February 08, 2006


I woke up this morning and looked out the window as I always do. This time, I was met with pitch darkness. I looked over at the clock - nothing. My computer, typically on for weeks at a time, was off. The power was gone.

I headed to the washroom, and flicked the light switch. Nothing. I turned the taps, and a few drops came trickling down the faucet. Finally, the water started spurting out, and I used whatever little remained in the pipes to perform wudhu. Finally, the water supply exhausted, and I was left with only a little lota water. The toilet would not flush either.

After prayer, I stepped outside my 18th floor apartment. There were no lights in the halls, and no power to work the elevators. I could not see anything in the darkness. I went back into the apartment, searching for a flashlight. I knew I didn't have one, but hopelessly searched regardless. Perhaps something was left behind by the previous tenants when I moved in over a year ago. I found nothing, and gave up my futile search after some time.

It was now 7:25am. I picked up the phone to call my supervisor that I might be late this morning. But there was no dialtone - I'm a subscriber of VoIP technology, and thus internet or power outages mean I am also without phone service.

It would have been a difficult trek to navigate my way down 20 floors to the parking garage to get to my car. At this point, I thought to myself, WWBD. "What would Batman do?"

And so I threw a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, and some clothes into my bag. I pulled my laptop out of its bag, and powered it up. The LCD monitor provided enough light for me to navigate my way down the dark and dirty stairwell. Finally, I reached the second basement, where the laptop monitor continued to be the only light in the pitch black garage.

I reached my car, and turned on the radio. I heard no sign that this power outage affected anything outside my street, so I decided to head out to work.

Alas, on driving up to the first level of the parking garage, I saw a number of other cars waiting by the exit to leave the parking garage. The garage door was electronically controlled, and we could not open it manually during the power outage. I waited and waited in the parking garage, until finally, building security initiated a manual override of the parking garage controls, allowing the door to open. The garage became flooded with natural light from the outside world, and we all broke free.

I was still in pajamas, however, with an unshowered body housing unbrushed teeth. I could have gone down to my company's main office, but downtown traffic would suck me in. Fortunately, I still had the access card for an old client site I worked at, and recalled that there was a shower there. So I drove down to the old client site, snuck in through the side door closest to the shower room, and got ready. I brushed my teeth, showered, got dressed, and was soon inconspicuously on my way to the office; no one caught me during my brief intrusion.

I drove back down to my current clients office, and reported in for another fun day of consulting. In the end, I arrived only ten minutes later than usual.


  1. That's hilarious though I'm a bit concerned that you went to an old client site to use their washroom that has a shower. If you got caught for that, you'd be in serious trouble and could have lost your job even over it if the old client made a big deal out of it.

    Either way, creative idea.

  2. The project I worked on at the old client site was still going on, so it wouldn't have been too bad if anyone did see me; they would have just assumed I was still working on that project, or that I came in for a meeting perhaps.

    If I knew where the showers were at my current office, I would have gone straight there. However, that office is actually part of a large campus with a number of buildings, and I don't have security clearance for all of them. So I opted to go with what I knew, and everyone lived happily ever after.

  3. Your "what would Batman do" line inspired me, really :) Except for me, it'd be "what would Barefoot Contessa do?"

    It's kind of sad because if she was faced with any kind of crisis or dilemma, she's probably try throwing some butter at it. Or Olive Oil.

  4. Probably because I don't have access to a television, that Barefoot Contessa reference just flew over my head until I googled it.

    Now, I have a strong desire to roast carrots with olive oil.