Monday, July 8, 2013
"Maybe you could take me out for a burger instead of a cookout." He suggested.
"Sure, I'd love to go to a restaurant where they do all the cooking and cleaning."
I figured I would be getting out of all the pain in the ass cleaning for the price of a Big Buford at Checkers. This was my big plan for the Fourth. Take Mark out for a burger, and then come home and relax.
Around four in the afternoon, on July Fourth, as I sat in the living room watching a baseball game, the lights started to go dim. Then the lights went very bright. Coming from my office I could hear the speakers on my computer making a thumping noise as the power continued to fluctuate. Just as I got up to see what was going on, all the lights went out. Five seconds later they came back on. I sat back down and I watched as the television cycled back on along with the DVR. Before the television could come all the way back on it happened again, dimming lights, bright lights, and then no lights. Five seconds later the power returned. This time while my television equipment cycled back on I could hear the air conditioning making a horrible noise outside. The third time the power went through these gyrations I was already on the phone to FPL (Florida Power and Light).
"You people are destroying my house!" I shouted in the phone.
"I am so very sorry to hear that sir. Can I get your address and name please."
By this time my air conditioning system sounded like a freight train and the television had a strange error screen that I had never seen before. As I started to give the man my information, the power again went nuts. That was when Mark came wandering out of the bedroom.
"I'm on the goddamned phone and the house is about to explode. That's what's happening!" I screamed.
Mark then turned around and opened the front door while muttering something about checking outside. What I hadn't realized is that both dogs were totally terrified by all these strange happenings. When Mark opened the door, they bolted. The problem is that as soon as they hit the front porch they heard the firecrackers popping all over the neighborhood. This scared them even more.
So let me try to paint this picture. In one hand I have the telephone and I am screaming at the FPL guy. At the same time I am cursing at Mark to close the goddamned door while Chandler and Sasha are cowering in the little hallway, halfway between the inside and the outside of the house. The firecrackers are popping, the lights are flickering on and off, the air conditioning has stopped working and I have gone crazy in the heat.
The power continued to surge on and off for an hour before the electricity finally went totally out, but not before Mark called me a fucking asshole and stormed out of the house. We did finally go out for that Fourth of July burger. Only we didn't go to Checkers for dinner. Because of my bad behavior I had to take Mark to a much fancier place than that. By the time we returned home from dinner it was eight in the evening and the electricity was back on, the dogs were sleeping, the air conditioning was working fine, and my neighbors, the Clampetts, were shooting sky-rockets over my house.