The Worst Bleeping Thing in the World

I’m on Day 4 of having no natural gas coming into our house. On the plus side, I now know more about my house and what energy sources power which appliances and systems. In the negative column, I have developed an unhealthy Stockholm-Syndrome relationship with natural gas and I would do something illegal and immoral for it, if it would just come back to my house.

I now know that we have a gas dryer, a gas water heater and a gas stove top. Obviously I had known about the gas stove, since blue flames normally come out when I turn it on. Even I know enough science to conclude:  blue flames = gas; red coils = electric.

But before our gas went kaput, I wasn’t sure about any of the other appliances. I didn’t know what in our house was run by gas, what was run by electricity, and what was run by fairies in the night. And I didn’t care.

If someone asked me, “Do you have a gas dryer or electric?”  I would answer, “Neither. It runs on a button. I push the button and the dryer comes on, heats up the clothes and they dry. And then we wear them without catching a cold. It’s magical.”

There’s nothing like cold-turkey removal of a main power source to make you appreciate your life in the 21st century.

The cold showers are the worst. I find it hard to believe that someone would take a cold shower on purpose. According to, taking a cold shower has several health benefits, including strengthening your nervous system, flushing your organs and providing a new supply of blood, and strengthening the mucous membranes. I now know from personal experience that this occurs because all of your internal organs, including individual blood cells and droplets of mucus, are bouncing around the skeleton in a state of shock and panic.

An ezine article said that cold showers might also help panic attacks, but in pure, punctuationally challenged, ezine article fashion, added: “Although I haven’t seen any scientific backing for this it is purely anecdotal.”

The only thing sadder than that article is the fact that I am looking up “benefits of taking cold showers” on the Internet. (One other search result was titled “The Worst F***ing Thing in the World.”)   I’m trying to find the silver lining in this situation. Really, I am. “Thank you, TECO/Peoples Gas! My parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are so strong now, they’re lifting heavy boxes for me in the garage!”

Our gas company people say they’re not sure when we’ll have service restored. Our area is last on the list. And you have to be home when they stop by to relight the pilot lights. Yesterday the doorbell rang and even though I was 99 percent sure it was a Jehovah’s Witness, I ran to the door and flung it open. He was not amused when I suggested we pray for restoration of my gas service.

So I continue to wait. Day 4. I’ll be here, at home, waiting for the guy with the lighter. Where am I going to go? I’m wearing dirty clothes and I have shampoo residue in my hair that I can’t get rinsed out during the 20-second showers I’m taking.

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