by Larry Floersch
As an exclusively syndicated columnist for The Bridge, I feel it is my duty to warn people across this nation about a malicious threat to our security. No, I’m not talking about terrorists. I’m talking about extension cords. Now I know what you’re thinking, “But Lare, extension cords are safe when used properly.” Sure, one extension cord is not a threat, much like one snowflake is not a threat. It’s only when they gang up on you that things get serious. Right now extension cords are multiplying in our houses, behind dressers and bookcases and beneath beds and entertainment centers, right under our noses and just inches from our naked toes. I consulted my copies of Kirby’s An Introduction to Entomology and Ugly’s Electrical References, 2014 edition, and extension cords apparently have no natural enemies other than, possibly, lightning, and you know the odds of that striking. If this situation is left unchecked and they reproduce at a geometric rate, our homes could become filled with extension cords and left uninhabitable.
I learned of this threat because my wife woke up one morning and decided our house was too big and we needed to sell it. When she proposed this idea, I was not entirely aware that it meant taking everything out of our house including the extension cords, and, more importantly, ourselves. After all, the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles is up for sale, and one of the contingencies of the sale is that “Hef” be allowed to remain in the mansion for the rest of his life. I saw no reason why that courtesy would not be granted to me too, except I am not 90 years old and do not have an entourage of very attractive 20-something girls constantly at my side. And I can’t imagine how many extension cords he has or what they were used for! But I digress.
The nice lady from the moving and storage company explained the whole process to me and gave me a supply of boxes into which I could put all our stuff. I began by cleaning out my wife’s office. Once the furniture was removed, I was shocked (Not electrically. Just figuratively!) to find a large, tangled mass of regular extension cords (apparently at the larval stage?) and surge-suppressor power strips (the pupal stage?) on the floor. It looked like the snake-filled Well of Souls in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I only had a memory of one or two extension cords ever entering the room, so I surmised they had carried out their reproductive life cycle many times under the desk.
And that was just the first room. The living room was similarly infested. And the bedrooms. And the shed. In the end, we had five milk crates full of extension cords and surge suppressors. It was then that the full magnitude of their sinister ways struck me. Like bedbugs, extension cords are so good at hiding that every year at Christmas, I was forced to buy a new one because, as hard as I would look, I could not find one for the Christmas tree lights. And thereby, every year I expanded their gene pool, making them even more cunning.
But the deed is now done. The house was finally cleared, the papers signed and the new owners have moved in. And no doubt they have already started their own crop of extension cords. I wish them luck and hope they can keep them under control.
We kept one crate of extension cords with us when we moved into temporary housing, just so I can keep an eye on them. The others were put into long-term storage. But that got me to thinking. These things seem to seek out dark and quiet places in which to breed. So now I’ve been having dreams of a large warehouse somewhere filled with wooden crates. There, in a quiet and dusty corner, is a large wooden crate that emits a pulsating thrum. Stenciled on the side is “Top Secret Army Intel #9906753, Do Not Open!” And next to it, on the floor, are four milk crates full of slithering extension cords, reproducing at will in a perfect environment.