Here in the boonies, it isn't unusual to have our electricity go off. I'd say it happens, on the average, once a month. Usually, it behaves just like it did today: It winks off, causing every appliance in the house to shudder and grind to a halt, then winks back on briefly, so the most possible damage can be caused. This always makes me and Cliff groan, because we know it's hard on refrigerators and freezers to have the current interupted repeatedly like that. Not to mention what it does to the computer. If it goes completely off the first time, the computer, of course, stays off. But today it just barely winked at first, causing my poor Dell to go off, and back on. Then, just as everything was loaded, but before I could turn it safely off... everything went off again. And stayed off.
Our coffee hadn't finished making. Cliff wondered if he'd be able to take his before-work shower. Thank goodness there was enough water in the tank of the commode for him to flush (enough said about that). We have a well, with an electric pump; so when the lights are off, so is the water.
I grabbed my "Texas Trilogy" book by Sandra Brown (I don't recommend it, by the way); Cliff picked up his two most recent antique tractor magazines. And we headed to the living room to read, in the comfort of our Lazy-boys. I finished my book, and then began to wonder if I should report this outage. I never call, because I figure someone else will do it... someone who is hooked on soap operas, perhaps (as opposed to someone who is computer addicted).
But after an hour without electricity, I looked up the number for Aquila and called.
A polite lady robot answered, and asked me to punch in, or speak, my eight-digit customer number... or my ten-digit phone number. I don't know my customer number, so I gave them my phone number. The robot repeated it (amazing!) and asked for my zip code. Then my street address. Of course, each time she repeated it, and each time I had to say "yes" when asked if she had it correct.
After about ten minutes of this, the robot informed me that they couldn't find me in their system. So could I please give them my eight-digit customer number (isn't that where we started)? Then she helpfully informed me that if I didn't know my eight-digit customer number, I could find it on my bill.
My bill? If I still had my bill laying around, they'd be sending me notices for not having it paid by now!
I gave up in disgust. It wasn't fifteen minutes before the electricity came on, and I went about the too-familiar task of re-setting every clock in the house.
Cliff got his shower, and we lived happily ever after.