Thursday, July 26

I am an addict and I am not proud

When I came home from work Tuesday night, as I was walking from my car to my back door, I glanced up at my window and saw the lamp that I normally leave on was, in fact, not on. I shook my head and cursed the cats; I knew they had knocked it over and possibly broken it.

Sure enough, when I entered the apartment, the first thing I saw was the overturned end table and the lamp on the floor. I tried turning it on. Nothing. I took the bulb out and shook it, then screwed a new one into the socket in its place. Still nothing. "Dammit!" I wailed. "You fuckers broke my lamp!" And then I made pouty faces and unplugged it, and trudged into the bedroom to turn on the lamp in there.

Which did not come on.

I panicked: Did I pay my light bill? NO! But then I realized that the ceiling fan was on, and the kitchen light. I went around the apartment, trying out everything electrical. All the overhead lights would come on, plus the air conditioner in the bedroom, but nothing plugged in to an outlet (outside the kitchen and bathroom) was getting any power.

So, with the help of a very sleepy Phil via the phone, I surmised that what must have happened is this: The cats were acting a fool and knocked the lamp — which was on — off the table, causing a power surge that blew a fuse. My ass-old fusebox is equipped with one fuse and one mini-breaker. I pushed in the button on the breaker to reset the power. The overhead lights went out. But nothing additional came on. I looked at the top fuse. It looked brown and cloudy. Supposedly typical attributes for a blown fuse.

So, I went to bed, thinking I'd wake up and call the landlord and let him fix the problem. I left him a voicemail and spent the morning reading poetry. No, really. It was nice. I'll post about that in a bit. I called my dad and got his opinion: Just unscrew the blown fuse, don't stick your finger in there, take it to the hardware store, get an identical fuse, screw it in, voila, power. But I was nervous. This is an old building with personality quirks, and I am a notorious klutz who was voted "Most Likely to Electrocute Herself." So I waited around to hear from the landlord. I was thinking maybe he'd want to come over and shut down the main power source in the basement or something, but when he called, he said, sure, go ahead and replace the fuse if you want.

So I went into the bedroom and reached into the closet, barely touching the blown fuse.

The damn thing popped and sparked! I peed myself and scurried back to my phone to tell my dad. He was confounded; a dead fuse should probably not spark like that. So I called the landlord back and told him about it. He was also confounded, and suggested getting an electrician to come out and look at it. Tomorrow (Thursday).

So, long story not even remotely short, here I sit, in my kitchen, with my computer hooked up to one of the three good outlets in the place, perched on pillows in my chair so I can reach my keyboard. I thought I'd be able to make it one more night without internet at home, but I am clearly much more of a loser than I had originally calculated. I'm a good foot and a half from the litter box, but the good news is the fridge is within arm's length, so I can refill this glass of cheap white wine with minimal effort.

It may or may not help to know that I stayed late at work tonight to use the internet, and then the damn network crashed ten minutes after I was off the clock. So I had to come home and improvise. And here we are. Internet, don't you appreciate my love?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not trying to scare you but warning you. My closest friend's house had one of those fuse boxes and it caught fire after a similar incident (blown fuse, waiting for electrician to come and look at it). She had enough thought to use a fire extingisher while on the phone w/ 911. It did not do any damage to her home but as I said - it did catch fire. Ask the electrician.

Thu Jul 26, 02:47:00 PM  

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