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October 30, 2008
I know something's up when the mere envelope containing this month's ConEd bill zaps my tender fingertips with an electrical jolt the moment I extract it from my mailbox. Although I recognize this as a warning that the contents are going to be shocking, I'm still taken aback when the bill guffaws in my face as I unfold it to see the amount I owe.

A frenzied online search reveals a 22% increase in NYC energy costs, thus sparing me the burden of assuming a conspiracy against me. And here I was looking forward to a rousing round of paranoia.