As I was composing my original blog for today, the door bells rang. Whenever I’m not expecting anyone, I tiptoe up the stairs and check the video camera image then sneak a peek through the glass panel on the front door to see if it’s anyone I want to speak with. This time, I caught a glimpse of a blonde head and a fluorescent orange shirt. Obviously it was not a Jehovah’s witness, unless they’ve changed their tactics and donned costumes.

A pleasant young lady was at the door. In her hand was what looked like a bowling bag (or, if this was a scene from a horror movie, it would have been a satchel holding a severed head). In any event she happily announced that she was going to swap out our hydro meter.Alarmed, I asked her questions about the model name and number so I could do some research.

Could you come back another day? No. You’re the last house to get an installation.

Do you have any information about the meter? No.

We don’t want a smart meter. I’ve heard the horror stories about skyrocketing bills. Sorry, it has to go in.

Why didn’t Hydro One give us any warning? I don’t know. They probably should have.

Your cell service is really bad out here, she said. Yes it is. We pay through the nose; they don’t give a crap.

Would you like a coffee or a glass of cold water? No thank you. (I was trying to buy some time to do a web search)

Flummoxed, I had her wait while I turned off the computers. We had our meter changed about five years ago and I knew that every damned electronic appliance would be flashing when she was done. Sure we have our pricier electronics and appliances plugged into uninterrupted power supplies but why take a chance? I also grabbed a bottle of insect spray, knowing from experience that there’d be hornets or wasps living inside the grey box. I also took my cell phone to record the meter reading as well as the switch.

The young lady had a tough time getting the old meter out so she had to use a special tool thingy. Not to many angry insects, either. I’ve edited the videos for length and I’ve tried to rotate them so you don’t have to crane your neck, but my efforts seem to have gone for naught.

‘Public Utility’ is an oxymoron for sure! There’s no viable alternative and no competition, so we’re stuck. Grrrrr.