I had such high hopes.
8:30 to 9:30 tonight was the Earth Hour. At dinnertime, it was all we could talk about.
Eight thirty came… and went. All right, I’m sorry. I was working on a website and did not notice the time. When next I looked at the taskbar clock, it was already 8:35. I hurriedly shut down my laptop and switched off the light.
I ran out of my room to go to the terrace. The whole third floor was dark, but I did not mind that. I did not trip; I could see just fine. It must be because my eyes were gleaming like those of a cat. Yup; I was that excited. In fact, I felt like a five-year-old on the Eve of Christmas. I opened the door to the terrace and prepared myself for the beauty of a street gone dark because the residents cared so much for Mother Earth.
I should have been more realistic. Of course, there was a parade earlier informing all and sundry about the Earth Hour. Even so, I should have known there would be people who couldn’t be bothered even for an hour.
Our street was glaringly bright! The streetlights were on! My smile dimmed but I consoled myself by thinking, “Okay, for reasons of safety, those lights simply had to be on.”
I looked left then right and my smile dimmed a little more. I could count on one hand the number of houses and buildings that were truly dark. Our neighborhood pharmacy’s lights – even those on the panaflex signboard – were all on. All the lights in the barbecue place across the street were also on. Two buildings down, the lights of an apartment complex were visible. The lights and sign of a grocery store a block away could also be seen. And on and on in all directions, I could see points of light shining through my would-have-been perfectly dark night.
I decided to come down from the terrace and see if the view got any better from the ground floor. No such luck. In our building, all the lights were off from the third floor to the first floor. In the neighboring buildings, all the lights were on from the ground floor to the top floor.
I had such high hopes.
What a big let-down. 😦
On a positive note
I got four others to accompany me on a brief “exploration trip.” We roamed some city streets looking for evidence that there are people who can put Earth first even for an hour.
Some places of business cooperated. The high-end gimmick place was one of them. All their electric lights were off, even though the place was full of diners and people who wanted to see and be seen. The management had prepared well for Earth Hour. Scattered here and there were candles on classy tiki-torch holders. They gave the place one heck of a great ambience. Thumbs up to the management! I’m sure you won brownie points with your target and existing customers for being so conscientious.
Unfortunately, the national food chains were less cooperative. The lights were blazing in McDonalds, Jollibee, KFC, and other such fast food joints. Obviously, these places’ management thought their “market” won’t appreciate it or understand if they turned off their lights for Earth Hour.
Our protracted exploration cheered me up a bit. There were streets that were entirely dark. There were side-streets that figuratively screamed, “Who gives a f***?” Even so, it was obvious that there were more people who voted Earth during Earth Hour than I initially thought. 🙂
On a funny note
I had been standing outside to see which buildings in our block turned off their lights when I felt a pair of eyes burning a hole in my back. I turned around to see who was staring at me. Lo and behold, there was the notorious city hunchback. I say notorious because this particular character is legendary for his quick, groping hands. He had on a sappy but sinister smile, and that smile was directed at me. It wasn’t too far a stretch (figuratively and literally for he was standing only around a foot from me) to think that his quick hands would also soon be directed at me.
Needless to say, I quickly turned around and slowly moved away; I did not want to join the long list of Groping Hands’ victims, but I did not want to move too quickly that I’d hurt his feelings. Alvin, the store-minder, had no such compunction, however. He was beside me one moment, and then three meters away the next. That was funny, for I didn’t think Groping Hands is at all interested in the the male species, he he he 🙂