A usual Saturday evening for me consists of laying out my church going clothes, it’s a ritual, I come straight home from Synagogue, eat some dinner then get ready for tomorrows counterpoint service… I like to ensure my outfit is good and religious ready – ready to go ahead and soak up ALL the Jesus – and for that to happen my clothes need to tumble dry on the delicate setting, don’t ask. I was getting my double knit reversible slacks ironed early because I knew earth hour was approaching and I wanted everything to be just so, (plus they say they are wrinkle free, never iron – BUT in reality, they aren’t, the crease goes out of them every 8 – 14 sermons, depending on how many times I jump up from my seat & how vigorous is my hallelujah-ing)…
Preparing early would free me up to go ahead and cut the power to all the appliances in the house, making my home consume exactly zero electricity……making me, once again, better than everyone in my neighborhood, the half-wayers who only turned out their lights for an hour….
So come 8, I start cutting through the hydro hookup from the transformer on the street to my house, don’t worry I’m not an idiot – I had my electricity calming slacks on, made completely of rubber, anyways I’m almost through the cable when I get that weird feeling like someone is right behind me, close, and the hair on the back of my neck stands up, hey – wait a minute… could that have been the electricity…… no, no, unlikely – after all I was wearing rubber – but just then, he spoke, saying simply, stop.
I slowly turned and felt my heart move up into my throat – literally, I nearly threw up my heart, after squeezing my chest incredibly hard – including a super awkward reverse Heimlich maneuver – I was able to get it back down, words can’t explain what was going through my mind when I realized – I’m standing face to face with, the Mafia…….. This was the genuine, honest to god Sicilian Cosa Nostra, not the punk ass Italian goomba wiseguys you see on TV. This was real old world danger, the type of guy who wouldn’t hesitate to gut you like a fish if the situation called for it…. and he was packing….
What did he want? Why was he here? Where did he come from? Why was his facial hair drawn on? We stood, silent – neither backing down or daring to make the first move – each of us taking the measure of the other, the air fairly crackled between us….. Just then my watch chimed 8:30, Earth hour and the lights went out, plunging the two of us into darkness as lights were switched off all over the city….. I dropped and rolled as Ninjas are trained to do and stayed perfectly still so as to not give my new position away.
I stayed there, motionless, until the lights came on exactly 1 hour later and the man was gone…. no explanation, no reason, simply vanished as quietly as he had come, and that night – not only did Earth hour help save the planet just a little bit, but it also saved me.
Good for you planet, good for you Earth hour and may I never cross paths again with the mysterious mafioso stranger….. whose head was waaaay too big for his body….
Have a great day.