Saturday, September 6, 2008

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

So we're going to bed last night and the light on my bedside table is still on. This is a typical conversation that occurs at this point in the night:

Jen to Chip: "Oh, I guess I have to turn the light off."
Chip to Jen: "Yeah, I guess so."

It's boring on purpose. That's what makes it funny. To us at least. Ritual, people, ritual. We do the same thing when we're driving together some place far away, yet again:

"Hey Chip."
"Hey what?"
"We're drivin'"

Followed an hour later by:

"Hey Jen."
"Hey what?"
"We're still drivin' "

Anyway, that's not the point here. The point is that last night's bedroom light conversation took an unexpected turn. You have to keep things interesting in the bedroom when you've been married for almost 8 years, right. I mean rituals only go so far.

So I say my part about needing to turn out the light and Chip suggests this:

"Or you could leave it on and let it shut itself off."
"I could." I'm intrigued by this new possibility. "How long do you think that would take. I mean I did switch to compact fluorescent bulbs not too long ago. They last, like, forever or something, right?" Chip considers my point briefly.
"No, I think the power company would shut off our power first if we did nothing but sit here and wait for the light to go out. We'd never pay our bills and they'd cut us off." Then he re-considers, "But they do give 90 days, though. I think we'd lose power from a storm or something before then and the light would go out."
We hardly ever lose our power. Maybe twice a year or three times at most, so I'm dubious.
"Nah, we'd have to wait forever for that to happen. I guess I'll just shut it off."

Click. Darkness. Okay, before going any further you have to watch this in order to set the proper mood:

I slept fitfully all night. At one point it sounded quiet, too quiet even for my ear-plugged sleep. I popped one plug out of my ear and lifted my head toward the window that holds the fan. I heard nothing. Weird that Chip would shut the fan off on a hot night, but that explained the stuffiness. Then I craned my head up over Chip's shoulder to check the time. I craned further and further. No red LEDs looking back at me. Whoa. I make a funny little noise of disbelief loud enough to wake Chip, who also wasn't sleeping well.

"We lost our power" he says.
"Yeah, clearly. That's really weird." No storm, no major wind, no loud boom nearby as if a transformer blew or something.
"Guess you didn't need to turn off the light after all."

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