Last night, as Mrs. M and I were watching TV, I saw several bright green flashes in our front yard, accompanied by loud popping noises, of the sort one hears when the cannon crackers go off at a fireworks display. This was followed by a loss of electrical power for much, but not all, of the house, and the smell of short circuits. Mrs. M and I followed our noses to our various surge protectors/power strips, all of which had sacrificed everything for the cause. We also noticed that while all the lights that had been on were now blown, we could turn on other lights, although a couple of those blew out immediately as well. The refrigerator was fine; the oven and microwave were dead. There was no immediate pattern to the outage, and some fiddling with the breaker box didn’t change anything.

Mrs. M got on the phone with the Mondoville Utilities people while I drove to Lowe’s for fresh power strips and surge protectors. When I got home, I was told our problem wasn’t unusual here in Mondoville. Apparently some of the squirrels are a bit dimmer than others, and this leads them to chew on power lines, at which point they become very bright indeed, though only briefly, and not in the Flowers for Algernon way. These unplanned Viking funerals can knock out power for entire streets, but this time, the outage was confine to Spackle Manor.

After about 45 minutes, the whole house had power again, and a crew came by this morning to provide a permanent fix. The casualties included a variety of light bulbs, five power strips, our wireless modem, and possibly our dishwasher, depending on what a repairman says.

And presumably, one squirrel.

Mrs. M is picking up light bulbs this afternoon, while I’m handling the other electronic stuff. I won’t have home internet until Friday afternoon at the earliest, but with luck, I’ll post a bit this week from the office.

May your day be energizing, but less electrifying.


About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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One Response to Bzzt!

  1. I feel your pain. I once lost a fairly new large screen TV to a power surge. Apparently the surge protector – which was old – had already been “tripped” and gave no outward sign of being spent and just continued to feed power as before with no safeguard.

    The upside was a new larger screen TV…

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