Today the power wouldn’t stop going out because of the massive storm that moved through the area. Finally the lights flickered completely out, and I was left wondering how long I would be without cable and Internet, two things that I really cannot go without for very long. Did the tornado warning alarm me? Nope, it was the lack of having power in the house that made me rather annoyed and frustrated. Keep in mind that it came back on after oh, about 20 minutes. Just the thought of being left without the normal creature comforts was enough to drive me crazy. I’m not sure why this is the case except perhaps all it takes to send people into a frenzy is to deprive them of what they are used to.
This of course reminds me of the classic Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” In that episode, the power goes out on a street and does not turn back on, causing the people to slowly but rapidly descend into insanity and savagery, acting out against one another and finding a scapegoat to blame for their problems. Who turns out to be responsible is rather shocking, but the broader point of the episode is that all it takes for humans to turn on each other in horrible fashion is to turn out the lights. A rather sobering fact.
Maybe we should learn to embrace flashlights, or realize that as long as the power gets turned on in a day or two there’s no need to panic. I’m not saying that when the power goes out in cold weather and its not restored for days that you shouldn’t be concerned. I’m just amused that myself and others are so easily pissed off by a short disruption to their daily routines. On the other hand having to toss out everything in the fridge because its gone bad is not a fun experience.