And the darkness stayed because the system overloaded when they tried to switch it back on after the scheduled load shedding ended.
Our national electricity service provider is an anagram of the word “SMOKE”. Considering that the word MICROSOFT can be rearranged to form the words “FORMS IT CO” there’s something in the entertaining notion that a company’s anagram is appropriate to its image. So preferably don’t name your company “Newark”…
It was Saturday afternoon. The scheduled outage was from 10 a m to 2 pm. We were prepared for this planned eventuality, so I made the most od the occasion. By 2 pm I was taking a nap and my friend said it came on for a brief flash in the pan of time before giving up the fight.
I awoke thinking they had forgotten all about us. The afternoon dragged on interminably with no sign of success on the part of the beleaguered engineers.
We awoke on Sunday morning and the situation was still powerless and we were powerless to do anything about it. As the last morning of my holiday sped by with no sign of an improvement I developed a genuine Aspie meltdown as seldom seen by the uninitiated. My mind filled with various crazy theories. Had the powers on the electric throne decided to save on power in order to increase their fat Christmas bonuses? Had someone in the area offended the CEO?
Grabbing a handful of my calming pills I fumbled for a glass of water and gulped them down like an anteater devouring a small mound of termites with bestial relish. The resultant dwaal made me quite unaware of my surroundings until it was virtually time for us to leave so I could catch the Greyhound overnight trip to my home city, which was due to leave at 4.15 pm. I had no time for a formal au revoir, do widzenia or auf wiedersehen to the two boisterous, permanently hungry and very affectionate Teckels, Lulu and Nikki. I remember nothing of the trip with my friend to the bus departure point as I was on a trip of my own.
Somewhere during my brain’s temporary shutdown I misplaced my glasses, my bottle of contact lens freshener, my packet of Cheas Naks and my cosy blue blanket. Luckily it wasn’t Linus’s. The rest of my stuff arrived unscathed at the coast, but my glasses are still unaccounted for, so I have no choice but to use my contact lenses for the time being. They are good for distance vision, but when battling with small writing and poor lighting (rhyme unintentional) I’m like a mole attending day school without his sunglasses.
Since our hapless Eskom electrical service provider is not really controlled from their spacious and attractive Megawatt Park headquarters but from the desks of bureaucratic Luthuli House, I wish the mountains of ash constipating the cogs at the Lethabo power station (see below) could be conveyed to the latter edifice and dumped all over it. The resulting ashy grey tower could be a new tourist attraction a la Pompeii. The building would, of course,be evacuated before becoming an apt a monument to dysfunctional maintenance, and a warning to future generations to keep their generators in a suitable place of honour in a museum once fossil fuels have finally gone the way of the dinosaurs and clean or renewable energy is reversing the grey industrial curtain around our pale blue dot in the vastness of space.