I've had it easy, really. After an initial dark cold afternoon spent napping in my recliner at home, I woke and threw some items into my car. Ten traumatic minutes were spent cleaning off six inches of heavy, wet snow with a disposable plastic grocery bag over my bare hand because, dammit, it's too early in the season to have dug out gloves or found my snow scraper yet, and I drove across the Valley through the snow to stay at my brother's place.
It is warm and dry and comfy there. Naturally, we pissed and moaned because the cable was out and, thus, the Internet. So we had to *gasp* get online via our cell phones which greatly limited our abilities to tag photographs on Facebook and share posts with others. My poor brother couldn't watch his favorite shows and complained bitterly that despite being a Golden Suddenlink Customer (or some such nonsense), he wasn't getting any love when he called in to find out ETA of restoration of service.
In addition, I was forced to sleep in a La-Z-Boy recliner instead of my Big Comfy Bed at home. Horrors! #FirstWorldProblems.
So fast forward to Thursday evening when I drove back to Dark Hollow to pick up some makeup for my daughter. Just ahead of me at the mouth of the hollow is the APCO truck! I feel a thrill akin to what the townspeople felt in "Music Man" when they spied the Wells Fargo Wagon.
I arrived just as they're setting the jacks under the truck to stabilize it so they can work on the power lines. As you can see from the
photo which, to my credit, was taken at dusk -- the truck is far wider than half the width of the roadway.
I ask for passage. Spoiler alert: I shall not pass.
One of the workers measures the space remaining between the jacks and the curb. Seven feet. APCO policy demands nine feet clearance before allowing cars to attempt to pass their trucks.
I charm the sweet electric company lady worker and she passes along messages between me and the men on the truck. She really went to bat for me. Finally, a kind pleasant-tempered congenial man walks up to my window and I propose my bargain -- which is not a bargain at all because I have nothing with which to bargain. Instead, I beg a boon. Let me pass so I can fetch what I came to get to take to my daughter.
He relents and agrees to undo the jack stands long enough to let me squeeze past by jumping the high curb and straddling the sidewalk to get past the truck. Until I push my luck one time too many and point out I still need five minutes' grace time to get the items and drive back OUT of the hollow.
Clouds barrel in from the West. Lightning flashes. Thunder rolls. Darkness falls over the mouth of Dark Hollow. The other workers quake in fear. The ground beneath my tires rumbles and quivers.
The formerly clean-cut young man then sprouted white facial hair which rapidly grew longer until it tumbled most of the way down his chest. Likewise, the hair on his head became white and fast-action-grew wild and long until it covered his back. A sword appeared in his right hand, and a staff in his left. He clashed the two, sword and staff, against one another and screamed "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
So I drove back to Charleston.