My wife woke me at 6 a.m. yesterday morning to announce, “There’s been a power-cut”. Six a.m. on a public holiday! She may enjoy rising early to observe the sparrows let rip, but I certainly do not. She obviously hates me. Through bleary, sleep-grimed eyes I enquired, “And what, dear heart, do you expect me do do about it? Initiate a letter-writing campaign to Eskom denouncing their shoddy service? Connect the hamster wheel up to a mobile generator? Join you in cursing the darkness?”
“I want you to check the fuse box”, replied she. Aha! So this was probably not so much a ‘power cut’ as your usual ‘seventeen-appliances-plugged-into-the-same-socket’ scenario. I briefly debated with myself whether to tell her to fuck off and let me sleep, but I came to the inescapable conclusion that the short-term reward would just not be worth the hassle in the end. I wearily dragged my semi-conscious body out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen to discover that the power actually hadn’t tripped. The LCD on the energy dispenser was happily displaying 0.00, as if to say, “Gotcha suckers!”
When I explained that we were out of juice, my wife informed me that she had bought electricity the day before (but had clearly failed to mention this to me). Sure enough, I found the till slip containing the cryptic numbers sitting quietly on the pile of accounts on my desk. I should mention that I have shown my wife how to recharge the energy box at least a million times, but like most things related to electronic devices, she has steadfastly refused to learn how to do it. As I keyed in the magic code, I had to keep my teeth firmly gritted to avoid saying something I knew I would regret later.
After the lights came back on, I began to make breakfast. “Aren’t you going to go back to sleep?”, asked my spouse. Innocent as a lamb. Let me assure you that the steam rising in the kitchen did not originate from the kettle.