Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Or Is It Just Me?

Do you smell something?

And then there was the Light Bulb Incident.

I didn't tell you about this yet.

I mentioned it, but didn't tell you. I said there was a story, and there is.

But on the other hand, I'm not sure it's a good story. And I'm sure I don't understand it.

Yet. If ever.

But this goes back a way. Back to the late fall of 2012.

It was a sunny fall and I thought things would always be that way, but things aren't always that way, are they? And they don't hang around staying just that way, for long. Usually.

Which has no connection to the light bulb. Except that I didn't need it during the sunny daylight hours.

See, the real deal is that my room is behind the elevator, and the router for the internet up here is sort of around the corner and out there a bit, leaving me hanging on the edge of internet land.

And then the staff here like to go and noodle on the common computer out in the lobby, which has a cable connection to the internet, while us "guests" (i.e., people who pay the freight around here), get what's left over by wireless.

Which is fragile.

Especially for me.

Especially when the staff are out there Facebooking and playing online games and downloading video files.

Which inspired me to move my laptop from the left side of the bed, where it's more behind the elevator, to the right side of the bed, where it's behind the elevator but not exactly so much, and is sort of almost kinda in a straight line with the router, but not really.

It is better though.

I think.

And because of where the window is it's darker over on this side of the bed, so I needed another light bulb.

When I moved in there was a 15-watter in the ceiling, and another one in the lamp at the head of the bed, but that one was broken, and there was room for another in that lamp but no bulb, so if you reached up to turn off the light, say, you could put your finger where Mom said never to put it, and find out why. Why she said that.

Pretty smart gal, that Mom.

Now I know why she said not to do that, but it's too late to send her a postcard confessing my sins.

Considering what an empty socket can do on its own, without even a first-grade education, and no prompting at all, confession would be like gravy on ice cream.

You know?

Wretched excess that didn't help anyone in any way.

One fifteen-watt bulb is the opposite of excess, but keeps the wretched part working so hard it makes you pant trying to take it all in.

And that's what I had.


So early on I bought a bulb for the bed, giving the empty socket a wide berth for the time being, but now. Now with my laptop more in line with the router's joyously squeaky weak signals, which were coming in a bit better, I had darkness at my elbow, so I figured hey.

Time for another bulb. And might as well go for Max Watts.

Well, Max Watts wasn't available so I went for his brother Sylvania.

Or maybe it's his sister.

There are some things you never get enlightened about, and I'm learning not to worry. As long as Sylvania keeps it up, I'm happy to be ignorant about some things.

But getting Sylvania home was a tad difficult.

First, you see, I grabbed the bulb with the biggest wattage.

These are the curly, screw-in fluorescents, and the biggest wattage was 26. It's like dog years. Twenty-six watts of fluorescent is like more than that in incandescent, but I don't know by how much because they don't say anymore.

At least here. If they ever did.

And it's a goddamn light bulb. Let's grab it and go. Now, pooch.

Screw the other one, I thought - only 23 watts, even though it was one of those sort of actually white-light bulbs.

But for that I'd have to give up three watts, and that is not in my nature.

Not any more it isn't, if it ever was. I can't remember that part.

But not here in this room with the deep corners and the darkness moving around whenever it feels like it. I wanted Max Watts.

And I figured if I couldn't get Max Watts and could only get Sylvania Watts, well, it was going to be the Big Sister version. Or Big Whatever, or something. But watts - I wants em. Gimmee.

Even if its a warm sort of light. At least it had a full 26 watts, which is more than you can say about the toilet paper here, or the hand soap, or just about anything else.

And there it was in my hand. All I had to do was pay for it.

Easier said than done, my friend. Easier said than done.

So very, very much easier said than done.

Spanish has something to do with it. A shortage of ears on my part does too. And maybe something else.

I still don't know, but the guy driving the cash register that day did not like the sight of me and that bulb coming at him as a team. He wanted us to go separate ways. And no arguing.

He took the bulb and instead of poking at the touch screen of the cash register and reciting things I could not understand, glancing over at me every now and then to see what I thought of the whole deal, which is what usually happens, which is when I stand there and go into Full Doofus Mode with the tip of my tongue out and a bunch of wrinkles on my forehead, squinting my eyes, and if anything at all, managing to say only "ah......?"

Which is when they usually give up and take my money and let me go.

Not this time.


I got a full-frontal lecture about something.

I think it was important, because the guy never got close to giving up. He could have gone 16 rounds, easy, and I would have been down for the count way before then. In fact by that time I was practically on my knees already.

Whatever it was he was talking about, think Important. Or maybe IMPORTANT!!!!

I guess.

I'm guessing here. I have no clue.

He kept pointing at a little colored area along the side of the package, and running his finger along it, and saying something. Boy, I'm not sure at all.

I may owe the store a lot more money because he spent a bunch of time on me. He burned up whole bags of expensive calories trying to convince me that I was not going to buy that light bulb. Ever.

This is where it gets really shaky because I'm assuming that there was a reason but maybe there wasn't. You know?

If you know, then that's one of us.

I don't.


But he won. I mean, no contest, right?

I took the bulb back to the far end of the store and looked at all of them. All the big, hefty, beefy 26-watters were identical to this one.

And then there were the 3-watters, and the 7-watters, and the 15-watters, but they wouldn't do any kind of decent job. Not up against the shadows in my room

So that left me with one choice.

You know, keeping in mind the armed guards out in front of the store, which was a pretty good reason right there not to do anything desperate, like run for the door and throw a $10 bill at the cashier on my way out.

And wasteful too, since they only wanted $3.71 for the bulb. Which I wasn't allowed to buy.

But mostly it was the guards I was thinking of. I didn't want them in on the deal.

Especially. Well. You know how armed guards are. How you never want them to see you running.


The one choice previously mentioned being what was left. The Goldilocks Solution. The 23-watter. Which is the one they let me buy.

The one that came home with me. And is up by the ceiling right now, purring quietly. I guess that's what the sound is. Purring?

Something. Maybe it's more of a smell now that I think about it.

Yeah, I guess it worked. I have light.

The two lights at the head of the bed are warm, and Ms. Sylvania Mini-Lynx, well let's just say she is like seeing daylight for the first time.

Maybe they know something at the store that I don't. Yeah, duh. Even a Doofus, First Class, with drool marks on his shirt eventually realizes that his powers, if he ever had any, are too feeble to be useful for anything other than looking stupid.

So it's me and my thoughts and a few bulbs brighter than I am, tapping the evenings away behind the elevator, dinking around on the internet.

Until Danny out there in the lobby gets tired of watching soccer on TV and switches to online...oh, crap.


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