The World According to Humphrey

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Pepco the Incompetent

Posted by humphreysworld on September 1, 2011

Tsk tsk. Artifully done by Sara.

Once upon a time in a land far, far, away, all the way in the suburbs there was a little company called Pepco. Pepco, the Incompetent. Pepco was a clumsy, old, lonely and greedy boy. He had a monopoly you see on electricity sources for all of D.C. and a large portion of Maryland, so Pepco was spoiled and did whatever he pleased. Pepco wants to take a vacation? New fees! Pepco needs a new car, sorry, you’ll have to pay up! On top of that Pepco was clumsy! Any gust of wind and Pepco would throw a tantrum and give up. And don’t let him get wet- WOOO! Why, any drop of water or snow and you’re up frozen popsicle creek without a stick.

One day not too long ago during a particularly cold winter Pepco decided he simply had enough. The snow kept coming, messing up Pepco’s hair and his disposition even more. ‘Don’t make me walk out!’, he said. He was very upset you see; he was certain the snow was jealous of him and he did not like that at all. But the snow kept coming. ‘You don’t know who you’re messing with, I’m super serial, you stop snowing and stop snowing now!‘. But the snow wouldn’t stop. So Pepco turned off and walked out. He didn’t show is face in some parts of the land for a week! Customers schmustomers, Pepco thought. He was far too old & stubborn to give a rats, well, you know.

Customers everywhere were out of power. In the middle of the winter! Many people all over the land couldn’t get out of their houses because mother nature was quite angry herself that year and dumped up to a foot of snow, and they were forced to sit inside with no heat or hot water. Needless to say the townspeople were not pleased with Pepco. They called their representatives and cried shenanigans on Pepco and he had to face the music. Oh but Pepco was very cunning. He sent his staff to the castle Annapolis and made them a promise to behave, saying they would work on trimming trees and review his plans for outages. But that wasn’t enough to make them happy so he had to give up his bonus and promise to make real improvements. The nerve! How was he to keep up with his weekly tanning? Making improvements costs money, money that he and his minions relied on to take care of their needs. This was a dire situation indeed.

Of course no one was really watching, so Pepco thought, why do today what you can put off tomorrow? Or four years from now! Ha!

As you can guess, Pepco continued to misbehave. Storms would blow through and take the power with them. And even though Pepco made a lot of fancy ads to show the work he did, it wasn’t nearly enough to stop the trees from toppling on him (which of course made him mad) and the power going out.

Months went by. Winter finally got the hint and made things pretty easy for Pepco. And even summer passed with little trouble. Sometimes for grins and giggles Pepco would make the power flicker for some because he was just that mean. It’s important to note that Pepco was never raised with a strong work ethic. So even though he could be using this leisure time to prepare for winter who was sure to be cruel once again (winter had a big attitude himself), or even summer who was sometimes unpredictable and quite the diva, he was going to enjoy the last dog days of summer without a care in the world.

And then along came Irene.

Oh Irene! Clearly mother nature did NOT get the memo. Pepco was not interested in such things! The wind, the rain, the COMPLAINING! This simply would not do! All the forecasters were saying it was coming straight for his service area and it was going to be big, but Pepco wasn’t feeling well so he didn’t bother with any trees or any real prep. These weather people have been wrong before, so why make more work? As it turns out, Pepco was right, it wasn’t a big storm after all. But did that stop Pepco from acting up? Of course not!

POOF! Out went the lights.

When Pepco woke the next day, he felt good. A nice cool breeze was running all over him, fall was definitely coming soon. And interestingly enough, these silly weather dealings always made him feel alive. Maybe it’s the transformers exploding or the live wires making contact with the ground, whatever it is, damn it felt good. As he daydreamed lazily some irritating noise was disrupting his thoughts. Ringing… is that a phone ringing?? It sounds like a dreadful chorus! How did the phone lines get up so quickly!!! As if that isn’t bad enough, all this stupid social media buzz! ‘I knew I shouldn’t have listened to that PR hack!’, he thought. Apparently people didn’t appreciate having no power. I mean, when you’re living above ground surrounded by silly trees what else do they expect! ‘Besides, I’m old, how can I be expected to perform up to snuff!’, Pepco thought. And he’s got a point. Our reliance upon dirty energy from antiquated plants to deliver power through antiquated systems designed with 1/3 less people in mind, well, poor old Pepco simply can’t keep up. And Irene did pack a bit of a wallop, ripping old trees from their roots and crashing them into people’s houses. She wasn’t kind at all. But all things considered, had Pepco been more prepared and done what he was supposed to do, none of this would’ve happened. And Pepco knew it too. So he reached into his pocket and took out money from his 3rd Rolodex Fundand put some people on the streets to start cleaning up his mess. But dammit, he was not going to be pushed around by these customer people! ‘September 1st!’, he declared when deciding to get the townspeople up and running again- and that was that. Does that mean some people would be out of power for a week? Sure! Does that mean it will be hot, and stinky from rotten food and people

Stinky! Artwork beautifully designed by Sara

would have to take cold showers and eat out of tin cans? So what. Pepco was invincible and he wasn’t going to be bullied by anybody. If he wanted, he could send more of his minions to the castle Annapolis and tell them to put on their saddest faces and say they are really, really, REALLY sorry. Tell them we have a plan, yadda yadda yadda and make this horrible mess would go away. But then he heard something. Something he didn’t think he’d heard before. It sounded almost like a chorus. A chorus of thousands of voices….

The people have revolted! They demanded a more reliable Pepco! In fact, they began demanding the end of energy from dirty power plants like the one Pepco gets its energy from!! This could mean the end of Pepco!!! The voices got louder and louder, and it made Pepco tired. Even though he was a stubborn old mule, it made him sad to hear them calling him out his name. His mama was so not that! He wasn’t sure what was going to happen to him, all the fat cats working for him, or the future of dirty, unreliable energy…

The future is in YOUR hands, how the story ends is up to you.


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