If this were a movie, hardware and software developer David Rowe would look like a sitting duck for teen shenanigans — I mean, we don’t know the dude, but we’re pretty sure he’s a dweeby dad (or as close as you can get in Australia). The man describes himself as “kind of a power geek” — and he is talking about home energy use, not imperialism. But in fact, Rowe’s power geekiness has now translated into powerful hardass parenting: He busted up his daughter’s New Year’s bash from 500 miles away, thanks to his home energy monitoring device.
Over New Year’s, Rowe was traveling in the Melbourne area, an eight-and-a-half-hour drive from home. His 16-year-old daughter was staying with friends. The vacant house piqued Rowe’s energy geek curiosity: How would it perform with no one in it? So he fired up his energy-monitoring device and took a look.
Here’s what happened next, according to Matt Hickman, of Mother Nature Network:
So Rowe opened up the Fluksometer app only to make a shocking discovery: his home’s electricity consumption was off the charts and it was evident that someone was there and running the air conditioner. At around 7 p.m., the electricity usage jumped even further as if someone had turned on the television and all of the lights.
Apparently Rowe has not seen any teenage-bash movie, ever, and needed some “savvy teenagers” to tell him what was going on: kegs, punch, red cups, and boys neither he nor his daughter had ever met dive-bombing into his pool. (We’ll assume he has one. Who throws a parents-are-away party if they don’t have a pool?) He called his daughter, who claimed she wasn’t at home but who in reality started freaking out.
She did have a clever solution: She unplugged the fridge to try and trick the energy monitoring device into going back down. But dad still knew something was up: Fridges cycle on and off, and the energy pattern didn’t hold. You can check out the graph here — the drop at the beginning tracks to dad’s call home; the plateau is the frantic clean-up with the fridge off; the peaks and valleys return after the fridge is plugged back in and the final escape completed.
In the end, Rowe’s daughter had to confess, admitting that the vast power usage came from a truly hunormous number of partiers: “I was the last one out and could see a continuous line of teenagers stretched up the street over three blocks.”
Note to self: Do not try and out-geek your energy geek parents. They’re sneaky, and they’ll catch you!