My original plan for this week’s column was to discuss our culture’s obsession with zombies. I was going to talk about the popularity of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” I was going to explain that I think people are enthralled with zombies because they offer a rarity: judgement-free scenarios. You kill a zombie because they want to kill you. You do what you have to do to live another day. It’s a clear choice in a world that constantly overwhelms us with gray area situations. No one is going to blast you on Twitter for putting an axe in an undead guy’s face. I was even going to mention the person I’ve seen driving a car around town with “zombies”—or something like that—spray-painted on it. If you’re that person, please know that you’ve probably taken the zombie thing a bit too far.
I was going to write about all of that, but then my power went out.
Suddenly, I found myself in the middle of a very real apocalyptic scenario for anyone as in love with entertainment as I am. No power meant no T.V. or Internet. How would I survive? Thankfully, Cafe Cubano (hands down the best coffee in Charlottesville) provided some Internet, and several friends were nice about offering spare rooms for my wife and me to use until our electricity came back. Those were the good moments. It wasn’t all like that. Unlike a zombie apocalypse, my scenario was a bit more complicated.
Things that suck because you have no electricity:
Wearing long johns. When your house is hovering around 42 degrees, you do things like wear long johns underneath your pants. They definitely made me warmer, but any pants I wore over them got caught on the long johns fabric. So my walking was stiff and awkward. Basically wearing long johns makes you a snuggly robot.
Other people. By day two of no power, I was considering inflicting serious physical harm upon at least 37 people simply because I thought they had power. I didn’t know if they had power or not, but no matter, they looked like they’d bathed in the past 24 hours, and that was reason enough to consider pushing them down a flight of stairs.
Cable companies. A cable company parked an obscenely loud generator right outside my house to power its service box—so that people on other streets with electricity could also have Internet and cable. No one on my entire block had power, but this generator was giving life’s luxuries to someone. I don’t want to talk about what I did to it.
Eating. Since my food was slowly rotting inside the fridge, I tried to eat as much of it as I could. At one point I attempted to eat some crackers and my hands were shaking so much that I accidentally dropped them all over the kitchen floor. That marked the first (and hopefully last) time I stood over a pile of cracked pepper wafers, gave them the double finger, and yelled “F*ck yoooooou!”