Thursday, November 17, 2016

That's the Day That the Lights Went Out in Backroads. That's the Day That They Wrung an Innocent Val.

Don't trust your lights to some Backroads farmer Hick man...'cause the bulb in this lair's got paint stains on it, Pal.

You may recall that the light went out on Val in her kitchen a couple weeks ago. Lucky for her, it came right back on when she left the room. And there was one downstairs right below it that was out. But Hick fixed that one for her.

On Monday, no sooner had I walked downstairs with my lunch, around 2:00, after my weekly shopping trip, than another light forsook me. I carried my yellow bubba cup full of Frig II ice into the NASCAR bathroom to fill it with water. I flipped on the light switch as usual. And heard that frying sound above. Kind of like a bug zapper. The sizzling sound of a light bulb burning out.

CRAP! Now I'd have to do my bathroom business in the dark! There's an emergency light in the outlet, but that hasn't worked in a long time. I decided I'd leave open the door, and get a little light from the rest of the basement overheads. It was bright enough to see the fixtures. Not bright enough to read or admire the 21,179 little NASCARS hanging on hooks in their packages on three walls.

I told Hick when he called home, but I said he could wait until Tuesday to fix it. I knew he had that meeting with the fire department, and wouldn't be home until 9:30 or 10:00. So I peed in the dark for a day and a half. Well, in the TOILET specifically, without a light.

I was gone most of my basement time on Tuesday anyway, to the doctor's office. But there was another problem, apparent as I walked back to T-Hoe from EmBee after getting the mail. I sent a text to Hick, my handyman.

"I think my right headlight is out. Saw it when I got the mail. Driving to the doctor now."

"Okay. I will look tonight."

"After I drive home in the dark!"

"Well I can't fix it from here not a magician."

"Can't you take a joke? It's bad enough you don't believe that it's out."

"Yes I can I will get a bulb and fix tonight."

See? That's how Hick is. First he wanted to get home and look at it. So he could say, "Yep. You got a light out. I'll get one tomorrow on the way home." That's how he operates. But I could cut out a step and make my repair happen a day sooner, by shaming him. So he got the light, and fixed it Tuesday evening when he looked at it. It's not like we would be out an extravagant amount of money for a light he might not need. He puts it on the debit card. They'll take it right back if it's the wrong thing. Hick has friends in parts store places.

So...Hick fixed T-Hoe's light, then came downstairs to fix the NASCAR bathroom light. It took about five minutes. He came into my lighted basement lair next door.

"Okay. You have a light again. This one is dead."

"What's that all over it?" It looked like whipped cream. Or marshmallow cream. Not that Val of the wise choices is obsessed with food. There were white blobs on that darkened bulb.

"Oh. I guess it's paint."

Let the record show that such a finding would mean that it is the original bulb that has been in the NASCAR bathroom since at least the year 2000, when Hick finished decorating his NASCAR bathroom and hooked up the sink to the water. Oh, there had been a toilet and walls there since we built the house in 1997. But the basement was Hick's project back then, in the years when Shackytown was just a glimmer in his eye. So this light bulb that lasts 16 years had been inside that light bulb/vent fan cover, and gotten sprayed with white paint through the vent openings as the ceiling was painted.

Hick went upstairs, and I was happy to have light again. Or so I assumed. The first time I went in and turned on the switch, nothing changed. I heard it click. Maybe saw a little flash. But it was still dark. Like in a horror movie. Just enough light to see you meet your doom. The same as when I left the door open for some basement light to leak in. Huh.

Since I had gone in there for a reason, I continued about my business. And as I sat, contemplating the foot-candled situation, the light started to brighten. That darn Hick had replaced my light bulb with one of those newfangled twisty bulbs that take a while to warm up. Which is not something you need in a basement bathroom, when most times you are only in there about 90 seconds, and have peed, wiped, washed, and left by the time that bulb warms up.

Val people problems. I will begin negotiations during Thanksgiving week. Hick is taking a vacation week, so I'm sure he'll need something to do. Like find me an old-school light bulb for my toileting needs.


  1. It's hard to find those old style light bulbs these days!!

    1. Then Hick needs to put in a different type of lighting. It's bad enough that I have to wait five minutes for the water to get hot in my kitchen sink. I shouldn't have to wait five minutes to get enough light to use my indoor facilities!

  2. We bought a large stock of the old bulbs years ago. I think they are under a towel.

    Best Val post title ever! or at least in a while.

    1. Good idea! Nobody will ever find them THERE!

      I like to test blog buddy Sioux with song lyrics, but I mostly do it on my supersecret blog, not here.

  3. I think I have a few of those old bulbs hidden around here someplace.

    1. Have you checked under a towel in the kitchen? Hopefully, they are not next to your strainer.