It’s Electric: Villanovans bear the blackout

Leigh Gaston

Wrestling free from the puddle of drool adhering my cheek to my pillow, I rolled over to a pleasant surprise Friday morning a blank alarm clock! “Score, no classes,” I muttered in a state of fatigue. My prayers to the hurricane god had been answered. Isabel had swept the Main Line with a vengeance, uprooting trees and de-mobilizing the lives of Radnor residents. Chuckling at the thought of “Villanova gone Renaissance,” I stumbled out of bed and threw on the nearest ensemble, which happened to be yesterday’s khakis and Wednesday’s blue T-shirt. In a race to discover Radnor’s “state of emergency,” I bolted out the door to the curb of Spring Mill Road, where low and behold, drivers in a line of cars looked dazed and confused at the powerless stoplight. A blond woman in a 525I series Beamer was looking especially befuddled; I watched intently as she picked up her cell phone, dialed and mouthed several curse words into the receiver. Her window was ajar, enabling me to decipher only broken phrases: “…Hair dryer … frizzy … so humid out … Starbucks craving … damn Isabelle … what to do … missing Jenny Jones … can’t even workout at the gym!” Good God, I thought, I am witnessing the nervous breakdown of an authentic Main Line Barbie doll. Suddenly I imagined her storming out of her leather-upholstered monstrosity, and screaming, “In the name of Prada, let there be light!”

My next stop was work, a small coffee shop on Lancaster Avenue that caters to the overpopulated community of soccer moms infesting the Main Line. En route, I passed Starbucks, which was closed due to the power outage, yet sufficed to have a crowd of cult followers camping out at its entrance. They all had fixed stares of agitation, as if their slanted eyebrows and gleaming eyes would somehow will the coffee to brew. Pathetic. To my dismay, my humble workplace was the only joint in town with power, brewing like it had never brewed before. The line was out the door and around the corner, literally. I was out before I even considered going in.

In a straightaway down Lancaster Avenue, I arrived back home in three minutes flat – sans stoplights. I vowed by the electric power invested in the United States that I would spend the day taking advantage of the world’s non-electric wonders. I started by prancing over to my friend’s house, which is conveniently located directly across from my dorm, to join in a game of touch football. Despite my regular disdain toward Monday night football and Madden fever, there was something liberating about taking part in a game I knew absolutely nothing about. Hypocritical as it may sound, being dumbfounded by the intricacies of a game, which I formerly accused of being mindless was a breath of fresh air. After an hour of ball grappling, a few face presses and an endless stream of questions, I was praising Isabel for my newfound interest in football. Low and behold, the enlightenment didn’t stop there. After a brief recovery period, we whipped out the playing cards for a game of rummy. Wait a minute, rummy? All I could think of was my grandmother, decked out in those awful Burberry plaid trousers and matching blazer, shuffling the deck at the pace of a dying turtle. OK, I thought, lets not be judgmental, Grandma’s cool right? Bracing myself for the worst, I collected my cards and listened intently to the rules. Eight games later, I was on the phone with Grandma, begging her to enlist me in the annual Richmond Rummy Tournament. Come days end, my limbs were pleasantly sore and my brain seemed unusually active after an entire day absent from the couch. I thought sweet dreams of tight ends and rummy tournaments, as I dozed off to sleep. I was a new woman … until the power came back on ten minutes later. What can I say? It’s electric … boogie woogie woogie.