Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let there be light

Halogen bulbs last for years and years so, when the bulb in my reading light burns out, I experience shock and denial. That light always works! How can it not be working? WHAT IS HAPPENING? I then forget to go to the hardware store to replace it. I forget for many days in a row. This perhaps wouldn't matter at your house, but my living room walls are punctuated by little sconce lights on a dimmer switch. They are charming, in the same way that candles are charming. And, also like candles, they will make you go blind if you use them for reading. (I'm pretty sure all of our ancestors went blind from reading by candlelight. Right? Didn't I hear that on NPR?)

Before you get all concerned about whether John Irving's latest novel + sconce lights = blindness, let me reassure you that I finally remembered to replace the necessary bulb and last night's reading was eyestrain-free.

I asked the hardware man to direct me.

Me: Can you tell me where to find a halogen bulb?
Him: A what?
Me: A halogen light bulb.
He steps in front of me and leads me to the appropriate aisle.

Him (a bit dubiously): There are a lot of kinds of halogen bulbs. (He begins listing various shapes and sizes of halogen bulbs)
Me (interrupting): Of course. I just needed to get to the right neighborhood.
Him: Oh. Well, all the lightbulbs are here.
Me: Yes. Thanks. I need one of these tiny two-prong ones.
Him: Ah. [more dubiousness] Those come in different watts and volts.
Me: Yes. I need a 20 watt, 12 volt. Ah. Here. This is the one.
Him: Yippie Skippy!

I think he meant it from the heart.