Upsadaisy. …

All Hallows’ Eve at El Rancho Pendejo was a total blowout, but not the kind one hopes for.

Some aspect of PNM’s power project in the ’hood unplugged half the cul-de-sac, including our place.

Around midmorning I saw a few trucks pull in and park, disgorging their hard-hatted contents into a neighbor’s yard. And so when a couple minutes later The Compound went dark I trotted out into my yard and spied them beavering away at some task beyond the wall.

“Hey, guys, the power’s out here,” I sez to ’em I sez.

“Oopsie,” they sez to me they sez, or something very much not like that.

Over we go.

Long story short, an autopsy found a transformer had been terminated with extreme prejudice and would not arise in three days or even three years. It would have to be replaced.

In case you were wondering, this is a tad more complicated than swapping in a new fuse after you try to run the box fan and hair dryer simultaneously in the ol’ singlewide.

The defunct transformer was in some impossible cranny in the yard, because of course it was, and the hard hats couldn’t just sherpa a new one in there. Superman was taking a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran at Warner Bros-DC, and the Hulk said he wouldn’t work on Halloween.

“This is gonna take some doing,” grumbled one hard hat, giving me the side-eye. Hey, boss, I didn’t hammer a stake topped with a Hillary 2024 placard through your transformer’s heart. I was camped in my office, pounding out the fake news, and free of charge, too.

Or I was until the power went out, anyway.

But I keed, I keed.

What happened next was nothing short of amazing.

We — or at least I — have grown accustomed to the “sucks to be you” school of customer service. “We can pencil you in for between midnight and 4 a.m. on Feb. 31st, if that works for you, or even if it doesn’t.” That sort of thing.

But these dudes got right after it. They disappeared for a while, and I was anticipating a long wait for them to return, perhaps bearing electricity, or more likely, excuses.

Nope. In fairly short order the cul-de-sac was clogged with pickups and flatbeds and a big-ass crane, and before you could say “Thomas Edison” the crane was hoisting a new transformer over the neighbor’s roof and into the yard.


As dark fell the hard hats were eating pizza from boxes on the hoods of the trucks, and we were eating jambalaya from bowls, and everyone was watching the crane operator perform his magic.

“That’s something you don’t see every day, hey?” said a hard hat.

For real.

We lit our plastic pumpkin with battery-powered Cygolite tail lights, brightened the front walk with their companion headlights, and used a couple rechargeable lanterns indoors (Biolite and Nite Ize).

But with all the goings-on in the cul-de-sac most of the neighborhood trick-or-treaters decided to give us a pass. Herself handed out some treats to the hard hats, but we have plenty left over. It was easily our worst turnout since the height of the Plague Years.

But the power’s back on, and the hard hats popped round this morning to double-check their work. Well done indeed.

Let there be light.

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19 Responses to “Halloweenie”

  1. SAO' Says:

    More light … Goethe’s final words …

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    A hard hat says that’s going to take some doing, they they do it, on time and right. Put him or her in congress right now!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      These dudes owned up to their miscue and corrected it with speed. I can’t imagine what a pain in the keister it must’ve been to line up a new transformer and a crane on short notice. Props to Michels for doing the business.

      Lots of outfits digging around in the ’hood lately. CenturyLink, Kelly, you name it. The prairie dogs must be impressed.

  3. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Uh oh…I picture you lying on the floor face down surrounded by Butterfingers and Snickers wrappers. Well someone has to make them go away before they get stale.

  4. JD Says:

    PO’G: Just noticed the new banner/hed (whatever the correct term is)!! A little bit of O’Grady Noir? Halloween macabre? The Big Lebowski? Etc.?
    Well done!!!

  5. Shawn Says:

    For what it’s worth, I really appreciate your perspective, along with those of others that likely feel the same, on the craft of basket making. I certainly have no idea where the fuk I am going so I’m not much help about the direction part.

    Regarding your eventful Halloween: Cool! Big crane and lifting heavy objects over precarious circumstances. I believe it sounded like a fine time for a blackout. We had two ankle biters arrive at our abode for some treats.

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