The Coast News Group
Doorman Diaries

Diary entry No. 9.16.2011: Blackout

TIMESTAMP: 3:38 p.m., Thursday Sept. 8, 2011
…I hope I have enough of a charge left in my laptop for this missive to make its way out to the rest of the world. They have to know what’s going on here. The sun is still out but we have precious few hours left to try and fortify our home. Is that BBQ I smell? Have we turned on each other already?
TIMESTAMP: 4:19 p.m.
 …My neighbor crashed through my door, handgun and pitchfork at the ready, clamoring for ice and batteries. A handful of Cs and Ds appeased her for the meantime but what about the next time? To be fair, that handgun looked a lot like a cell phone and the pitchfork may have just been a fork. I can’t be blamed. There are no lights.
TIMESTAMP: 7:07 p.m.
…it’s here. The sun has dipped and we’re only seeing what the moon and our convenience store flashlights allow. Stylish LED candles surround my living room and line my stairs. It looks like a Bed, Bath and Beyond sponsored séance is about to start.  
It’s so dark, I can barely make out my wife’s features. She feels so cold and stiff in my arms. That was a coat rack. Sorry honey.
I can hear the ramblings on neighboring radios. The resistance is strong but I can hear people outside my house, very obviously plotting and planning. THEY WILL NOT TAKE MY XBOX!!! Or my family.
TIMESTAMP: 8:49 p.m.
After spending two hours scavenging for any food left in our home,  I found an old can of beans that I had to cut open with an dull utility knife..using my shoe as a hammer. I’m kind of miffed to see my family cheerily chomping down PB&J with Cheez-its and lemonade.
LIGHTS! Let there be light! How did I ever manage to survive without my precious illumination? The whir of technology and flashing digital readouts shine back to life. Oh DVR, wherefore art thou, DVR?
Do you know what this blackout actually did? It made families spend time with each other. It forced neighbors to talk to each other in their fronts yards, small animals were sacrificed (in the form of BBQ’d chicken and burgers), dads and sons played catch, and pick up games of Wiffleball were found on both ends of the cul-de-sac. Wives and daughters chatted and giggled too-loudly about their husbands not knowing where spare batteries were located.
It was like the blackout forced a impromptu block party on my street. Maybe we need to have an electrical Armageddon a little bit more often.
But something is still puzzling me and a simple question still lingers: How did one maintenance workers mistake in Arizona manage to turn out the lights for around four million people?