Say I found a real cool thing out about my property! I was covering up a pile of compost and turned around to see a smoking hole in the ground. I thought "hmmm? Firey opening to Satans bedchamber? Or severed burning power line?" I bent over to look at the little volcano to find a cable as fat as my thumb molten in color and smoking as the rain hit it. It was expertly placed so that a barefoot human could step on it.
I called PGE. They came out, four guys in red coveralls and gloves and hats, two trucks. The foreman scratched his head. "Yeah thats a big fat killer that is. Look at this thing Frank (name changed). " Frank, "Damn. So wheres it connected to?" Frank asked me. I told him it was connected, so I guessed, tothe barn braker box. They went over to shut it off.
"I already shut that off." I said.
Frank walked over anyway, checked the box, "Say this is already off."
"Yeah I shut it off when I noticed the smoking hole." I said.
"Did you turn this off?" Asked Frank.
"Yes." I said through cleanched teeth.
"Well Thats a good thing. But why is that line still hot?" Frank said.
"I''d say it's probably bypassed. Thats not good. You'll have to take the box apart and removed the wire that way." The foreman said.
"Me?" I asked.
"We only cover the line to the box. This hear line is your own private line." Foreman said with whimsy."
So I get to have a burning hole that can kill you in my yard until I get a private contractor out here? That doesn't sound good to me." i say. Foreman twiddles his waxed mustache and scratches his head, crotch scratching would be pointless in the heavy coveralls. He walked over to the breaker box and flipped another switch, one that was too hot for me to want to touch. The line went dead. PGE squad then left me standing in the gloomy twilight as the rain came down andthe cable steamed to a cold state.
Back in the kitchen, after a dinner of cold pizza and beer (actually it was pepsi but I wish I had a beer at the time) I dug through my evergrowing pile of home owner bull shit paper and found my home warrenty. "Electrical?" I thought. Did it say anything aobut it? Yep! I called the number and was informed that the call would be monitored for quality assurence. What the fuck does that mean. If I don't like the call will some champion of customer service jump onthe line and send the offending rep to the indernal regions? Who could say.
Early in the day, on NPR, I listend to a story about call-centers being relocated to Bangalore India. The empolyees study American accents so they can speak without sounding like their from the sub-continent. I only bring this up since the lady I talked to was difinitely from that region.
I gave her my policy nuimber and then described the problem. " Found this severed power cable in my yard....smoking .....and PGE say it could deliver a leathal dose of electrcity. yada yada yada..."
"Is the electrical line on the inside of your home?" She asked with only a hint of an accent.
I sigh, "No its in the yard."
"It is not inside the home?" She asked.
"My yard is not inside the home no." I said with slight sarcasm, but more with sense of gloom that I belong to such a race of troglidites. How in the hell did we ever get to the moon? Or figure out how to procreate? or breathe?
"Well if the line is not in the home then it is not covered by your policy." She said.
"Okay." I said with extreme minimalism.
"Thank you call again." Said Ms. Napahasapanalan. (not her real name or what she realy said.)
So now I have to pay some jerk to come and disconnect this stinking cable. Some butt-crak showing swine with a pension plan that will allow him to retire to his vacation home on Bermuda. Some fat slob who's gonna get 35$ bucks of my money just for opening his truck door and stepping onto my land. It sucks. The last electrician te be on my land, a slob I didn't haveto pay, was named Tiny. He drove a brand new Lincoln Navigator, had a huge gold wrist band and wore dark glasses like Sam Giancona. He could have been an extra in any one of a number of Gangster flicks.
I think, "Should I call Tiny?" I can envision the conversation this way:
Tiny, "So...tough guy...wah-chu need."
Me relating the cable story yet again.
Tiny, "That cable? Forget-about-it. It's like, you know, it never happened. No trace, no cable, no nothen."
Me. "What will it cost?"
Tiny, "For you? I'l make you an offer you can't refuse............"