Torch Song

 The wind howls. Hundred-foot-tall Doug Firs bend over backwards like a yoga instructor and I flinch as unlike her they fall over, root balls now sticking up at right angles. The entire neighbourhood is hit hard, the side road impassable.

Cross Road Storm
BC Inconvenience. Sask catastrophe.

I hearken back to the big power outage of ’96 when we are buried in many feet of snow and have no power for days and days. No phone. No water. No ferries. No roads. No nuthin’. One of the heroic legends of my manliness begins that week as I manage to cook spaghetti and meatballs on a gas BBQ in a snowbank. A Californian visitor, temporarily trapped here, looks at me with awe, or so I like to think. But when I brag the locals just reply, ‘Good for you. But I made Chateaubriand with a BiC lighter while hanging from a busted clothesline.’ I snort in disbelief yet it’s probably true. 

The less fortunate, if you go strictly by the text.

For example, I can never one-up my buddy Ian, who has his whole farm ginned up with a genny (nuclear, I think.) He lazily strolls back to the garage, and with one easy pull of its lanyard lights up the whole area, effortlessly powering cheery Christmas lights, several freezers, and carefree, late-night Canasta tournaments for the less fortunate.

At this moment the power flickers and then dies. I plunge into darkness, but have no fear because, in my brilliance, I’ve made sure all flashlights and batteries are in a secure place, WHERE THEY ARE EASY TO LOCATE BY FEEL – IN THE PITCH DARK. This is critical. What good is a flashlight that requires another flashlight to find it? Reductio ad absurdum! We quickly arrive at “∞”: Infinite Flashlights, a house so filled with them that there is no room left for us.


However, not everyone uses my calculus. Kids, for example, discover that using one under the covers is sort of like an adventure Safari. So, all ten torches are naturally employed for this. They end up under couches, some dropped down the heat register never to be seen again, and the really fancy one has been left-on, its batteries now dead as a demised parrot. And, oh yeah, the sweaty nightmare I have about being probed by aliens is thanks to the penlight, hiding in the bed.

I complain to no avail. I hector. I rage. I am told I am nuts because I obsess over flashlights. Nutbar I may be but dammit, a man can’t relax when his flashlight is being manipulated by someone else. I march around in the dark, outraged at this act perpetrated against me by persons or forces unknown, and bash into the wall. I sit down, eye probably blackened, toe aching, and pout. I think, “Surely there are other Dads out there who get twitchy about their flashlights.” To date I can find none, but my search continues in the dark.  


 Vince R Ditrich © 2019 :: All Rights Reserved :: Random Note Generator :: A One-Man Magazine ::