Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Following up on my previous post about the fall-out from the latest nor’easter-related power outage, I am here to tell you that the Great Port Swiller Manor Debate About Whether To Invest In A Generator has at last, 18 years on, been resolved.

Short version? We’re getting one.

Longer version? W.S. Gilbert’s “Unbridled Domesticity” can be….difficult.

You see, when Ol’ Robbo said, “Yeah, I guess we probably could do with a generator,” my idea was something in the 500 to 1000 dollar range.  You know, the sort of thing that sits on a cart, and when you need it, you gas it up from your lawn-mower can.  My reasoning was that, when the power went out, all we really needed was something to keep the HVAC juiced up.  Lights we could supply. Spoiled stuff in the fridge and freezers we could discount.

Fool that I was, I left it to Mrs. R to research.

Mrs. Robbo is, shall we say, not much of a stoic.

She called me the other morning with her report.

“Okay,” she said, “I had a guy out to do an estimate.  Before you say ‘no’, just hear me out.  We can get 18 months to pay without interest.”


“Yes, 18 months.  And the system will cover everything.”

“Wait…18 months? How much does it cost?”

“Cover everything.  It hooks up to the gas line and automatically kicks in….”

“Wait, wait! How much does it cost that we need to finance it?”

She told me.

Jesus. Mary. Joseph.

“Well, if we don’t get it, I’m checking in to a hotel every time a big storm approaches.  And I’ll take as many pets as I can and board the rest…..”

I got thinking about it.  We lose power rayther a lot around here – in winter due to ice and snow, in summah due to violent thunderstorms.  Most of the time, it’s only for a few hours, but occasionally, it can be for several days on end.  If you do a straight cost/benefit analysis, it’s better to let Mrs. R go to a hotel for the longer outages than it is to invest in a stand-by generator.   But you know what? There is also an incalculable deficit related to the bother and fuss of having her do so.  If you’re married, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Bottom line? We’re in for the heavy stuff.