The Grid: An Urban Legend by George Wier on the Independent Author Index
The Grid: An Urban Legend by George Wier (free ebook)
October 15, 2012 |
Posted by George Wier
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“Self-sufficiency”, “Independence”. These are good concepts, but bad things can happen when you go too far. Just be glad it’s the neighbors instead of you.
Todd and Janine Weathersby were a couple of kooks who lived over the hill and down the dirt lane from me and the Missus, and when I say kooks I really mean it. You might know the kinda folks I’m talking about. There used to be this guy who picked up cans on the side of the road all the time going into town, day-in, day-out. Had him a little four-wheeler with a big basket on back for the thirty gallon sacks he’d fill up in half a day’s time and a little pole sticking out the side for those spools of plastic trash bags they sell for a buck-fifty at the Value-Mart. A real goony-bird, that one. Never waved, never did nothin’ excepting pick up those cans with a long stick with a bent nail on the end of it. The Weathersbys were like that can-fellah, by which I mean they was single-minded as all hell. Only the Weathersbys were mad about the grid. Getting off of it, that is.
Point of fact, I stopped by the Weathersby’s place once to see how they were getting along after the tornado came through and tore the hell out of half the county, and there they were, not a shingle out of place, Todd filling up a five gallon jerry-can from this spigot on the side of this grain silo-looking contraption, and I asked him first had the tornado come through his property, to which he nodded “no”, and second asked him what the hell he was doing, to which he replied: “Filling my gas tank.What’s it look like?” A real smart-aleck, that one. Mad about the grid, though, I’m telling you.
See what I mean, though, about the grain silo home-gas station? Now at that time gas was less than three bucks a gallon. Maybe it was about two-fifty. And the Weathersby’s weren’t the kind of folks to give their hard-earned money over to the oil companies. Hell, if it was up to me, all those oil executives would be strung from the power lines along the highway, which in itself brings up another topic completely: the Weathersbys didn’t take any electricity from the Cooperative. None! I don’t mean they didn’t burn their lights at night or something. What I mean is there wasn’t even a wire running from some pole somewhere over to their property and into their danged walls! How’s that for kooky? As Todd explained it was, it was ‘radiant’ energy. Now I’ve heard of all kinds of energy, but radiant energy? Must come from Japan or something.
I once ran into Janine in the supermarket line buying battery rechargers (see?) and I asks her “what’s the deal with you folks havin’ your own petrol?” on account of that one had been botherin’ me for some time and I never rightly understood it. “Self-sufficiency,” she says. “you probably never heard of it.” Rude, that one, but mad as a hatter to boot.
The Weathersbys didn’t buy nothing from town in the way of food but raised their own produce on their little postage stamp south forty out back which wasn’t really south but north and not really forty, but more like six. Acres, that is.
So when my Missus took them over a cherry pie for Thanksgiving, on account of we’re such Christian folks and Thanksgiving is an official Christian Holiday, why those Weathersbys just opened the front door and looked at my Missus queer-like, as if maybe…
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