What’s up, Annapolis?
Is everything going well in your world? I’m certainly more chipper than I have been in recent days, not only because it’s Thanksgiving Break, but because last week I got an unexpected day off. Why? The power went off at my school. Now, I have to make this day up during the summer, and so if I need to make the day up I better have it off for a darn good reason. But the reason, apparently, was simply that BG&E arrived on the scene too late, took too long to fix the problem, etc. You’d think schools and all would be at the top of their priority list. But nope.
I suppose you can attribute this article to me being a bored and sarcastic teenager with too much time (a newly vacated school day, specifically) on his hands. But who’s to blame for that, again? I realize that the people on the bottom rungs of BG&E go off and bust their butts every day and I thank them for it. But some people up top haven’t decided, say, to run their wires underground so that they won’t come crashing down every time a gust of wind comes through. They haven’t hired more crews in order to service neighborhoods more quickly and efficiently after a power outage instead of leaving them—literally—in the dark. And on top of it all, the rates keep fluctuating.
At any rate, we’re studying Jonathan Swift in school. For those unfamiliar, he was a British 1700s-era satirist who wrote Gulliver’s Travels and, among other essays, a satire entitled A Modest Proposal designed to shed light on the poverty of the Irish by suggesting that we eat their babies. With a day with nothing to do and an easy target that was causing me to miss a day of summer, I sat down and started writing a modest proposal of my own, and this is the end result. It’s all meant in friendliness, I have no great wish to insult anyone. Just enjoy, laugh, and if it’s not your thing, don’t read.
A Modest Proposal For Preventing The Occurrence Of Storms And Wind In Maryland From Being A Burden To Baltimore Gas & Electric Or The Denizens of Maryland, And For Curing Deafness
It is a melancholy circumstance indeed for those who discover, upon the conclusion of a thunderstorm or another natural phenomenon of a similar nature, that a power line is down, leaving all affected people without means to refrigerate their food, heat their house, or keep their ailing grandmother on life support. These downed power lines, much to the misfortune of the public, lie motionless on the side of the road, and are forced to refrain from practicing their business of conducting to our homes and businesses means of flushing toilets, running water, and turning on lights. This not only presents a great inconvenience to the public, but to Baltimore Gas & Electric, because it unfortunately presents them with the necessity to perform their jobs quickly and efficiently, which seems a significant burden.
I believe that all concerned parties can agree that the downed power lines have become a very great nuisance, as they force homeowners to sit in the dark as their food rots in the refrigerator, children to refrain from learning because their school has closed, and Baltimore Gas & Electric to further justify rate increases to its customers in the face of its terribly slow and untimely repairs.
For my own part, I have devoted several years of study to this phenomenon and the search for a means of preventing or curtailing it, and have found a solution that many theorists and speculators have overlooked. It is my sincere hope that this can at last put to rest the unfortunate practice of Baltimore Gas & Electric pretending to have well-organized and well-run response crews. This solution also serves to prevent the need for the all-too-common occurrence of crews taking several hours to arrive on site from a dispatch center a short ways away in a vehicle capable of reaching speeds of at least sixty miles an hour, as well as the practice of a group consisting of trained and paid professionals taking the better part of a day to determine how best to reconnect two broken pieces of wire.
The number of telephone poles in the area serviced by Baltimore Gas & Electric can best be estimated, I have been assured by experts, at four and a half, but if one were to consider the number of telephone poles in the areas that Baltimore Gas & Electric claims to service, one would generally arrive at a figure of about four hundred thousand. The question now is, how can these poles and the wires that run between them be properly maintained and cared for, so as to prevent the further dreadful occurrence of downed power lines and lethargic response from Baltimore Gas & Electric. One would suppose that the thin, rubber-coated wires in question would be sufficiently able to defend against a tree, as I have seen with my own two eyes these wires withstand a group of very fat squirrels, but I have been counseled by notable physicists that a falling tree is considerably more forceful than a squirrel, even one of very large girth, so it becomes clear that a sort of preventative action must be taken. Similarly, one would expect the wood pillar that supports these lines to withstand all sorts of weather and disturbances and remain upright no matter what, as I was once privy to witness a very strong man lean against one of these wood poles without causing it to move whatsoever, but I have been again counseled by top physicists that a tall pillar of wood buried shallowly into the ground is also susceptible to falling trees, lightning, and other such factors. It is quite evident, then, that something must be done about the stability of these poles, for refraining from action will not grant us a reprieve from the power failures, and thus the resulting inconveniences, school closures, and awkward cell phone conversations with BG&E dispatchers who regret to inform their customers that despite the fact that they are charged a good deal every month for their energy, their power cannot be repaired at this time.
My solution, which I believe is in the best interests of all interests, both public and private (and public bathrooms, which seem to fall under both categories), was reached after a good deal of consultation and conversation with infrastructural experts, such as Governor Sarah Palin. Governor Palin’s experience in the way of infrastructure consists generally of having overseen the construction of the widely criticized ‘Bridge to Nowhere’, although personally, as far as I can see, the bridge has not yet fallen down, so she seems to be doing a good deal better than BG&E at this point. Governor Palin is also a bona fide expert in luxury commodities, and I am proud to state that many of our taxpayers’ dollars have gone to support her tireless studies of fine gems, which she often wears around her neck as a tribute to a study she has just completed with the Macy’s or Tiffany and Co. foundations. Governor Palin has informed me that a diamond, besides, of course, being a girl’s best friend and frankly the most wonderful gift a woman could ever receive, is very strong and can endure pressure of objects of any hardness. At this she presented me with a handful of diamonds and invited me to test this theory. After striking Governor Palin’s head several times against the diamonds without producing the slightest of cracks on their surfaces, I learned that they indeed were made to withstand the hardest of objects, and began to question her further about the gems.
Governor Palin made it plainly known that, diamonds being as strong as they are, the best way to protect the fragile wires and poles of BG&E would be a simple diamond casing, three centimeters in diameter, around each wire and pole. This casing would shield the thin wires and splintery poles from further damage by rendering them strong and unbreakable. Wind cannot shatter the diamond casing, nor snow and ice, nor a relentless barrage of sticks and trees, nor even the very fat squirrel previously mentioned (although I was concerned that the squirrel might mistake the diamonds for shiny nuts and chip his tooth, Sarah Palin assured me that she would monitor the fattest of squirrels from her helicopter nearby, and now I have no reason to fear for their safety). In addition to providing this necessary stability to the poles and preventing power outages, and in turn losing entire word documents, not having running water and infuriatingly slow BG&E response, the casing of diamonds has the ability to serve additional purposes. As it is often said that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’, the addition of these casings to every telephone wire in the area serviced by BG&E would mean that women would only need to take a short drive on the highway for companionship. Feeling comforted by the presence of the diamonds, and their feeling of loneliness abated, they would not feel the need to purchase the music of Mr. Justin Bieber, and, I am assured, this sudden lack of interest in Mr. Bieber will lower early-onset deafness rates around the country by as much as two hundred percent.
The process of obtaining the diamonds is a costly one indeed, and I am assured that there are many stores from which they can be purchased, but I humbly propose that BG&E approach Sarah Palin for guidance, as she would be more than willing to help them acquire the diamonds. She has advised me that she would look most favorably upon an opportunity to send a young man by the name of Levi Johnston to Africa’s diamond mines.
I believe that if we truly adopt and adhere to this method and place said diamond casings on all power wires and poles, we shall soon find ourselves devoid of the nuisances of power outages that once plagued us, and BG&E shall find itself devoid of the nuisance of customer service that once plagued it. The only possibly party in this scenario with anything to lose are those merchants who trade in the commodity of hearing aids, although I am sure they will quickly assimilate to high positions within the diamond business. It is simply, to quote Governor Palin, a plan that cannot be refudiated.
And so I, your humble servant, make my final entreaty—for the good of all the citizens of Maryland, please take steps to place this diamond casing, no less than three inches in diameter, on the miles of poles and wires in the BG&E service area. I assure you that it will prove a trustworthy and economical solution to our current problems.
Well, I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!!
All the best,