Tuesday, January 30, 2007
In mid-January, the snow in Michigan fell and joined some random ice capades, allowing the Battle Creek site to explore its options during a complete power failure. Shivering was one, sorting the highest stack of prescriptions while wearing mittens was another. However, since it was dark, the prescription numbers were out of sequence, so they were all taken outside and resorted on the dashboard of Kurt’s Camaro, which drove rings around Jim’s Saturn in a fit of irony.
Meanwhile, inside the clinic, some talking beavers began driving motorcycles with a somber Abraham Lincoln. No, actually, that was the advertising clock on the wall, which kept time with its AA batteries (actually, double-A, since AA meets only on Wednesdays), pacing the passage of hours in Bangalore, India. This has been a goal in Battle Creek: to have a "wall of time" to coordinate G***a activities world-wide. The steady clack-clack-clack-clack (not to mention clack-clack) could be heard over the, well everything, since there was nothing humming with electrical current.
By 10am, it appeared that the power outage would be permanent. So, having resorted the prescriptions by number, then by size, then by shades of hue (Hugh was also late that day, being caught by his undertoad, but that’s a tale for later), these G****en denizens of the Surreal City (formerly known as the Cereal City) went in search of caffeine and warmth.
Caffeine came in the form of coffee, warmth in the form of huevos diablos. The ice continued unabated, and the coffee was abated by cups (and these cohorts were in their cups after a bit of caffeine, which begged the question of how many cohorts in a gallon?). By noon the clinic remained in the dark, with the electronic doors responding only to prying arms. At this point the agency had rescheduled their clients by cell, and the cells at the agency were desquaminating quickly. Knowing that an evacuated container may create its own vacuum, and that a vacuum can create a giant sucking sound, the mighty pair themselves evacuated to regions downtown in Battle Creek and held high and lofty discourse with other agency émigrés around a pyre of smoldering disappointment.
Much was said, donut holes were shared, a few things were written down on the backs of napkins. By lunch all was forgotten. "We must do this again!" said Jim. "Must we?!" quipped Kurt, and they slid their separate ways.
By morning, the birds were buzzing, the geese were snoring, and Battle Creek awoke from its restrained enuresis to the hum of alternating current. The mourning doves cooed, the clients queued, and once again, the world spun in greased grooves.