I was working away at Chapter 13 in the early hours when the power went off. The UPS began beeping, and I was bathed in the unholy glow of the various lights on the DVD player and the screen of my computer. I waited a few seconds in case it was a minor glitch, then decided to call it a night.
The computer screen light cut out and I realised I should have left it awake for another few moments. Since my computer hates being woken when it's just gone to sleep, I abandoned the idea of shaking its shoulder and instead got up (cautiously) and shuffled forward to rest it on its little platform. I unplugged it, in case the power spiked when it came back on. (I saw a power spike once. Sparks shot out of power points and those power safety thingies melted.) Next, I located the heater and felt my way along its cord to the extension, which I pulled. Then I betook myself to the bathroom.
Working by feel, I located my toothbrush and the paste. Having removed the lid, I decided the paste smelt wrong, so I put it back and took another tube from the drawer. Just as well I did, since it later devolved I'd picked up a tube of "A Little Bit of Relief" instead. Having brushed my teeth, I tried to rinse. No go. The pump was (temporarily) dead.
I gave up and went to bed. A few mionutes later, some clonks and whirrs announced the power had come back on.
All this goes to show how much we rely on electricity. But no, this is not going to be a spiel about how decadent we've all become. If we didn't have electricity, then we'd have candles and matches to hand. We'd have lanterns, ticky-clocks, and ewers of water on the wash stand. Because we do have electricity, we do not have lanterns. Because I have a computer, I do not have a typewriter. As my husband said, what would happen if I had to go back to typing? Well... I'd find running my business almost impossible because I rely on my computer. I am no longer set up with carbon papers, Tip-Ex and ring binders. I'm not even sure it's possible to buy Tip-Ex any more. Where would I buy a ewer? Or a lantern?
... and of course if I lived in the time of lanterns and ewers, I wouldn't have almost brushed my teeth with embrocation. It wouldn't have been invented yet.