Tuesday, April 01, 2014


Half-awake, and not entirely sober, I groped for the light switch in order to 'shed a little light upon the subject.' The subject that needed  illuminating is not exactly relevant to the story, but needless to say it was important at the time.  The problem was that the light that was to provide me the illumination to see what I needed to see was not in a cooperative mood. The quick buzzing sound, followed by the light blowing out was proof that today was not going to start well. Truth be told, I should have semi-expected this type of problem. The adobe which I call 'home' is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a palace. It has its quirks, and one of those quirks is the electricity can be a bit dodgy at times.  Many a light bulb had sacrificed it's light giving life to the capricious nature of the shit hole in which I live.

My usual response to the burning out of the light is something along the lines of 'bollocks, not again.' This particular day's response was a bit more colourful than that, and may have included a discouraging word or two. Sitting in the dark can, on occasion, can be somewhat entertaining (especially if you have someone to sit with you), but it is not generally how modern man is meant to live his life. No matter how bright of a day (made glorious summer by this son of York, oh wait sorry sidetracked), it may be, some artificial light is almost always required to navigate one's way around in the world.  On rare occasions darkness can be your friend, but unless you are banging an ugly girl, or are ugly yourself, or are perhaps waiting in a dark alley to exact your idea of cruel revenge upon a mortal enemy, darkness is just plain scary.

Thus, the death of (another) light bulb was not a happy occasion. Expected or not, it was still not something to brighten the day. You can't simply plan for this type of event. They just happen no matter if in the deep recesses of your mind you know it is coming, forward planning is just not likely to happen. Therefore, when that 'Pop' of yet another dying light bulb went off, temporarily blinded you, and then plunging you into dark despair, you are faced with a choice. A choice that you had been avoiding like the plague. The choice of how to replace the traitorous light bulb that has left you in the lurch.

For the briefest of moments, you have to ask yourself if perhaps replacing the damn thing at all is even worth it. In a twist on the old saying is the 'candle worth the game' you have to wonder if acquiring another doomed light bulb is worth even the trip to the store.  Not that there aren't stores on every corner offering you a dizzying array of different type of light bulbs. Because there are, they are everywhere you look, even if you are trying to pretend like they aren't there.  Eventually, that burned out bulb will begin to reproach you. Reminding you of yet another failure of yours, even though you protest loudly that you aren't to blame. Secretly you realize that your part in this explosion was not inconsiderable. 

The real irony of the situation is that I (or you if this has happened to you) am the party that is supposed to fix the problem. It is inherent in the problem that I was part of it, and sending the idiot that caused the problem to fix the problem seems to be, in general, a shit plan. Which nine times out of ten it usually is, while not quite Einstein's definition of insanity, sending an idiot to fix the problem created by the aforementioned idiot is close. However, it is also inherent that I be the one to fix the problem, while despairing of any sort of success, there is quite simply no one else around interested enough (they have their own set of problems) to fix this problem for me. Truth be told, even if there were someone like that around they couldn't solve the problem. After all, it is my problem, and it requires me to fashion a solution, no matter how ill-conceived of an idea that might prove to be.

Therefore, you trudge to the nearest, or most likely place to find a replacement for the lately lamented light bulb, only to be met by a vast wall of choices. Perhaps it has been too long since the last bulb burned its last, and you've not realized the advances in light bulbs technology, or perhaps you are just the type of person that like one type of light bulb, and is a bit blinkered about the other options on the menu. Either way here you are, faced with a choice. It is not quite higher math which I am thankful for, since me and higher math are mostly strangers to one another, but it is still way more complicated than I remember from last time.  However, it must needs doing, and to go home without a replacement bulb would just mean more non-quality time in the dark, and I have determined that the dark and I need some time apart.

But, where does one start? After entering the store to find a new bulb, one is beset by the age old problem of indecision. The last bulb didn't last, but it was still good while it did. Should I go back to what I know? The tired, and almost true type of bulb that can be relied upon to work a certain length of time, and then explode as regular as Old Faithful. At least in that bulb there lies some sort of comfort zone. The knowledge that nothing is perfect, or everlasting, and therefore this bulb has a proven track record of performance and explosion. Something to 'set your watch by' as it were. The comfort and disappointment of the same time of bulb is something that I have grown used to, and grown to expect, like the sun rising in the east, or my athletic teams failing constantly. Something that unlike horses, can be predicted without too much effort. 

Or, should one step out into the great unknown of light bulbs? Maybe try one of those fancy CFL bulbs that are supposed to last forever, maybe even a circular bulb, something that keeps the light going round and round. That might be the new wave thing to do, try for something fresher, and newer and see if it can survive the quirks of my electrical graveyard. After all, man's march through time is one of progress is it not? These new types of fancy, high flauting, light bulbs might just be the answer to my spending way too much time in the dark. They do come at a slightly higher price, but are a bit sleeker than the old bulbs, so perhaps that is a trade off. Who knew that buying a goddamn light bulb could turn into a philosophical debate worthy of William of Ockham? Life, or at least this part of it shouldn't be so complicated, but it is, and a decision has to be made, and made sooner rather than later. I wonder if two light bulbs can somehow go into one light socket?

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