At one point in his latest book, Pontoon, Garrison Keillor recites Sunshine in the Night: A History of the Electrification of Lake Wobegon and Environs, a locally epic saga by a semi-retired utility executive who wiles his days away composing:
- The glimmering lights of the little town
- Shone like a beacon for miles around
- To many a farmhouse in the gloom
- And folks who sat in shadowy room
- And tried to read by kerosene lamp
- Like soldiers in some foreign camp
- Cast their eyes to Lake Wobegon
- And dreamed that the swift advancing dawn
- Of modern times would reach them soon
- And turn their midnight into noon.
Indeed, all the folks down at the Chatterbox Café have a stake in keeping the juice flowing, and Keillor indirectly admits to having his own proprietary interest:
- The glory that was radio
- Bringing opera and quiz show
- With the turn of a dial
- And comedians to make you smile.
But tragedy befalls our Prairie Homer, who having slipped and struck his head on a bathroom appliance, lived out the rest of his days in delirium, penning the final lines:
- Dark shadows hover near, unseen.
- Men cannot fathom what they mean.
- They are the shadows of the wings of that dark visitor who brings
- Death to you and me,Despite all electricity.
- No device, however grand, can halt his step or stay his hand Not light nor warmth nor radio wave
- Can slow our progress to the grave.
In this respect, even the Smart Grid has its limits.