Thanks to all who entered our Powermat Holiday Horror Contest. Now it's time to vote for the winning story. Prepare yourself for tales of snowmageddon, the Gas Man, and microwavable EZ-mac—all harbingers of holiday festivity!
Entry 1: Calin O.:
This was last Christmas, and it was also the last Christmas break I was ever going to have since I was graduating in the spring. I went to visit my then fiance's family in rural West Virginia for a week of it. They have a nice cozy house with all the the amenities I would need for an enjoyable visit; 46" flatscreen, HD satellite, high speed wireless internet, and the best cooking in three counties (thanks to my now mother-in-law). That's before snowmageddon 2009 hit.
This particular area of West Virginia, thanks to the lovely Alleghenies, gets about 50% more snow than all of the surrounding areas. Which is usually all fine and well except when all the surrounding areas get 2 feet of snow. Which if you did your math correct is equal to about waist deep snow for my in-laws house. Awesome right? It was for about the first 2 hours. Then we realized that it was impossible to get anywhere via car, and just walking to a neighbors house took a freakin olympian to accomplish. Which was just an inconvenience until the power went off. Now,no transportation, no power, no cooking, and no water (they have well water), but thank God they had gas heat.
So, with no water you cant shower, you cant brush your teeth (accept with bottled water), and you cant flush the toilet. Well we had 5 people to begin with, then had to go rescue their grandmother since she didnt have any heat. Which raises the household to 6.
To get the toilet to flush, we had to walk down the hill, and break through the ice on their pond to fill up 5 gallon buckets, and haul them back up to pour in the toilet. we heated water on the furnace to wipe our orfaces, and also used it to heat left over pizza for a couple days.
what made it worse? hearing all the neighbors running their generators all day and night, and seeing their tvs flickering in the distance. also, the fact that i was the only one who didnt have tall boots for navagating the deep snow, and a headlight for getting from A to B in the house anytime after 5 pm. The final slap in the face for the week came once the power was back on (about 4 days later); we exchanged presents for Christmas, and what did i get? tall boots and a headlamp, both just under my nose all week after fighting with stubbed toes and wet socks the entire time. Not to mention that we ran out of bottled water in like 2 days, and someone "forgot" they had an extra case in their car trunk the entire time.
all in all.. not a good time.
Entry 2: David P.:
It was a glorious fall day as I headed to Sears after receiving the call that our brand new kitchen stove was in and ready to be picked up. Well it was glorious until I got in the truck to leave and the battery was dead. After getting a jump start from the neighbor I tooled on down the road to get my new stove. As I strolled into the pickup area , I noticed there was nobody at the desk. I waited a little while until a nice gentleman popped his head out and said "be right with you". Patiently waiting 32 minutes for him to "be right there". I was about to leave and as it was loaded in the truck the box tore and put a nice 6 inch gouge in the side of my pristine stove. The guy loading it said "at least it's towards the back, you'll hardly see it"
At this point I was done WAITING and decided to be on my way to quickly hookup the new stove and get the Thanksgiving bird in the oven. As I got home I noticed some of our friends had shown up early and I thought this should be easy to get in the house and believe it or not, IT WAS!
So now on to the fun. With the old stove out of the way and the new on in place, all that was needed was to turn on the gas and fire it up. Easier said than done... As I turned the handle for the gas the pipe leading toi it snapped off at the base and natural gas was pouring into the house filled with gas faster than I could scream GET OUT!. With a newborn two 2 one year olds, a 3 year old and several adults all scampering for the door, I had to make sure that everyone was out and go down with the ship if I had to to make sure they were safe. With the house empty I grabbed the phone and called 911 as I ran to the tool box to get a wrench to shut off the gas. The only wrench in the toolbox was not going to be big enough, so I continued my 911 call. In which as I described my emergency I was politely told to hangup and call the gas company! OK by this point I am freaking out and am preparing to die, as I pass the phone to my wife in search of a bigger wrench she calls the gas company only to be told it will be at least an hour before they will be there. I finally find a wrench that will shut off the gas and this gets it shut off. Still afraid of going anywhere near the house, all 13 of us wait patiently for the hour for the Gas Man to show. Once I tell him of the problem he says I should have called 911 because this is a real emergency! After explaining everything we we through he understood and said if he knew he would have been there sooner!!!
With the gas shutoff for an hour he said it was safe to go in the house and see what caused this. With the uncooked bird still on the stove and the gas line snapped off at the floor he noticed we had all the trimmings ready for our Thanksgiving meal. He promptly repaired the broken pipe and proceeded to turn on the gas. Just then he noticed that the meter had become cracked probably when I was tuning of the gas and said the meter needed to be replaced. He walked to his truck grabbed a new meter, installed it and was almost on his way when I asked if he would like a plate food to take with him, he did and he was very thankful.
After all of that I give a very big thanks to be alive and to that nice Gas Man...
Entry 3: Jason G.:
The following story is sadly true.
It was christmas eve two years ago and a friend and i stayed in the city since neither of us celebrated. As we packed our bags for a trip to AC we felt a chill as wind blew threw every crevice in the window story of our west Philly apartment. Blasting music we realized we were the only ones in the building and felt a sense of liberation and a deep seeded knowledge that no one was there if anything were to go array. since my friends car had been broken into that week there was no GPS and we had to use my phone for directions but before we left the cable and internet went out while streaming aqua teen hunger force. we microwaved some EZ mac and locked the door as we walked down the stairs from the 4th floor of our vacant apartment building when the power went out as the door opened.
We felt like we had dodged a bullet and walked the dirty streets to his car. As we walked throughout the powerless streets of west Philly we began to walk faster and our heads were set straight ahead as our eyes darted. we got in the car and pulled out, passing a trolley stuck in the streets when we hit a bump and the car turned off. we pulled over and popped the hood and saw the terminals had come undone and we had no tools to loosen the bracket. as I went to call for a tow truck my phone went blank and then shut off, when I realized that I had plugged my phone into the computer dock but the USB wasn't plugged into the mac. we left the car in a spot on the side after parking and walked 20 minutes back to our apartment in the dark with no electricity and returned to find the electricity was still out so our night of AC adventure turned into us sitting alone in the dark as we shivered from the cold in a vacant old building in the middle of west philadelphia.
OK, now it's time to vote! The voting will close on Friday, December 10 at 6pm EST, so tell us which one of these powerless individuals will receive a full Powermat wireless charging system.