Someday light bulbs will last forever and a day. I’m quite certain that they will hit the market the day after my inner light bulb goes out.
But for now, light bulbs, like human beings, don’t have an eternal shelf life.
Granted, medical research is working to extend our shelf lives. And the Thomas Edisons of today have come up with LED bulbs that supposedly can last between 25,000 and 50,000 hours — unless they’re screwed in in my house.
My house is where light bulbs go to die. Some celebrity marriages last longer than bulbs in my house. And they always pop when you’re in a hurry and the last thing you want to do is trudge down to the basement to retrieve another bulb.
I might as well stock the light bulbs on our kitchen table because I seem to change them more frequently than I eat.
I don’t know if a ghost inhabits our house or what, but I believe our light bulbs intentionally choose to die just so they can torment us. But I do know that the ghost is not paying us any rent.
The latest example of how haunting our light bulb problem is happened on a recent Sunday morning in which I unsuccessfully tried to cram a million chores into a 45-minute time frame before going to church. Hence, I was behind the eight-ball and didn’t even have time to chalk my cue stick.
I was scrambling to get dressed because, God forbid, my wife never, ever can be late for church. She’s late for everything else in life, but never for church. She has this thing about messing with God.
Granted, I’m not one to mess with God either, Him being all-powerful and all. Tick off God and we’re talking hellfire and brimstone, baby. Anyway, it was not my intention to be late for church. But what was I to do?
You see, the light bulb in our walk-in closet went poof and I suddenly and despairingly couldn’t see a damn – sorry, Lord – darn thing. It was an overcast morning (what else is new these days?) and I couldn’t distinguish my black slacks from my blues slacks or even my brown slacks from my khaki slacks. Now that’s dark!
Ditto for my shirts. Their colors were blurrier than the numbers on my tax return this year. I guess next to God, messing with the IRS is next on the stupidity list so I had better say no more.
I realize that pride is one of the seven deadly sins, but I was I damn sure I wasn’t going to attend church looking like some atheist dressed me.
As the minutes burned off the clock and my wife burned my ears, a nude yours truly unscrewed the glass fixture to access the bulb. I then removed the offending bulb that the audacity to die prematurely while I was on the clock.
Having accomplished that and wanting to save time, I handed the bulb to my wife to check the wattage since I didn’t have my reading glasses handy. She informed me sweetly that it was a 67-watt bulb.
OK, put this in context: I’m at the end of my rope and the fuse on my patience level is fraying worse than the rotator cuff on an aging relief pitcher. So I risk my wife’s undying wrath by snapping: “Who the hell ever heard of a 67-watt bulb? They’re either 40, 60, 75 or 100 watts. There are no 67s!”
Of course, in my panicked race against time, I had drawn a blank that there are indeed 67-watt bulbs and I had a replacement 67-watter waiting for me in the basement.
But the psychic damage had been done. By the wounded look on my wife’s face, I knew I had wounded her deeply and it would take several decades for the scar tissue to heal.
Before she jammed the deceased 67-watt light bulb somewhere unpleasant (mind you, I was standing there buck naked), I immediately apologized profusely and promised to say a little prayer for her if we somehow made it to church on time.
I flashed (a figure of speech now that my arthritic knees crack like walnuts going down stairs) down to the basement, grabbed the replacement 67-watt bulb and before the Earth had moved turned much farther, light had returned to our closet and it was awesome to behold.
Mere minutes later, I was wearing clothes that actually matched and we raced to church. Thank God we made it on time, although I nearly ran my car over two grandmothers, three dogs, four cats and six squirrels in my haste.
Nestled in our pew, praise the Lord I saw the light.