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I was just about to  flush when the lights went out.
 
It wouldn’t  have been such a big deal, I have whizzed and wiped before, so I’m pretty sure I could have managed it in the dark, but I was suddenly in coal-mine pitch-black darkness, in the local mega-mart home improvement store. 
 
You know,  those gi-nor-mous football field sized superstores with their own trees out back that they fell, debark, cut, and plane into lumber for your backyard birdhouse craft project – that store, in the dark, without emergency lighting!
 
Anyway,  I made it to the new, in-store demonstration trough sink with the automatic faucets and foamy soap dispensers, but couldn’t find the paper towel holder or the air dryer.  I wound up walking out of the ladies room, wiping my hands on my jeans, but it didn’t matter ’cause no one could see me.
 
I’d spent  the hour before the blackout, looking for a few perennials, but didn’t find any I wanted to dig a hole for, but did find some annuals I could put in pots, when I decided to make a pit stop.  
 
So, now  I’m in the dark, gingerly making my way along the small appliance aisle, when I realize that everyone else is still shopping, lights or no lights.  No one is in a hurry; no voices are raised, no loud noises, no carts crashing into each other, just shopping as usual.  How eerie is that?
 
I can just make out  a face in the shine of a toaster, when I remember I have a flashlight in my handbag.
 
Yes  – the same handbag that weighs about 7 lbs and everyone makes fun of – “Wadda’ya carryin’ a suitcase around for?” or “Hey, wadda’ya have in here – a bowling ball?”
 
No  – but I do have a flashlight;  a really cool one that a wonderful former boss gave me as a practical, in-case-of-an-emergency Christmas gift about 5 years ago, delightfully attached to a box of Godiva truffles.  
 
It’s  a very slim-as-a-pencil Radio Shack LED bright white flashlight I almost never use, but come Christmastime, I do remember to change the AAAA batteries.   
 
I felt around  in my bag until I found it and when I turned it on, everyone in the aisle was staring – glaring – at me.  I figured I looked like the proverbial beacon of hope in the darkness of life – but what I heard was, “‘S’cuse me, but can I borrow that?” 
 
Fifteen minutes later,  after helping people read signs and prices, (one man I met twice on two different aisles); I was at the cash registers, which surprisingly, or maybe not, were working as usual. 
 
Just as the cashier  swiped my card, all the lights came back on, but, with all the registers busy, three people in line behind me, and business as usual, I hardly noticed.

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