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Categorized | Voices and Views

Roger on Main Street

roger on main streetFlip that switch

We’re dependent on electricity from the moment our day starts. The alarm clock rings; we switch on a light and the radio; in the bathroom we turn on another light and maybe an electric toothbrush and a razor. Our breakfasts are powered by toasters and stoves, and if we burn the toast, not to worry because an exhaust fan is at the ready. The clothes we put on are cleaned and pressed by electric machines.

Our dependency grows decade by decade. Several years ago, checking email or Facebook became a must. Transportation almost always involves some form of electricity even if the cars we drive (in this decade) don’t contain electric motors.
Now, imagine your whole street dark with everyone scrambling for flashlights and candles. Imagine India, where millions recently were in the dark for days during the planet’s biggest power outage. Imagine the heat of India with no air conditioning to escape to, anywhere—non-stop heat like our Midwest summer of 2012.

Don’t know about you, but our dependency makes me nervous, and I’d feel that way even if I weren’t dependent on an electric-powered dialysis machine.

In the supermarket

In my dreams: I am in the Express Lane, quietly fuming. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me has slipped into my checkout line pushing a cart piled high with groceries.

The cashier beckons the woman to come forward. She looks into the cart and asks sweetly, “So, which six items would you like to buy?”

In the bridal shop

A woman walked into a bridal shop and told the sales clerk that she was looking for a wedding gown for her fourth wedding.

“Of course, madam,” replied the sales clerk. “Exactly what type and color dress are you looking for?”

“A long, frilly white dress with a veil,” said the bride-to-be.

Please don’t take this the wrong way,” said the clerk, “but gowns of that nature are considered more appropriate for brides who are being married the first time. Perhaps ivory or sky blue would be nice.”

“Well,” replied the customer, a little peeved at the clerk’s directness, “I can assure you that a white gown would be quite appropriate. Despite all my marriages, I remain as innocent as a first-time bride. My first husband was so excited about our wedding that his heart stopped as we were checking into our hotel. My second husband and I got into a terrible fight on our way to the way to the airport to leave for our honeymoon. We had that marriage annulled immediately and never spoke to each other again.”

“And your third husband?” asked the sales clerk.

“That one was a politician,” said the customer. “Every night for four years he sat on the edge of the bed and told me how great it was going to be, but nothing ever happened.”

In the news

The Grand Rapids man who fell into an upholstery machine last month has been fully recovered.


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