Spring Break loses a lot of its luster when you become less interested in college fun and more worried about paying into your child’s college fund. So, with the weather in Florida peaking in …
Spring Break loses a lot of its luster when you become less interested in college fun and more worried about paying into your child’s college fund. So, with the weather in Florida peaking in the mid-fifties last week, I took a half day last Friday as my Spring Break. A half day for a small-town lawyer means you’ll spend most of the day on your cell phone answering work calls - but you get to do it in sweatpants. Yay, modern technology.
I’m starting to get the feeling we’ve become too reliant on technology, even in beautiful, crime-free Iuka, Mississippi, because a couple of weeks ago the power went out in town for six hours.
By hour three, Iuka was one horseman away from a straight up Armageddon. I was trying a case at the courthouse - one of the few buildings in town that never lost power - and when I walked outside that afternoon it was like Rick Grimes walking out of the hospital after the zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead pilot. But instead of zombie hordes lumbering down the streets we had folks driving just so they could charge their iPhones. And let me tell you, folks, navigating the new red lights in town is tricky enough; imagine stop-and-go traffic with everybody checking their Facebook status.
When I checked my text messages for the first time in a few hours, I had approximately 500 unread messages from my sainted wife. That many messages can only mean one of two things: either (1) “We’re already at the hospital prepping for surgery” or (2) “You’d better come do something with these kids because I’m about to drop them off at the end of Snowdown Road.”
I quickly ascertained this was a (2) situation, so I hurried home. Despite how they may act at times, I know my children wouldn’t make it long in a pack of stray dogs. They’ve got too much marbling from Frosted Pop Tarts and Capri Suns; they’d be eaten as soon as the weather turned cold.
When I got into my house (and my eyes adjusted to the dark), I followed the noise of screaming and crying to the master bedroom, where both of my boys looked at me like the twins in The Shining and asked simultaneously, “Father, is your phone charged?” As creepy as that was, I didn’t yell until what I had thought until that moment was a pile of mud in the corner of the room blinked its eyes at me and said in my wife’s voice, “One of these kids is going to your momma’s house … or I am.”
How did my wife get caked in mud like she was camouflaging herself from The Predator? She explained, between expletives, that when the power went out so did the invisible fences keeping all the dogs in the neighborhood restrained to their own yards. And when the zap collars go down, the local dogs treat it like senior year of high school when someone’s parents go out of town - house party time! And the house party was in the Clark’s yard, extremely muddy thanks to all the then-recent rain.
So, right about the time I was finishing my closing statement in my pressed suit and tie, my wife and several other college graduates were mud wrestling goldendoodles while their children wailed over their unsaved PlayStation games.
And since she couldn’t take a shower in the pitch dark - no woman who is vaguely aware of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho could - she basically had to stand up so she wouldn’t ruin any furniture or, worse, let the mud dry and stick to something. Needless to say, I spent a good amount of my night holding our one scented Bath and Body Works candle up above the curtain for her to shower.
Some people believe true love, common interests or even divine faith is what keeps a family strong, but I know now it’s the Tishomingo Electric Power Association.