OK. So it wasn’t even close to a “Where Were You When the Lights Went Out” event, but tonight’s power failure on the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas was a major inconvenience and annoyance to commuters stuck in stop-and-go traffic and people wondering what they could eat that didn’t need cooking once they got home.
Even at 8 p.m., nearly an hour after the power was restored to much of the peninsulas’ 65,000 residents, motorists cruised by restaurants, peering in windows to see whether food was being served again.
If you were hungry, it was ugly. Burger King, closed. The local teriyaki joint, door locked, despite the “Open” sign glowing invitingly in its window. Qdoba, dark.
Albertson’s at Gig Harbor North was open during the blackout, but ready-to-eat was limited
Once Safeway on Point Fosdick Drive got rolling again, a line of eager customers stood at the deli counter, snapping up jo-jos and chicken tenders as fast as they came out of the deep fryer.
Not far from the deli, coolers unaccustomed to being turned off groaned and whirred as they came back to life. Many were emptied of their usual fare,, like cheeses and other snacks.
I trolled through the aisles, searching for food for a hungry husband, our home in the outlying area still powerless shortly before 8 p.m. The candles he lit set off the smoke detectors, and the constant beeping left Labrador retriever mix Lucy shuddering.
So even if our little blackout couldn’t hold a candle to that big one on the East Coast many years ago, it’ll still be the talk of the town Friday morning. And many people on the peninsulas will be telling each other what they were doing and how they passed the time on an unusual Thursday evening.
One note: Despite all those dark stoplights and people inching along at intersections, it was, for the most part, a pretty polite pas de deux du traffic (on a major scale, of course) on the peninsulas.