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Transformer blow-out #44563
11/07/04 11:28 AM
11/07/04 11:28 AM
pauluk  Offline OP
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
This story has just appeared in the Telecom Digest group. I thought some of ECN's members might find it amusing.

Pat, the digest editor, lives in Independence, Kansas:


Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2004 19:43:31 EST
From: TELECOM Digest Editor <>
Subject: Last Laugh! Much Excitement Around Here Today

As I was working on this issue of the Digest earlier Saturday afternoon, all of a sudden I heard a loud popping noise, and all the lights went out (except for the computers and the Vonage phone, which are on battery backup.) I still powered everything down, and looked in my own fuse box, then called up the electric plant (KGE/Westar) to report the lights were out. I heard a siren from a fire truck nearby, and decided to go look and see what was up. The lights were out at nearby houses as well. Outside I could smell the remains of some thick, acrid smoke in the air, about a block away so I walked up that way to see what it was about.

It turns out a power transformer had blown out on the corner of Second Street and Walnut, about a block from my house, taking with it a fuse in the line at the next transformer down the street, where a couple of older teenage guys live with the girl friend of one of them. Neither of those guys is terribly bright -- if you will pardon me for saying so -- but they had called the Fire Department because they thought their house was on fire (very loud, popping noise, tons of thick black smoke everywhere); it wasn't -- nothing wrong with their house at all, but I can't say I blame them for being a little bit concerned at first.

These kids are obviously used to being blamed for whatever goes wrong in town; by now a police car had come past, the officer was chatting with the two firemen still standing around looking at electric poles in the area, and the KGE guys in their truck with the yellow spinning light on top had just pulled up also. The cop and the firemen all drove away, totally uninterested, leaving the KGE guys there to do what they had to do.

The girl friend, who seems to do the talking for these guys told me "I was ironing Chester's (her boy friend) clothes; he has a new job working at Walmart on the midnight shift. I have to get his clothes ready for him to go to work. He had the television set turned on, and his friend Bobby was looking in the refrigerator for something for them to eat. Bobby had just opened the refrigerator when we heard that awful explosion and our house all filled up with black smoke. Do you think we were using too much electricity having my iron plugged in at
the same time the television was going and the refrigerator door was open.?"

I told her I did not think that caused the problem. "When we called the Fire Department we thought his house was on fire and then when the police car showed up just now we figured Bobby would get blamed for making all the lights go out all over the neighborhood." (Apparently
the KGE guys were walking down the alley at this point trying to detirmine if any other transformers/fuses were out.)

The two guys and their girl friend are all sitting the front porch all this time, having evacutated when the explosion occurred and the smoke was so thick earlier. I asked Bobby how he was getting along with his new computer and he said "I got an account from Yahoo but I don't know how to use it, can you come by in a day or so and show me what to do to get on line? and put my picture there for girls to see also?" I told him I would.

Bobby has been by here a few times to 'check his email' (before getting his own computer and Yahoo account), and invariably he wanted to 'pick up girls' and see their pictures. I told him whatever you guys do, do not send out such 'hot pictures' of yourselves and your girl friend that you cause the circuits to blow out again like you did today! He responded sort of indignantly, "I told you me and Chester had nothing to do with all the lights all over the neighborhood going
out this afternoon!"

Well, just another day in the life.


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 11-07-2004).]

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Re: Transformer blow-out #44564
11/08/04 09:33 PM
11/08/04 09:33 PM
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,260
SI,New Zealand
That's a really good one, Paul!.
Bobby had just opened the refrigerator when we heard that awful explosion and our house all filled up with black smoke. Do you think we were using too much electricity having my iron plugged in at
the same time the television was going and the refrigerator door was open.?"

HeHe, good story!.
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