Much Ado is a Pleiad column that features slightly off-kilter and sardonic reportage. Much Ado first appeared in The Pleiad in the 1940s, and it has been sporadically written since, most recently in the early 1970s. This week, The Pleiad revives Much Ado.
After the first-week chaos of this semester, I thought The Pleiad would only have to write once about power outages.
Okay, maybe twice… things happen.
But here I am, drafting a third article about electrical failures at Albion College. I must be crazy.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, around 2:30 a.m., Albion College Campus Safety sent a notice that spun me into a fit of déjà vu. It read: “Car accident near campus is causing power issues on campus.”
Lights flickered and sputtered out for the third time. For those who were affected by the self-immolating power lines last week, it would be the fourth episode of lightlessness.
People sent texts and posted to the anonymous message board Yik Yak, in all caps, asking a simple question, a question that we all ask ourselves every time this happens:
It was novel the first time it happened. It was so strange that it was almost amusing. No class for the first week of school! How fun!
The second time it happened it was a short-lived inconvenience. An eye-roll was the appropriate reaction.
The third time, though? Now I have some questions.
Are we on the weakest power grid in the Midwest? Was there a Fast and Furious-style car crash that wiped out a power line? Is someone in Albion playing real-life Grand Theft Auto on these streets?
A search for the term “Power outage” on The Pleiad website brings up nine results. Five of them are stories from this semester about the lack of electricity at Albion College. Something strange seems to be happening.
Perhaps we really are on a frail power grid that is easily susceptible to failure. Perhaps the poles carrying power lines from building to building are rotten. We won’t know without a scientific experiment.
Test it. If you stand outside and exhale hard enough, you might knock over a power line or cause it to self-combust, thereby canceling classes for a few days. If you’re nervous about the approaching finals week, look around your dorms, houses, frats and lodges and consider who has the strongest lungs. They could possibly help you get some more time to study (though you may be reading your notes next to candlelight).
But be careful: If we all go out at take a deep breath at the same time, we might just blow this place off the map.