TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Last Laugh! Much Excitement Around Here Today

Last Laugh! Much Excitement Around Here Today

TELECOM Digest Editor (
Sat, 6 Nov 2004 19:43:31 EST

As I was working on this issue of the Digest earlier Saturday
afternoon, all of a sudden I heard a loud popping noise, and all the
lights went out (except for the computers and the Vonage phone, which
are on battery backup.) I still powered everything down, and looked in
my own fuse box, then called up the electric plant (KGE/Westar) to
report the lights were out. I heard a siren from a fire truck nearby,
and decided to go look and see what was up. The lights were out at
nearby houses as well. Outside I could smell the remains of some
thick, acrid smoke in the air, about a block away so I walked up that
way to see what it was about.

It turns out a power transformer had blown out on the corner of Second
Street and Walnut, about a block from my house, taking with it a fuse
in the line at the next transformer down the street, where a couple of
older teenage guys live with the girl friend of one of them. Neither
of those guys is terribly bright -- if you will pardon me for saying
so -- but they had called the Fire Department because they thought
their house was on fire (very loud, popping noise, tons of thick black
smoke everywhere); it wasn't -- nothing wrong with their house at all,
but I can't say I blame them for being a little bit concerned at first.

These kids are obviously used to being blamed for whatever goes wrong
in town; by now a police car had come past, the officer was chatting
with the two firemen still standing around looking at electric poles
in the area, and the KGE guys in their truck with the yellow spinning
light on top had just pulled up also. The cop and the firemen all
drove away, totally uninterested, leaving the KGE guys there to do
what they had to do.

The girl friend, who seems to do the talking for these guys told me "I
was ironing Chester's (her boy friend) clothes; he has a new job
working at Walmart on the midnight shift. I have to get his clothes
ready for him to go to work. He had the television set turned on, and
his friend Bobby was looking in the refrigerator for something for
them to eat. Bobby had just opened the refrigerator when we heard that
awful explosion and our house all filled up with black smoke. Do you
think we were using too much electricity having my iron plugged in at
the same time the television was going and the refrigerator door was

I told her I did not think that caused the problem. "When we called
the Fire Department we thought his house was on fire and then when the
police car showed up just now we figured Bobby would get blamed for
making all the lights go out all over the neighborhood." (Apparently
the KGE guys were walking down the alley at this point trying to
detirmine if any other transformers/fuses were out.)

The two guys and their girl friend are all sitting the front porch all
this time, having evacutated when the explosion occurred and the smoke
was so thick earlier. I asked Bobby how he was getting along with his
new computer and he said "I got an account from Yahoo but I don't know
how to use it, can you come by in a day or so and show me what to do
to get on line? and put my picture there for girls to see also?" I
told him I would.

Bobby has been by here a few times to 'check his email' (before
getting his own computer and Yahoo account), and invariably he wanted
to 'pick up girls' and see their pictures. I told him whatever you
guys do, do not send out such 'hot pictures' of yourselves and your
girl friend that you cause the circuits to blow out again like you did
today! He responded sort of indignantly, "I told you me and Chester
had nothing to do with all the lights all over the neighborhood going
out this afternoon!"

Well, just another day in the life.


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