The road to renewable energy is fraught with danger and excitement.
Mr. Pap Smear and I have recently been trying to do our little part to save the planet for our grandkids. We decided to have a solar electric system installed at Chateau Pap Smear. In reality, what actually happened is that I took a pause from answering the quizzes about which Hogwarts house I belong to, or what spirit animal I really am, to search for the test telling me which Disney Princess I am. However, I was distracted from my fanciful objective when I came across a test measuring my solar IQ. Having filled out so many similar quizzes, out of habit, I began filling in the blanks and before I knew it, voila, I was finished.
I had barely hit enter, when my phone rang. I answered it and on the other end was a young man with a most engaging voice. The kind of flirty voice with a soft southern drawl that can melt butter at fifty paces or send this old queen’s ancient decrepit heart fluttering so much so that I feel giddy and dizzy. I soon found it necessary to disconnect the lights in my breasticles and use the bare wires from the battery pack as a defibrillator to get the blood pumping back to my brain. Before I knew what was happening, I had arranged for a site inspection for a possible installation.
Damn these companies, they know what they are doing. A week later, when I opened the door for the inspector, I fell back in amazement at the sheer beauty of this guy. Tall, blond, piercing blue eyes, snugly fitting T-shirt, tight-fitting jeans. He literally took my breath away. After I let him in, I was so flustered that I nearly slammed my breasticle in the door. Before you could say “Let me bedazzle your briefcase”, I found myself signing a contract for installation.
On installation day a crew of four buff gentlemen showed up at Chateau Pap Smear. They immediately got down to business as I, a curious homo-owner, watched their muscular bums climb the ladder onto the roof. Unfortunately for them, but lucky for me, it was a blisteringly hot day, so they took off their shirts. In my peripheral vision, I thought I caught a glimpse of several angels on my roof, but upon closer (discreetly, I’m sure they didn’t notice) inspection through my binoculars, I could see that the sweating men were glistening in the sunlight, as if they had halos. It gave me a reason to play like Blanche Devereaux and bring those sultry, sensual, sexy men some lemonade.
One of the guys was bobbing and weaving around an old TV antenna, which I have hated and wished were gone ever since we bought the house but I’m too afraid of heights to remove it myself. Me, being a girl who always depends upon the kindness of strangers, I mentioned that I wouldn’t mind if that antenna happened to fall off the house, since it was unused, and its only function was to act as lightning bait. Not sixty seconds later, bam, I had to duck and cover as the thing came hurtling to the ground, nearly piercing my beehive hair.
Low and behold, not three hours later, they were finished, and Chateau Pap Smear was sporting a new array of solar panels. The supervisor, who sadly had put on his shirt, told me not to turn on the system until after the city inspector’s approval. Several days later, after the city inspection, I went to the control panel and turned on the switch. Disappointingly, nothing visible or audible happened. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, perhaps a spark or a jolt, at the very least a humming sound, but I was met with the sound of silence. Simon & Garfunkel would be so proud.
The salesperson assured me there would be no more electricity bills, and that the power company would purchase any surplus kilowatts that we might generate. YAY! Oh, the money I was going to save. I could buy so much more glitter. Watch out world!
A month later, I received an electric bill for $130. Holy crap! That is not supposed to happen. I called the electric company and inquired as to why my bill did not reflect at the very least a significant decrease, if not a negative balance. They said the meter reading did not show that my solar system had produced any electricity at all. In frustration, I called the solar company for guidance. They politely inquired if I had turned on the system. I told them I had turned on the switch. Then they asked if I had flipped on the breakers in the electrical panel. Breakers? What breakers? I opened the panel and there labeled with big red-as-my-lipstick labels were two breakers that were switched off. Just then, upon seeing the blindingly bright neon red labels, I remembered the instillation foreman showing me these, and explaining that I needed to turn these on also in order to activate the system. Oops!
This story leaves us with several important questions:
- Since I have my own solar system now, does that mean I need to change the name of Chateau Pap Smear to Chateau Kolob?
- Am I now no longer Dowager Lady Pap Smear but Goddess Petunia?
- Do I need to install a convenient defibrillator jack in my breasticles, or should I just start carrying jumper cables in my purse?
- During summertime, should I install lemonade dispensers in my breasticles?
- Is flipping two breakers all it takes to “turn me on”?
These and other eternal questions will be answered in future chapters of The Perils of Petunia Pap Smear.