Just when I get a severe case of writer’s block – AKA, brain constipation– life throws me a story.
After numerous phone calls to ComEd concerning some of our tree limbs that are sitting on power lines, Travis, from some tree company ComEd sent, showed up at my door today. He said he’d go into the backyard to take a look, and then come back to the house to talk to me.
When he returned, Travis spoke with his head down, hands in his pockets, swaying back and forth on his feet. From his body language, I knew there was nothing he was going to be able to do.
But, when he spoke, I didn’t care about the power lines anymore. I was too busy trying not to laugh. He was really young and cute, and looked like he didn’t want to have to tell me what he was about to tell me.
Also, he spoke like he had just had a few hits of weed, not that I know anything about the way people speak after taking a few hits of weed, Man. He didn’t actually use the words “Dude, or Man,” but I’m going to add them — and a few more words — to the dialogue, anyway.
Travis looked at me, and then at his shoes, and said, “I got good news, and bad news, Dude.”
I said I’d prefer to hear the bad news first.
“Okay. Well, Dude, it’s like this. ComEd used to cut down tree limbs like you got, but they don’t do it anymore. “ While shuffling his huge boots, he continued, “You have what’s called secondary lines, and they only cut down tree limbs that are on primary lines.”
“Dude,” I said, “what’s the difference between a primary and secondary line?”
“Well, if a primary line is damaged, it can affect hundreds of peoples’ electricity. A secondary line would only affect the few houses in your neighborhood. I really wish I could help you out because there are a lot of tree limbs on your lines, but the lines are very well insulated.”
I looked at him as if I had just had a hit of weed, not that I would know what that’s like.
He obviously recognized the look on my face and said, “Dudette, I would love to send a crew out tomorrow to cut down those limbs, but I can’t. The good news is that you can call a specialist who can do it for like, cost, or something. They don’t make any money off of it. They just know how to cut around wires, and junk.”
“A specialist for my trees? We’re not talking about brain surgery here,” I thought to myself.
Again, Travis told me that the power lines are very well insulated.
I said, “But, Dude, one of the trees that’s touching the lines is dead. What if it falls onto the line in a bad storm?”
Then he said something that made me literally hold my stomach and collapse in half from laughing, “If you see any sparks, give us a call.”
“Are you serious, Dude?” I asked, as I gasped for air from laughing.
“Totally,” he said. “I know it’s a bummer, but I can’t help you out.”
I said good-bye to Travis, because there was nothing more for us to talk about. And because I needed to pee. And because he probably had to get back to his Doritos.
So, Dudes, and Dudettes, we’ll just have to see how the limbs and the dead tree handle the severe thunderstorms that have been predicted for the next few days. If we lose power, I won’t worry, because I’ll probably have writer’s block again after I finish this story. Hopefully, when the power returns, life will throw me another funny “spark.”