The Unkindest Cut of All

When it comes to the question of who cut through the security light cable when they should have been trimming the ivy, I feel that ‘blame’ is too strong a word. ‘Fault’ too has uneccessary connotations of negativity. And ‘boss-eyed, sausage-fingered, brain-dead, cack-handed moron’ is not calculated to bolster feelings of self-worth in the individual responsible for this entirely understandable, everyday, hardly-worth-mentioning mishap.

Which was me, obviously.

I had taken on the task in the traditional manly manner. Refusal to change into appropriate clothing: check. Use of tool not specific to the job but deemed to be good enough because the sharp secateurs are too far away: check. Flat denial of the need for ladders, even though job is at sufficient height to make not using ladders potentially suicidal: check. Realisation thirty seconds into task that task cannot possibly be satisfactorily completed but deciding to carry on regardless in hopes of getting away with it: check.

And get away with it I did. Because, according to every comic I ever read, on rudely interrupting the flow of the mighty amps and volts and whatnot, I should have instantly assumed a spread-eagled pose in mid-air, surrounded by jagged lines, while my skeleton throbbed visibly, my hair stood on end and everything around me went bang flash sizzle.

But I wasn’t shocked, I wasn’t stunned, I wasn’t a smoking loin of longpig left, twitching, on the ground.

I was that most dangerous of things: oblivious.

So later that night, when the bit outside the back door, which is usually floodlit so we can watch the slugs eat everything we’ve planted while their body language flicks the Vs in our general direction, remained stubbornly pitch-black, I wasn’t in any way prepared for the silky voice which murmured, guilelessly:

‘Is it possible that you might have cut the cable?’.

I immediately considered the three traditional response modes. 1. Feign deafness. 2. Jerk to attention, wild-eyed, and whisper ‘did you hear someone upstairs?’. 3. Book flight to Ecuador.

But it was, alas, too late. I knew, and she knew that I knew, and I knew that she knew that I knew that I was as guilty as sin.

Of course, I’d never have been in this position if good old-fashioned blood and guts electricity was still powering down the lines, veins throbbing, tattoos wobbling, can of premium lager in each hand, looking for anyone who might ‘want some’. But it appears that what flows along the wires these days is some sort of child-safe, low-fat, soya-based, quinoa-enriched, gluten-free power-lite.

So that’s who I blame. NPower.

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