Saturday, November 25, 2006
Thanksgiving - Leg 2 (Y1/M7/D25)
Greetings from the Garden State and E's childhood bedroom which is exactly the same as it was in 1987. No kidding.
E and I are at his parents house in beatiful Maplewood, NJ, to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Each fall, here in the States, we are bombarded with festive outdoor scenes depicting the First Thanksgiving. But you know what? It never dawned on me before that renderings of the First Thanksgiving are always outside. And do you know why they ate outside? It could be because there were just too many people. But I think it's because they had no electricity. And when you think about it, electricity makes Thanksgiving a whole lot better. I know, because this year E & I nearly had a very authentic Thanksgiving.
About half an hour before the thirty-plus guests arrived at E's parents' house, the power just went out. Not everybody's power, mind you, just ours. Turns out a tree rubbed through the main power line just before in connected to E's parents house and... with the rain and all... it just shorted out. So there we all sat gathered 'round the front picture window as the police arrived (three cars). The fire department arrived (one full-size truck, and one emergency services vehicle). We watched as they set up flares to close off the streets (the very streets upon which our thirty-plus guests were scheduled to drive up any minute). We watched as they tied bright yellow caution tape around said tree, one telephone pole, and one street sign, forming a big yellow triangular Zone of Danger.
Gradually, the sun set and the neighbors came out to talk to the firemen and we pleaded with the police to open the streets up so our guests could get through. Thankfully, the police decided that the Zone of Danger was no longer very dangerous so they opened the streets back up.
In no time, we had a house full of people (mostly crowded around the front window looking around anxiously for the electric company truck) and not nearly enough candles to light up the whole house. Just as we began to accept that we were having the first Thanksgiving Unplugged since Mr. Edison introduced the light bulb, the electric company truck arrives. I'm not sure, but it looked to me like the electrician just climbed up there and wrapped duct tape around the wire, then flipped a switch on the transformer. It didn't seem like the kind of repair that was... well... safe. Nevertheless, the power came on and we all gave thanks.
So all was well until the next morning, when we all woke up sick with what was either food poisoning or the flu. (Because apparently the power outtage wasn't enough to make this a Thanksgiving to remember!) But you know, it's still nice to be together for the holidays; I'd rather be here without power for a few hours and sick as a dog for a day or two, then miss Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays Y'all!
(And if you have some free time, maybe you want to read up about the electrical innovations Mr. Edison developed right here in The Garden State).