elect tricity

K and I were having coffee. I was ironing some shirts for him...it was about 8 in the morning.
There was, quite suddenly, a huge flash of light and a terrifically loud explosion. It was followed by two or three smaller or more distant explosions.
K screamed: THAT WAS HERE. THAT WAS US.
There was a mad scramble as all three boys tore out of bed, phones were searched for and we realized we had lost power. (Me shouting: NO POWER! CELL PHONES!)
A transformer box on a pole behind our house had exploded and set off a chain of popping transformers down the block.
It was spectacular. Middle said he saw a blinding flash of purple, Youngest said he saw it through his curtains and the police said they heard it in the station (a couple of doors away from us) and called the power company before we did.
Several electrical lines were strewn across our yard along with debris from whatever exploded.
The fire department arrived along with the police and a couple of fire chiefs. Neighbors ran across to see if we were all safe, others came from down the block to say that there were wires and debris at their house and there was a small fire at one of the houses behind ours.

The middle part of the morning was pretty boring after that. Our yard was taped off with lots of that wide yellow emergency tape, the neighbors went home, K went to work, and Oldest went out for breakfast.
Middle, Youngest and I stared at each other. We kept trying to turn on lights. It was annoying.
We decided to go to the restaurant supply store to get beverages and, by the time we got back, there was some action in the yard.

I went outside to ask the guy in the hardhat and reflective vest what exactly had happened.
That part there broke and fell onto the live wires. It must have bounced a few times and blown the fuse and then that tripped the boxes on the rest of the street, he said, making it sound much less dramatic than it really was.
Do you know why it happened? I asked.
No. It's, you know, electricity, he replied.
So, I guess we haven't, you know, harnessed that whole electrical thing.

He waited a while for a second guy with a big truck to show up and the whole repair took about 2 hours. It was far less high tech than we imagined it would have been.
They hoisted new wires up with pulleys and rope, they worked on a ladder, roped to the pole and chatted amiably with each other the whole time.
When they were done in the yard they told me they would go to the corner to check the main transformer. About ten minutes later, one of them reappeared with a long yellow pole with a hook at the end of it. He reached up onto the pole and flipped a switch and our power was restored.
After the flash and house shaking noise you'd have thought it would take more than rope and pulleys and a pole to get us back up and running. But you'd be wrong.

Minutes later, the dishwasher, washing machine, guitar amp and computer were whirring away.
Middle, who spent part of the morning staring out the window murmuring C'MON ELECTRICITY walked into the kitchen and said: GEEZ, 1472 MUST HAVE REALLY SUCKED.

Comments

Chris said…
Glad you all are okay. Scarey. I remember we had an earquake in the middle of the night a few years back and all the transformer boxes on out street blew up. There is one in our back yard and that scared me more than the earthquake!

Electricity, you don't appreciate until you lose it. Kind of like running water.
Emery Jo said…
Wooooah that sounds quite spooky and exhilirating all at the same time!

I was near a transformer when it blew once and it felt like an earthquake. I had no idea the explosions could be that powerful.

Glad everything got fixed so quickly!
At least the transformer didn't blow up. Then you would have had your roof and topsoil replaced. Yes, I said topsoil. They are toxic when they explode and the hazmat team comes in!
Amy A. said…
Yikes. Glad all is well.
Tuli said…
Middle cracks me up.

Glad all is well.
Badger said…
Holy shit, dude! I would have had to CHANGE my pants, at the very least.
Jennifer said…
Well I'm glad you're all okay.

That happened to me once, the transformer blew, It was storming and I was home alone. I hate storms, and I hate being home alone. I can still see the flash of purple and white.
MsCellania said…
Another good reason to iron semi-annually - the exploding transformer worry,
How long did it take until your hearts went back to normal rhythm?

I'm so glad to hear no one was harmed. But where are the pictures?
Joke said…
That's the worst part (to an idiot such as I) about hurricanes -- no power for 3 weeks.

-J.
wendy said…
That is so freaking funny! (The comment, not the part about being without electricity!) Glad it was a quick fix for you!
Suse said…
That's why I don't iron.
kmkat said…
See, I would take that as a sign from On High that ironing is really devil worship in disguise and will no longer be tolerated. You of course may choose your own course; you have been warned ;-)
God I love you.

The end.
Anonymous said…
It makes me glad that there are people whose job it is to show up and fix the complicated stuff like that. Too bad he didn't chuckle at your comment.

Back when I was a kid, a blown transformer would have made my record player's needle scratch my Journey album on the record player and my curling iron would have lost its heat. OMG.

jbhat
Anonymous said…
Gosh, my first thought reading this was:

Holy Cloverfield!!!

Yes, all three of those exclamation points included.

ErinH
Scary stuff. Glad everyone is okay. I'm with middle on the whole 1472 thing.
Dani said…
While I was reading I actually said out loud "Holy SHIT!". And yes, it's almost 2:30 a.m. here.

Glad all is well! :)
Quite a dramatic start to your day! Once many years ago a bolt of lightning hit a transformer on the power lines outside our house. It was the loudest noise that I had ever heard. I can imagine the fright that you got this morning!
eurolush said…
this whole post was just shocking.

get it?

cough, cough.
alice c said…
(Must remember that in Tuvalu

pants = trousers

which gives a entirely different tone to Middle's comment)

So relieved that no-one was hurt and no harm done.
Anonymous said…
...and nothing fried? Iron, TV, fax, phone?
AMAZING.
Lucky you.
paola
RW said…
Glad to hear you are all OK.
I first thought the story was going to be another Middle filming moment...but no..Middle was still in bed.
Lola Goetz said…
That last line KILLED me. Heh.
That all sounds very exciting. Our electricity here in Marrakech is cut off regularly b/c trucks run through the wires and the fixers proceed to put up again very low. Sigh.
barbra said…
Whoa, that sounds scary. The comments here have been interesting as well!
Haus said…
Lightening hit a transformer box behind our house one summer - pretty spectacular. I was pulling into the driveway as it happened and thought it'd hit our roof. My hubby and the dog were both wide-eyed and pale when I flew through the front door (had to skip the garage entrance, the door opener was out). Looked like a white fireball.

We met a lot of neighbors watching the repairmen at work, though.
I would have screamed.

And taken it as a sign that I must never iron a thing again.

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