monopoly on services. Oh yes, you did mention going to another provider, well there is probably price fixing like there is anywhere. Third circle of hell is correct. You must have the lights, you must pay for the lights, and you must pay to request to have no lights. Wha?

    • No, no. I mentioned no other carrier. There is only one. It is a cooperative (read immune from govt’l oversight). The elections for its board members get more press than govt elections. Truly.

  7. I wondered what had happened to you too, but figured you were trying to catch up with your publishing schedule or were taking a little time off for Christmas preparation. I guess I should have known better.
    Binky recently posted..They Don’t Make Hammers Like They Used ToMy Profile

  8. Have to agree with the above. Let the neighbor’s delinquent kids deal with it.
    And extra ice cream for them if they manage to sever the light housing from the pole.
    El Guapo recently posted..Friday Foolishness – Get The Goods EditionMy Profile

    • I wish. See above impediments to such obvious plans. Not to mention a sparks show where the light is may well catch my camper on fire. My insurance company would be ballistic.

  9. I agree with Guap agreeing with the above – the kids will be a lot cheaper and probably faster and if they do it right, it wont be fixed anytime soon… what a load of crap – hell if you can see it from the window – make it target practice.. who is gonna snitch out there beyond the corner of the end of hope and a really bad case of the ick..

    Love you
    Feel better ! in my most commanding voice!
    oh but it waa just a feel better wish ya know 😉
    <3 Lizzie
    Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Irish Spirits – The Third Holiday Mental MomentMy Profile

    • I am eating a bowl of Craisins and going to bed to rest up for tomorrow’s dose of happiness. <3 See all objections heretofore on why said plan has a few holes in it...including me footing the bill for intentional damage.

  10. Wow, Red, of course I noticed you weren’t up & running, but I didn’t realise it was such a horror invasion. I am so sorry, & am so glad you are back. Astonishing saline can do that…

    And then a cracked roof. Ugh.

    I truly wish you the best, Red. 🙂 N’n.
    N’n recently posted..Win-winMy Profile

    • I am quite a bit better now. The electric company and I will yet go round again, I am fairly certain. xxx


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