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Plunged into darkness! What would you do?

So I was lounging about the living room a few mornings back, sipping coffee and sporting what I generously refer to as pajama "pants" (apologies, by the way, to our new neighbors but those drapes should arrive any day now) when suddenly, the powe...

Brian Matuszak

So I was lounging about the living room a few mornings back, sipping coffee and sporting what I generously refer to as pajama "pants" (apologies, by the way, to our new neighbors but those drapes should arrive any day now) when suddenly, the power went out.

It wasn't that sputtering kind of outage, where the lights waver between whether to keep shining bright so you can cut your bingo balls out of the Duluth News Tribune or plunge you into inky darkness, blacker than a lion-hunting dentist's soul. No, this was an instantaneous loss of electricity. Brad Bennett's voice on WDSM-AM was cut off in mid-word mangle.

I waited in the dark for a bit, contemplating just what word Mr. Bennett had been attempting to pronounce. ( Malfeasance? Kumquat?) And I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. The battery-powered clock ticked ominously. Finally, a twinge of panic snuck into my soul and I did what any sane person would do: I chopped up the davenport for firewood and started digging through the garbage for watermelon rinds and Twinkie wrappers.

OK, I didn't do all that - we chopped up our davenport after the Halloween blizzard of '91 - but I was getting nervous, so I called Minnesota Power's helpful automated phone system. ("Press 1 if you're experiencing a power outage. Press 2 if you see a power line on the ground. Press 3 if you're an idiot who has mistaken that power line for an escaped Burmese python and whacked it with a metal rake.")

I felt better after letting the authorities know of my predicament, but like Donald Trump at a Republican debate, it didn't take long for my thoughts to turn twisted and ugly ...

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"What happens if that power doesn't click back on in an hour or two? All the guacamole in the fridge is gonna turn green ... well, greener. And where are the matches? Do we even HAVE any matches in this house? We had a lighter but I think we returned it to the Last Place on Earth because it smelled funny ... I need to find something to burn! Are the cat plushy toys flammable? WHERE DID I PUT THE WILL?!!!!"

And right when I was about to decide which of my feet would taste better, the lights blinked back on, Brad Bennett's mouth explosions came pouring from my radio and order was restored.

I learned many valuable lessons that day about remaining calm and how much peace of mind an emergency plan can give you. But the most important lesson of them all?

We need to buy another davenport.

Brian Matuszak is the founder of Rubber Chicken Theater and invites you to follow him and his theater company on Twitter at twitter.com/rchickentheater, like them on Facebook at Rubber Chicken Theater, and visit their website at www.RubberChickenTheater.com . He hates it when the power goes out because he is forced to watch TV by candlelight.

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