Lenoir County family divided over utility bill

By Jon Dawson/Staff Writer

When Madeline Weaver arrived home last Thursday she was shocked to be greeted by candlelight.

“It wasn’t my birthday or wedding anniversary,” she said. “I convinced myself my husband was trying to be romantic…or at the very least, pre-apologize for something he’d done that I hadn’t found out about yet.”

Not only was Madeline Weaver’s kitchen and dining room covered with candles, but so was every room of her house.

“The candles in the hallway were a bit much,” she said. “The more candles I saw it looked less like a romantic evening and more like a vampire’s wake.”

When Madeline tried to turn on the light in her bedroom closet, she was greeted with darkness. Attempts to turn on other lights throughout her home yielded the same result.

“I looked outside and saw lights burning all through the neighborhood,” Weaver said. “When I opened the cupboard to get a can of soup is when I saw the basket of light bulbs.”

What Madeline Weaver walked in on that night was not a romantic evening, but rather the outer edges of her spouse’s overreaction to a high utility bill.

“When I opened our latest electric bill I thought it was my 401K,” said Barney Weaver. “After I realized it was the light bill I immediately unscrewed every light bulb in the house – even the one in the refrigerator.”

Even though removing the light bulb from his refrigerator caused Barney Weaver to mistake a jar of horseradish for mayonnaise during his nightly 10 p.m. sandwich run, he claims he doesn’t regret taking drastic measures.

Christmas items are now in stock at Bannister’s Fine Gifts, located at 106 West Railroad Street in La Grange.

“Contrary to what you might think, a banana and horseradish sandwich isn’t as horrifying as it sounds,” a defiant Barney Weaver said. “After brushing my teeth for a few hours everything was just fine.”

Barney also instituted other austerity measures, including limiting everyone in his family to 15-second showers.

“We have a teenage son who sweats like a rented mule in the dead of winter,” Madeline said. “If this 15-second shower policy stands we’ll have to start sending him down to the canal with a bar of soap.”

Neighbors noticed something was awry when they saw the glow of a smart phone illuminating the dog house in the Weaver’s back yard.

“Madeline ran me out of the house so I’ve been bunking with the dog,” Barney said. “I watch Netflix movies on my phone and to appease the dog we’ve been watching old episodes of Lassie.”

Avoid the box store blues at Blizzard Building Supply, located at 405 Walston Avenue in Kinston.

While her husband adjusts to a more rustic setting, Madeline Weaver is planning a yard sale to offset the cost of their utility bill.

“I’ll be selling a lot of my husband’s memorabilia,” Madeline said. “Anyone in the market for A-Team or ALF commemorative plates should stop by the house this Saturday morning.”

When asked how it feels to be sharing sleeping quarters with the family dog, Barney Weaver put on a brave face.

“It’s a little cramped in there, but the pine straw is cheap and the food is a little better.”

Jon Dawson’s books are available at http://www.JonDawson.com

You can hear Jon Monday through Friday on the Bryan Hanks Show:

The Bryan Hanks Show airs on 960-AM in Kinston, and 960TheBull.com daily at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. It also airs on the suite of 252ESPN.com stations in New Bern and Greenville (107.5-FM) at 6 p.m. Archived shows are available at http://www.BryanHanks.com.

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