Powerfree ~ 2000 Mythsteries and Other Pithy Shorts ~ #20
Once upon a time, there were men (mostly) who roamed the streets with matches looking for a light and they were named lamplighters.
In time, the matches lost their heads and a silly fool went out to fly a kite in some sort of bad weather and used his new key to provide a tail.
Lo! A lightning bolted straight into his kite, stringed now and blew up his key. This act of divine knocked the fool into a cocked hat and when he woke up a light bulb went off in his head. He kited and keyed another while and imagined up electricals.
Much in demand, this form of captured lightning brought a high price and people formed little groups to produce enough to light their path to the outhouse and the cow barn. Soon, otherbodies went from kingdom to kingdom to buy up these small groups, or co-ops as they were then known.
After some time, there were only a few big groups and the price went so high the littlebodies couldn't buy any more. Because of the twin ninos and such the lightning pretty much moved on and alchemists began to make electric out of water.
And it came to pass that the dam electricity faltered because of heavy useage by many and many more folks who were using it to light up days as well as the night. Alas, when the rich got the lucre out of energy, the rulers stepped in and mass-confused the whole system until town criers were invented.
A town crier was a man (mostly) who went up and down the roads crying out the news in his own words. His opinions, called punditings, were commonly accepted as truth. It was he that rolled up and down the roads telling first one and then the other that there would be even-ing power.
Today you get some, tomorrow you don't. Some get it, some don't and so on until eventually it rolls back to your place and you see the light.
And that's how the powerless caught rolling blackouts.