Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Ice, Logs and Love
Poor Little Lost Robot. The Northwest native turned Southeast photog is still without power thanks to the ice storm that ravaged South Carolina last week. It's gotten so bad he's been forced to cannibalize his toy robot collection for their heat-giving battery supply. I feel for ya, 'bot - as nothing sucks more profusely than a home deprived of electricity ... something I learned a few years back when an overnight winter storm left central North Carolina encased in ice and utility-free...
I got an early start the morning after the ice-storm, digging out of my frozen driveway and piloting my two wheel drive news unit to the station. Once there, my 'superiors' sent me right back out, with orders to traverse the tundra that was once the Greater Piedmont Triad Googleplex. I hit all the stops: from hanging off salt trucks to chasing down power crews to stalking old folks as they shivered in their outdated living rooms. Just before noon, I rendezvoused with another crew at a stranded live truck, where we edited our footage, went live and tried in vain to crank the ice-encrusted masted-beast. When that proved futile, I crawled in trusty Unit 4, and slip-slided all the way home to check in on the fam.
What did I find but my lovely bride, who was...a little 'manic' that week, wrapped in several layers of clothing, hanging blankets over doorways and cursing my name. The good woman was absolutely livid that I had left the house to go to work without first rounding up a suitable supply of those grocery store logs we then used in our undersized fireplace. I was guilty, too. My news radar had sounded early that morning and I had left my home without fishing the firelog box out of the perpetually-messy garage. But no amount of lame excuses could satisfy the wife, who was perhaps the maddest I've ever seen her. At one point, my normally quite perky better half yelled,
"WHILE YOU'RE OUT THERE PLAYING 'NEWS-MAN', YOUR OWN CHILDREN ARE HERE FREEZING AT HOME!"
As her accusation bellowed forth, I glanced out the kitchen window to see my two lovely girls out with the neighbor kids, sliding down an icy hill on trashcan lids among shouts of unabashed glee. When my youngest saw me, she waved excitedly, her smiling face barely visible through hat, hood and scarf. Knowing that logic wouldn't apply to my wife's misplaced wrath, I dropped the box of firelogs at her feet, spun on my heels and drove back to my live truck outpost.
I grumbled incessantly on the ice all day, warming my hands on the live truck's exhaust pipe and complaining to all who would listen how ill-timed irrational mood swings could be. To prove my superiority and take my mind off my troubles, I promptly lost my station-issued cell phone and spent much of the day stomping around in the frozen slush looking for it. I never did find it, but two days later the power came back on, my wife returned to a more rational state of mind and life became almost normal again. I LOVE that woman, but I hate ice-storms. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go dig some firewood out of the garage...