Saturday, August 14, 2004

Blackout: One Year Anniversary

Today is the one-year anniversary of the biggest blackout in the history of time. Everyone from North Bay to New Jersey lost power. Over 50 million people could not watch television or play computer games. (I think it was the Americans' fault). The blackout anniversary is getting a lot of news coverage (Newspapers love anniversaries because that means they can run last year's article by searching for every instance of the word "today" and replacing it with "last year". Then they take the rest of the day off.) In the spirit of lazy journalism, this is what I did on August 14th, 2003:

At the time, I worked at Stoney Creek Library. Some kids were telling me about their stories when the lights suddenly went out. There was enough light in the children's area for us to continue talking about books until the head children's librarian came and told me that they were going to close the library (lazies) and that the power outage has reached all the way to the states. At the time I thought: How is that even possible?

Driving home was insane. The highway was okay, but as soon as I exited to somewhere with lights it became ridiculous. It was like the end of the world. Either a)Nobody knows that lights that aren't working should be treated as four-way stops, b)Nobody knows how to behave at four-way stops, or c)Everyone thought it was the end of the world and behaved accordingly.

I made it home in one piece. The power in my house was restored almost immediately after I got there. We didn't even have to eat our ice cream (everyone knows that the first thing you do in a power failure is eat your ice cream so that it won't melt). I've heard one theory that my house got its power back quickly because we are on the same line as a hospital, and therefore a high priority. But don't hospitals have generators? Anyway my Dad thinks it's a rip-off. The greatest blackout in the history of time and we lost power for twenty minutes!

We spent the rest of the day watching movies. Eat your heart out New York City!

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