“Are You Considering Buying a Light Bulb?”
By Curtis K. Shelburne
Are you considering trying to buy a light bulb? Good luck to you.
A few evenings ago, my wife and I were in Amarillo baby-sitting (playing with, laughing with, snuggling with, rollicking and frollicking with) some sweet grandkids.
At some point, I discovered both that my phone was needing a charge and that I’d forgotten the cable charged with supplying that need. Eight per-cent left. Red light blinking weakly. Screen dimming to conserve its faltering power. My phone! Perilously close to death, choking out warning words prophesying its looming descent into oblivion.
Heart racing, eyes wild, I started feeling short of breath. What, oh, what would I do if its little light faded away and my electronic umbilical cord was severed? What if the president sent an important (maybe even) presidential text? We’ve got that system now, you know. At least theoretically, it could happen. A POTUS text. And important. And my phone tweet-less and stone-cold dead.
In dire circumstances we begin to ask the bedrock life questions. What if my phone should die and I be left in peace (I mean, devastatingly alone, un-phoned and un-phone-able) for maybe even a whole weekend? Would good news that I had to wait a day (and maybe longer) to hear be any better? Would bad news be any worse?
And what about health consequences? How would my left ear react, phone-less, to ear-lobal cooling? Text-bereft, would my thumbs begin to atrophy and hang useless? Would I have to be fully present with the people in the same room?
Oh, the stakes were just too high, the consequences beyond further contemplation. So I went looking for a charging cord. I figured I could get one at a nearby big box hardware store and, at the same time, pick up a couple of light bulbs.
Well, they had extension cords aplenty. Cords for fruit-based phones. But way short they were of cords for ’droids.
They had bulbs, though. Boy, did they have bulbs!
What I’d needed at home was a basic white bulb, and we had a box full of them. I’d grabbed three. Screwed them into three sockets of a new bathroom light fixture. I’d flipped the new switch, and, “Let there be light!” And there was.
Yellowish white. Pinkish white. And blue-ish white. All lined up in a confused row.
No. Not acceptable. There’s chaos enough in this world; I won’t put up with it above my sink.
So I found myself standing light-dazed in front of ten jillion bulbs at that big box store. LEDs. Halogens. Fluorescents. Incandescents. Smart bulbs. Dumb bulbs. Dimmable and darn bulbs. Sizes and tints and hues and lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!
A sales clerk (better make that “associate”) a bit older than me walked up.
“One day,” I greeted him, “I just want to tell my grandchildren stories of how easy it once was to walk into a store and buy a light bulb.”
He smiled. He understood.
I bought six bulbs. Cool white. (That’s 5000K.) A15 size. Medium base. LED. Dimmable. Suitable for use in enclosed fixtures. 720 lumens. 60-watt replacement. Lasts 13.7 years. I got extras anyway. I don’t want to do this again when I’m 75.3 years old.
I found a phone cord later. At a drug store. Call me, and I’ll tell you that story, too.
It felt good to talk to that old guy at the big hardware store. He understood me. I think he’d have made a good owner if it had been an old store with creaky board floors and a “soul” and not a new store slick with a plastic CEO and an invisible board of the corporate kind.
Come to think of it, what an amazing blessing that the One who first said, “Let there be light!” knew exactly the light, and the Light, that we would need. He understands us all.
You're invited to visit my website at www.CurtisShelburne.com!
Copyright 2019 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.%%detect_both%%