1. Waiting in Line for Gas
Due to a lack of electricity, many gas stations couldn’t use their electric pumps to distribute fuel to their gas-guzzling Long Island customers. This meant that when there was a station with gas and electricity, people flocked to it in hopes of finding the sweet, sweet nectar that is gasoline. When I had to go get gas for our generator, I was forced to wait in line for hours chatting up the nearest person I could find. “So, where do you live on Long Island? What a coincidence I live in the same state as you! We have so much in common!” And what’s more fun than standing in the cold and talking to that greasy guy who thinks your arm is a burrito? Nothing.
2. Finding My Way in the Dark
Without electricity, my house was dark – I mean just pitch black – and despite my cat-like night vision, it was difficult to navigate through the labyrinth that is my house at night. I often found myself wandering for hours on end just trying to find the bathroom only to realize that I had stumbled into a deep subterranean cave inhabited only by bats and hipsters. My nighttime walks lead to numerous discoveries such as how babies are really made, the cotton gin and Tony Shalhoub’s stunt double. Thanks to Sandy, I have gained a new appreciation for the dark, and Tony Shalhoub.
3. Not Having Hot Water
My hot water heater is powered by electricity. Once my power went out, so did my hot water. As much as I love a hot shower, after 3 shower-less days, I realized that showers are unnecessary. Simply a waste of time. I used to take showers every night, losing 15 precious minutes in the process. Minutes I could have been using to knit, landscape or even train german shepherds. Now, I only take a shower once a month. My days feel longer, my friends seem fewer and my loved ones have left me. All in all, a great success.
4. Live, Dangling Power Lines
As the winds of Sandy battered my house, I couldn’t help but to think about those poor, poor power-lines that were most likely experiencing the ride of their lives. Nonetheless, I snuggled into bed and tried to dream of a happier place full of sugar plums and dancing midgets. As soon as I woke up the next morning, I threw on my boots and my jacket and dove through my window to survey the neighborhood. As I walked, I saw numerous power lines dangling before me, sizzling with energy. Being a man of action, I reached out and grabbed each power-line to see if it was in fact, energetic. Most of the lines were. With each 765,000 volt shock, I felt more and more invigorated and alive. At the end of the day, I felt as though I could lift a car. I couldn’t, but that’s neither here nor there.
5. Basement Flooding
In addition to winds exceeding 5,000 mph, hurricane sandy deposited over 50 billion gallons of fresh rain water on the tristate area. This meant flooding and a lot of it. Because my house is located on a high mountain cliff, I was not affected by rising waters; but I was able to travel to a neighbor’s flooded basement. I arrived in my finest rainbow speedo and dove into the mirky, trinket filled waters. Despite their cries to “stop that right now”, I snorkeled through the soaked basement for the good part of 2 days, finding forgotten treasures and discarded grandparents. We laughed hard, swam well and got lost in a world of our own. But like all flooded basements, it had to dry up and so I returned to my mountain bluff, to observe my kingdom and keep watch for the next storm on the horizon.
So that’s the list for this week, tune in next week for another list that’s sure to waste more of your time.
This post is the first piece in the series called The 5, written by Nick McNiel.