Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Your Worst Nightmare

Oh my God, I am 20 minutes into a power cut, and I have started to lose the will to live already. Katy and Mate, having been deprived of their Disney fix, are running round the house screaming. Every now and then Mate will stop and hand me the remote control, his look says "Dad you can fix anything, make it work." He can't say these words yet, but the constant prodding gets his point across. I have now realised how often I use the TV as a punishment tool, my "quieten down, or I will turn this off". This now has no meaning or impact. I am Superman and the lack of electricity is my kryptonite.

I am thankful for Dawn's laptop, with which I am writing this now, but the lack of internet is starting to have an effect on me. I can't Google kryptonite, so I have no idea if I have spelt it right or not. Where else can I find this information? When I write I like the quiet distraction of tweetdeck flashing away in the top corner, letting me know every time one of my friends has something to say. The challenge of being witty in 140 characters started me writing in the first place, can I still write without it? I guess you will be the judge of that, once I eventually get to upload this that is.

35 minutes now. They have told me on the phone that it will be 3pm at the earliest, it's only 11.37 now, I must take a deep breath and calm down. It's not the end of the world is it, is it? Oh apparently it is, well it is to Dawn, as Mate has just drawn on her piece of paper. Give me strength, someone give me strength.

I know, let's go out for a walk, that will kill some time. Oh somebody please give me a break. It is the end of July and the rain is torrential. Is this a test of some kind, am I being filmed? Or has some cosmic deity decided its 'Poop on J' day? I'm not a bad bloke really. OK, I do take the piss a bit, can have a caustic tongue when it suits me, but surely that does not deserve this.

Has just occurred to me that my friends on twitter won't know what's happened to me. They must be wondering by now, I was in the middle of at least 3 conversations. At least one of them must be thinking about me. I wonder if I can plug the phone line straight into the laptop?

Nope, that hasn't worked, and now the kids have found the broadband router, they think it is the answer to the problem, and that shaking it will turn the power back on. Stupid kids, I tried that half an hour ago, of course it won't work. I hate this laptop, why is it so hard to go back and put a missing apostrophe in?

This unfinished twitter conversation is really starting to bug me now, there must be a solution. Eureka, I will ring my mate Andy, he is the only person in the real world who has tried it. He gave up after one day, but not before I introduced him to a few of my virtual friends. He can let them know I am safe, and not to worry.

Have just come off the phone to Andy, all sorted, I feel a bit better now. Oh my god, am I an addict, I can't be, don't be silly. Next problem, the kids, this one won't be so easy.

They are running round in circles at the moment, they seem to be happy. It has been so long since running around in circles made me happy. Nowadays it just drives me nuts, why and when did that change. Wouldn't it be nice to go back to that time?

Mate has just trod on a brick and is screaming, my questions have been answered. It seems that if we keep our shoes on forever, then we will continue to enjoy running around in circles. Wow, that's deep, can't wait to tweet that one. Bugger, how can I?

It's 12.10pm now, if I can just hold the kids out to 12.30pm then its lunchtime. Ten minutes of relative quiet, not long to go. I have just caught a look at my reflection in the laptop's screen. I look like that famous painting by Munch I think, 'Scream', best Google that to check. Damn. Just when you think you have got over the pain, something pops up and slaps you in the face to remind you. Is this what grieving is like? I'm not comparing the two of course, but I do have a sense of loss. I think I'm getting a migraine.

Is 12.15 too early for lunch? It's a one off, am sure it won't matter too much, yes let's do lunch. Whilst they eat I can have a nice cup of coffee and read the paper. No instant coffee, perfect. Just caught myself stamping my foot in temper, trod on brick, all is clear again.

Have beers in the fridge, which is off, of course. I will have to drink them before they spoil. A silver lining at last, three of them in fact. That's better, there are no problems only solutions. Who said that? Caught myself in time then, it was my brother in law Mr Cliché-Man, one of his favourites that one.

Have 55 minutes battery life left on laptop. That only takes me up to 1.24pm, Mate won't have even gone for his nap by then. Will turn it off for a while, read the paper or something. I still have the Sunday Times to get through, that should do nicely.

Back again, it is now 1.45pm and by some kind of strange computer mathematics, there are only 39 minutes of battery left. How can turning something on and off take 16 minutes of battery? I had just got myself into a calm state of mind (putting Mate upstairs for his nap helped), and now this whole battery situation has got me all het up again.

The sun is out now, maybe I should go out in the garden, do some weeding or something. I love listening to opera when I'm gardening, makes me feel high-brow, and sure confuses the neighbours. I was looking for my Madam Butterfly CD when we lost the power, have found it now but of course I can't listen to it can I. Maybe this is Verdi's cosmic revenge on me for not choosing La Traviata to listen to. Were him and Puccini rivals back in the day? I would look it up but, well you know the end of that sentence.

Whilst I have be daydreaming about a Puccini/Verdi sing off X-factor style, Katy has grabbed anything not nailed down and piled it up in the middle of the room. According to the battery remaining clock, I have only been tranced out for six minutes, how did the pile of debris get so high? Do all laptop users time their day by how much battery is left? Do they say to each other things like "Meet you in Starbucks at 58 minutes remaining"?

I think I may be going insane. I always thought insane would be a loud thing to happen, come at you all kicking and screaming. When in actual fact it is a stalking lion, creeping up on an unsuspecting Gnu. Katy is now whispering to Mount Debris. I can't hear what she is saying but I bet it's about me. I have taken away her basic human right to electricity, and Playhouse Disney.

Offered her a lolly pop to test the waters, she just gave me a sad look and said that she only has them when she watches TV, apparently it's not the same now.

Have just spent 8 battery remaining minutes convincing Katy to have a lolly pop. In the end I had to agree to cut some flowers from the hanging baskets to put in her flower press, just so she would agree to put a huge lump of sugar in her mouth. I think a lack of electricity is altering my perception. I am too confused to know if this is a good or bad state of affairs.

Panic has set in, the '10 minutes of battery life remaining' icon has started flashing. It's only 2.30pm, what am I going to do. This laptop is the only link with my old life, those pre-boredom years. I can't let go of that, I'm not ready to move on.

Have officially hit the bottom rung of the insanity ladder. Just took a photo of the screen to remind me of the old days. I am worried that the ten minutes promised will not be accurate, must save before it's too late. Done. Should I save after each sentence? What if my final line is a real good one and I have not sav


Angela Montague said...

This is fabulous, so funny and so true. How did we cope without Google? How dare we get anything wrong now we have it? Glad to hear you too go through the day thinking 'ooh I must Tweet that'.

You really are at your best when you are suffering, Jimbo, one of your top blogs, in my opinion.

GavinLP said...

Hear hear Angela!

Anonymous said...

Ohifeel for you, we had a powercut for 18 hours once!! Bloody elecric who knew we needed it so bad hahahaha, great writing jamie x

GuestBlog Me said...

Brilliant as always.

We really need to get you sorted out, Jamie. Apparently now we know cold turkey isn't going to work. :)

Anonymous said...

LOL! Brilliant... you're right about google, it's my best friend! But you do have problems.... you need to get yourself on some self help course/group for addicts :)

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

You have got my day in one - especially the constant treading on lego bits. I try turning off the computer to see if I am an addict. It doesn't work very much. I don't even do twitter. What do I look at all day?

Great post, made me laugh!

Debra Snider said...

What a treat to read this post! Hilarious, and such truth about caring for kids - loving, but unvarnished. I've raised two & remember vividly the mind-numbing aspects of days when no one had enough to do. Frankly, I have always thought holier-than-thou types who yammer on about how "rewarding" it is to hobnob nonstop with kids all day are either liars or mentally incompetent.

As for your concerns about impending insanity, Jamie - no worries. Anyone who combats the numb mind with visions of a Puccini/Verdi slugfest is plainly still sharp as a tack.

Loved it!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic post. It had me laughing out loud, especially the negotiations over the sweet!

Elizabeth said...

My stress grew while reading this.. so very entertaining.. as always

Rabbity said...

you really need to get those kids into some kind of daycare and you into a job.

david mcmahon said...

I'm a father of three too! (G'day from faraway Australia)

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

What is a power cut? Guess that's like a 'black-out' or something they do to preserve utilities? Awful!

But hilarious! I enjoyed your post! Here from David's with high fives for your great work! ♥

Mushy said...

Frickin' hilarious! I feel the same way...what would we do if it never came back on!?

David sent me!

Willow said...

You've had me laughing from the beginning, all the way to the e...

Congrats on POTD.

Brian Miller said...

that was amazing! we lost power for several hours yesterday. kinda glad the wife and kids are out of town and missed out on the fun...too much. congrats on POTD.

Anna said...

Oh my my, what a day, just reading it I was getting nervous, lol. BTW congrats on the POD. Anna :)

josh_ali said...

Mr Jay! that was very funny

very 24 style-e

lol loved how u train of thought was all over the shop... x factor to gardening, to mount debris

it was a good read...

: )


Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

award for you over at mine. Sadly it doesn't involve any happy machines.

S3XinthePantry said...

You need a vacation! This post reminds me of my middle kid, about two playing with a digital watch. He returned it to me after only a few minutes because it wouldn't print!!!

Anonymous said...

ah nice, just imagine the places of the world where electricity goes after every two hours for an hour or more or even worse, wonder people survive there like me :)

Patti said...

Time for a blackout kit! Buy each kid a new toy at the Dollar Store(or it's local equivalent), and you a new book and earplugs. Put them up on a high shelf til the next power outage. Then pull them out and use!(Especially the earplugs!)

Manda said...

Haha Loved that! Your thought process is very talented!

Cate P said...

Glad you're airing this again, one of my faves, if not #1.
And I didn't even comment the first time around coz I wasn't a blogger or on google or anything, a complete technophobe.
So I'm here now to say this was brilliant. I still love it ;)