This Is What Comes of Having Good Neighbors.

So I was stuck at the lieberry all yesterday, until late at night. Various neighbors stopped by all excited because the utility trucks were out in force in our neck of the woods and when grabbed by the lapels People of Authority were shooting for power by 11:00 that night.

Mojo was wise enough not to fall for that, but she was at least hoping for power by the end of, say, the weekend. She did not rain on anybody's parade, being the Kind Soul that she is, but just smiled and nodded when people talked of their returning power this evening.

Our next door neighbor then stopped by, with a long and amusing story of how he darn near got into a fistfight with some of the utility workers the other day. They inspected his house (his wires were ripped from the house too) and said they flat out weren't going to give him any power until he called an electrician and upgraded his service. After six days of no power to be told that in what was apparently a belligerent and snotty fashion was not particularly kind, and the interaction went downhill from there. The utility man ended up explaining to our neighbor that it was HIS fault his lines were ripped off the house anyway, because he had "failed to keep the trees adequately trimmed".

I am rather glad I wasn't home at the time. My neighbor had calmed down and could laugh about it when he finally related this to me the next day. Because we're not talking about "trimming" the occasional branch. We're talking about MULTIPLE 80--100 year old TREES down all over the place. We're talkin' BIG GIANT OAKS full of KEEBLER ELVES. My neighbor is not always the most patient of men, and to have some overworked jamoke from the power company say it's HIS fault we had an ice storm and consequently they weren't about to turn him on after six days of no power did not do his temper much good. (It's very very funny when it happens to someone else, huh?)

But anyway, by the time he stopped by the library to share this little anecdote the power company sent a customer service rep to his house to smooth things over. Boy, it sure takes a special person to be in customer service. You gotta put up with all sorts of abuse, and do your darnedest to make really angry people happy without giving away the entire company. This man, according to my neighbor, was reasonable and intelligent and apologized for the conduct of their field man the day before. He inspected everything and said it was fine, they'd hook him back up, but in the near future he MIGHT CONSIDER upgrading. So bloodshed was averted.

My neighbor then left, but called an hour or two later to say they were at his house hooking his lines back up. And he said these guys were TOTALLY decent and nice and he was very pleased with them. And then he called back and related the following. The guys were then yawning and stretching and saying stuff like, "Yay! This is the last house we gotta do! It's Miller time!" To which my neighbor said, "Uh, what about Mojo's house? You know, my fantastically wonderful neighbor and her equally superlative Favorite Husband?" (Or words to that effect; I wasn't there, but I'm sure that's the gist of it.) And the guys said "Gosh, no, they're not on the list."

Whereupon my neighbor did not go ballistic--he actually is a fairly reasonable man when he has lights and heat--but pretty firmly suggested that the Decent and Kind thing to do would be to go up and have a look-see at the property and maybe hook their lines back up to the house, why don't we? Since it's the last house on the street, and all. He escorted them to our house and supervised them and pretty much kept them there talking and working until the job got done. He didn't have to get out the guns or anything, but he's a scrapper and most reasonably intelligent people recognize that you don't mess with him and you treat him right. So he kept on them until they hooked our house back up, nice and proper. And then he phoned me to tell me our lines were hooked back up and waitin' fer juice.

So now we can unblock the dog door. No power yet, and maybe not at all with the storm today, but dang! Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold, huh?