Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generator


I must admit, there have only been two times in my life that I ever considered owning a portable generator. The first time was in 1999, when I saw my brother-in-law converting his garage into a makeshift bunker of sorts. Just in case computers all around the globe began to go screwy, he was, shall we say, very Y2K-compliant. Stocked with a wall full of corned beef hash and a shiny, new, portable backup generator, his garage was ready to serve as central command for the post-cyber age. All he needed to bring with him was his peace of mind and a can opener…

Oh, and his wife and kids.

The most recent time was a few months back, during a tense summer storm that rolled in after dark. The family and I had just settled down for a heated game of SORRY! when  the lights go out.

So, we grab a few candles and continue the game and the ensuing trash talk (We’re a tad competitive, you could say). Anyway, an hour goes by, the lights still aren’t on, and we’re all clearly past the “I’ll-sit-in-a-dark-humid-room-playing-some-stupid-board-game-by-candlelight-with-you” limit. And just let me say, an hour of SORRY! in the dark with the entire family prompted me to write several letters to the FBI to suggest some new interrogation tactics. Take away the AC, and I would have been ready to ‘fess up to any crime.

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Make sure it’s going the right direction,” the ceiling fan guy said.

“Huh? It’s a ceiling fan,” I thought to myself. Confused, but not wanting to seem dumb, I kindly nodded to acknowledge the advice. It was then that I think he realized that I didn’t know what he was talking about.

I know because he politely asked, You don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?” So much for the ‘dumb’ thing.

Uh, coming, dear!”, I yelled to my imaginary spouse on another aisle. Embarrassed, I quickly left the store and went home to do what any smart, yet confused person would…

I Googled it. Don’t judge. I found that most ceiling fans spin in two directions to move air differently. (Insert confused Scooby-Doo ‘RUH?’ sound here – kinda like the one I made.)