How much of me does it take to change a bulb of light?

On Friday, I took Harper to a Home Alone class. It had nothing to do with the 1990 Macauley Culkin comedy and everything to do with how to call the police and what to do when someone knocks on the door and how to answer weird phone questions when you find yourself alone in the house.

While Harper was learning how to trick scoundrels, I found myself saying the following words to Meredith:

“If something goes wrong, please call 911 first and THEN call Daddy. If I’m on the ground, don’t spend any time looking at me. Just call 911. I don’t want you to remember me as being on fire.”

Why so serious? Because I had to change a halogen bulb, and the light fixture is covered with engraved warnings about electrocution and turning off the power to the house before attempting to change the bulb.

(I did NOT turn off the power to the house before I attempted to change the bulb. Why? Because the helpful man at the hardware store (where I purchased the replacement bulb) told me it wasn’t necessary. Also, I crave DANGER. (I once either line danced or rode on the back of a motorcycle during a snow storm. My memory is fuzzy.))

Helpful Man at the Hardware Store: Don’t worry about powering down the house. What’s more important is that this bulb is never touched by human hands because the oils in your skin could cause the bulb to explode.

Me: Dear Lord! Should I buy special gloves or goggles?! I’VE NEVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE!

Helpful Man: Just use a paper towel. BUT BE VERY CAREFUL.

Meredith and I came home, I VERY CAREFULLY removed the old bulb, I put on my gardening gloves and unwrapped the new bulb, I VERY CAREFULLY put it in the socket thing, I closed up the glass panel on the fixture, I flipped the switch, and nothing. Nothing happened.

I then removed the glass panel and took out the bulb (while wearing the gloves, obviously) and turned it the other way and put it back in and replaced the panel and switched on the light and again—Nothing.

I then stomped around the house for a bit and when Jeff got home he returned the bulb to the store and exchanged it for another bulb and he brought it home and I became The Halogen Master by refusing help. I put the bulb into the socket and replaced the glass panel and when I flipped the switch, nothing happened. Again.

I’m boring you. I feel like I never have adventures any more, so when I do something that involves electricity and/or the possibility of death, I immediately think, “This! Yes! I shall write about this at Fluid Pudding!” And here we are. 451 words of me not being able to switch out a bulb.

Quick Ending: My dad drove up on Saturday morning and hooked a meter to the switch. The switch was fine. Jeff then took the bulb and wiggled it. He WIGGLED it. Suddenly, our back yard was filled with 150 watts of halogen brightness. Because Jeff wiggled the bulb. As soon as I saw the light, I left the house to get my hair cut. If you can’t be smart, you may as well look presentable.

Also, less than ten minutes ago I accepted the first freelance job I’ve had in several weeks. Suddenly, I’ve removed my Low Self-Esteem hat and I’m thinking about changing my lotion from Stress Relief to Energy! (Side note: If you want to see me cringe, use the word Cream instead of Lotion. Double the cringe for Body Cream. And don’t ever talk to me about your Bottom.) Anyway. Freelance!!!

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13 thoughts on “How much of me does it take to change a bulb of light?”

  1. So I guess you’re not a fan of the new “Let’s talk about your bum” toilet paper commercials? ;-)

  2. I never put body cream on my bottom.

    I almost wrote this on your FB page, but I thought better of it, and now I’ve gone and (temporarily?) deactivated my FB page so no chance now (temporarily?!) of writing it there, but…

    I was hoping you didn’t have to get on your roof to change the bulb, because that would’ve been just asking for double trouble. Stay off your roof!

    I type this only because I care.

  3. You are a great parent. And your danger story was riveting. I really enjoyed it! And I will tell you the same thing I tell my husband your worth is not how often you will attain writing assignments. Your worth is because you are you. And that is awesome.

  4. Glad you’re not on fire or exploded. The girl loved watching the vid at the end, as she’s just recently discovered the joys of Brady Bunch reruns on MeTV. :)

  5. My job requires me to change lots of fancy expensive bulbs on microscopes and nothing is more infuriating than a bulb that doesn’t turn on after you’ve changed it. I get particularly angry if one of the guys comes in, looks at it and then turns it on. I love that you told your daughters to call 911 first.

  6. Around here we call that gaslighting. It happens most often with electronics. I will try to the best of my (usually pathetic) ability to troubleshoot the problem and usually with just a laying on of hands, my husband will fix the problem. Seriously, he just has to *touch* whatever it is and BOOM. It’s done.

  7. Just one. But the lightbulb has to really want to change! Old joke….

    Need info on the class please – where, when & how?

  8. Walked up to Treehouse last night and thought of you.

    The cheese bread thingies were incredible. The moussaka rocked too.

  9. “Call 911 if I fall down the stairs with this big load of laundry that I refuse to make two trips for.” My kids laugh at me, but I tell them I’m serious!! 911

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