A Day In The Life 

by Richard G. Johnstone Jr., Editor

Richard Johnstone
Richard Johnstone

Buzzz. Buzzz. Buzzz. The alarm clock sounds. 6 a.m. Groan. Get up. The man groggily removes his electric razor from the recharging stand while his wife takes a warm shower. There’s a comforting aroma in the air. The man remembered to plug in the coffeemaker last night. He smiles with smug satisfaction. Still, there’s a nagging feeling that he’s forgotten something.

He moves to the closet for the day’s clothes. Oops. Now he knows what he forgot. “Honey,” his wife calls from the shower. “Did you get the clothes out of the dryer last night like I asked you?”

He loudly mumbles something indecipherable, before sprinting down the stairs, quickly grabbing an armful of clothes from the dryer, plugging in the iron and setting up the ironing board. Next he puts four slices of bread into the fancy toaster they were given as a house-warming present, and punches the button on the plug-in intercom. “Zack, Hillary, this is the voice of God. Wake up!”

“Knock if off, Dad. That hasn’t worked since kindergarten,” Zack says over the intercom. “Actually, Zack, it worked on you until well into fifth grade,” his older sister helpfully points out over her intercom.

Zack comes downstairs. “I was up before you and Mom, listening to music on my CD player,” Zack shares with his dad. “Anybody I’ve heard of?” the man inquires. “Rat Poison, and also the Screaming Meemies,” Zack says. “Sorry I asked,” the man replies.

The man then hustles over and irons his wife’s uniform, neatly and thoroughly, then hurriedly swipes the iron across his work shirt a couple of times. He hears a sound. Or, rather, the lack of a sound. Uh-oh. The shower water upstairs has stopped running. At this inopportune instant, the cat jumps up on the ironing board, arching its back, while the dog whines at his feet, both craving attention. “Sorry, guys, gotta run,” he says.

He hurriedly packs up the ironing board and hustles upstairs, hanging up his wife’s uniform at the exact instant she emerges from the bathroom. She finds her uniform, and smiles at him sweetly. “I thought you had forgotten,” she says. “Who, me?” he replies, turning away just in time to hide the ruddy glow that appeared in his cheeks every time he described his fishing trips or athletic exploits.

The four family members then converge on the kitchen, open and close the refrigerator over and over, grab a piece of toast, jelly it up, put it down, disappear to get the newspaper, put on makeup, write a day’s list, or pack a lunch, never sitting down at the same time, and appearing and disappearing from the kitchen in a frenzy, like the well-drilled actors in a French farce.

The woman flips on the TV like

clockwork at 6:35 to get the day’s weather report. “Hillary, Zack, it’s going to be a hot one today,” she cheerfully announces, as 15-year-old Zack emerges wearing dark, lumpy, low-slung jeans, shoes the size of a roadhouse menu, and a T-shirt that doubled as his pajamas a short while ago. “You look nice, dear,” she says, having perfected the art of giving compliments without a hint of irony.

The man asks, “Hillary, are you driving yourself to school today?” The 17-year-old’s reply is instant. “As opposed to, like, getting all gross and sweaty walking three miles uphill to school like you did, or sharing the bus with a bunch of freshmen?” she replies. “Just checking, honey,” he musters. Is this the same Daddy’s girl who used to sing “I’m a Little Ray of Sunshine,” he wonders to himself, as he pushes the garage-door opener and descends into the garage. Oops. He hustles back to kiss his wife. “They do become human again as adults, right?” he asks. “Yes, dear,” she consoles him.

The kids leave soon after, and then the woman gathers up her laptop computer to take into the office, and resets the thermostat a bit, to acknowledge the fact that the cat and dog won’t be quite as finicky as the family about keeping a super-cool house on a super-hot day.

She pats the dog, rubs the cat, sets the security system, and leaves for the day. Just another manic morning.

And so it goes, all day, every day, as the electric service stays quietly in the background during the morning, the afternoon and evening, and through the night, powering the alarm clock, the razor, the water heater, the air-conditioner and furnace, the intercom, the dryer, the iron, the toaster and coffeemaker, the refrigerator, the garage-door opener, the security system, the TV, the laptop computer, the CD player.

Your electric service is provided to you as reliably as possible, at the lowest cost possible, by a cooperative utility that you and your neighbors own. Your electric service may be in the background, but our presence in the community is in the foreground, since we’re locally owned and locally controlled by our members. Including you. So here’s to a good day, every day, for you and your family, from your electric cooperative.

 P.S. Don’t forget to set the alarm clock. And check the dryer, too, while you’re at it.



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