Xmas Shopping Can Be…Hazardous?

This is a true story. Or rather a reality mini-series, taped yesterday and the day before. I didn’t even know I was casted for the role of the leading female character.  But obviously I was. To make a long story short, and as you have already missed the taping of the two episodes, I’ll start by telling the obvious: I survived to tell the story. And I promise to do the rest in fast forward.

part of the terrace all lit up

We had a fierce thunderstorm on Monday evening – with a tornado warning and all. Rare even for Florida in December, but there is was. Lightning show over the ocean. Rattling thunder and hard rain. I was talking to a good friend (hi Nina!) on the phone, just telling her about the spectacular sights, when the lights on our terrace suddenly went off. All 800 of them at the same time, without a blink. The terrace outside my office window was now lit only by the lightning. Oh well, we had lights inside. The weather continued most of the evening so I couldn’t go out to check what had gone wrong. Electricity and water don’t mix up that well.

my oversized coffee

So yesterday morning, after a huge mug of strong coffee, I did a couple of hours of unusual detective work. Started from the CFGI outlet. It had tripped. The question was why. I tested it using an old chandelier and it worked. Then I checked the three outdoor grade extension cords. All good. Finally I had to check each of the heavy-duty light sets, one by one…


They all worked individually, but put together they tripped the protection in the outlet.  Hmm. I then connected them in different sequences and finally found the culprit. Water had gone into one of the connectors. So while I had to work, I let it dry for a few hours in the bleak sunshine we had yesterday. No luck. So finally in the afternoon I decided a trip to the hardware store was in order. My little poodle wanted to come with me for a ride. He loves car rides and is excellent in guarding my old Ford, but for some odd reason I felt yesterday was not a good day to bring him along.

Bumble in my car, but not today

So I left alone. Found what I was looking for, a new extension cord and the last light chain of the type we had, and happily hurried to the register. There I am,  had just reached the cashier, when I hear a bang, something heavy dropping onto the floor behind me. And I feel it! My jeans are all wet on the back. I turn and look behind me. I find a scared-looking man and a huge canister of bleach on the floor…pouring out more bleach from the open top on my shoes.


My almost new, light brown patterned jeans, were turning red…and as soon as they dried a bit…further to white. I think they call it bright white. Irregular highlights all over the back, some on the front. My black leather shoes were turning red too. And my legs were bathing in the disinfectant. I tell you it’s not a pleasant bath, but hopefully it was a bit purifying so my legs won’t get infected any time soon.

The poor guy was terrified too. He gave me his telephone number and promised to pay for a new pair of jeans. I didn’t show him the shoes so those will be my contribution to his recovery from the Xmas show he improvised in the hardware store.

Bye-bye favorite jeans

The next challenge, after patting myself a bit drier with paper towels, was to protect my car from unintentional bleaching. The store gave me four huge plastic bags so I could cover the floor and my seat from top to bottom. I’m happy Bumble didn’t need to ride home in the extremely heavy scent of clean. His brown coat might have gotten free highlights from the smell alone.

After a shower and clean trousers, socks and shoes, I was all new. With the added learning that shopping before Xmas should be avoided to the extent possible. Thank goodness for the internet. I will shop for new jeans now and tonight I will enjoy the all lit up terrace from my office window once more. And I don’t think I’ll call the guy. He already had his share of excitement.

Wishing you all a less adventurous shopping season, if you absolutely need to get out there. And for myself I just wish a very ordinary and booring December day. Ordinary is good and I’ll be grateful for that.