As always, the Pakistan Electric Paucity Company is striving to deliver the best possible service to its valued customers within extremely limited resources. We firmly believe in empowering people (yes, we like punning too!) and judiciously and responsibly using what meagre power there is.
To that end we are issuing our revised set of rules and regulations for our esteemed customers. We’ll be honest with you; we don’t like to keep valuable consumers in the dark (pun intended!): we’re only left with enough power to run just a few appliances in the country for a mere month or two. And those are located in Islamabad (we all know where). Drastic measures are therefore required, and we request that all consumers strongly adhere to the guidelines that follow. (For those in Karachi, our sister company Karachi Electric Scarcity Corporation is issuing the same rules, so don’t think you can get away with it.)
1. Avoid using lights, especially from sunset to sunrise. And during the day, pull open all your curtains and sunbathe. If it’s cloudy or rainy, think of the many songs celebrating rains and immerse in the experience.
2. Light bulbs are an outmoded invention that Edison conceived while taking a break from his other inventions. It is a known fact that in those who use them, bulbs cause a lot of perspiration and hardly any inspiration. Edison said so himself. Moreover, research has revealed that bulb filaments produce invisible rays that can seriously hamper male virility. Do you still want to use them?
3. Do not use electric heaters. If gas is in short supply, we suggest you wear eight sweaters and huddle. If the Americans can have “huddled masses” why can’t we? We’re certainly a massive nation, population-wise. Huddling would create national unity and mutual understanding. It would also create more of us, soon enough. Then we can huddle some more.
4. In summers, try using smaller air conditioners. Those that weigh a ton or two are way too heavy and difficult to install; we suggest you find something in the 5-10 kg range. Keep its filter clean and its power cord unplugged. Also, always keep the thermostat at 36ºC which is keeping in line with national averages.
5. Most ceiling fans are squeaky and ineffective. And did you ever think how long can these fans defy gravity? What goes up must come down. It’s a law of nature, as all grownups know. So avoid these fans lest they mangle you badly. Safety comes first.
6. Computers are good appliances and don’t consume much energy. As long as you don’t use their monitors. So we strongly recommend that you don’t. Monitors in any case produce invisible rays that can cause serious mental derangement. Trust us; we know from personal experience.
7. Irons are a passé invention and we recommend that you should try wash-and-wear which is cool in both senses of the word. Irons can also give you electric shocks by increasing your monthly bill manifold. So avoid them.
8. Hair dryers are entirely useless contraptions because if you wait long enough your hair would dry out anyway. Plus they produce invisible rays that can adversely affect ladies’ sense of aesthetics and thus lead to bad shopping decisions. Do you still want to use them?
9. All cell phone and other chargers should be disconnected when not in use. And sometimes even when in use. Remember, we charge by the charger. Ok, that wasn’t too funny but you can smile at least; it costs nothing. Yet.
10. If you still crave energy-sapping devices we suggest you use generators and go easy on the national grid. We’re in a gridlock as it is. (Haha!)
11. Finally, we recommend you strictly follow these instructions or else face unending load management. Always remember… PEPCO rules!
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, January 30th, 2011.