oatmeal and lightbulbs

I so want to be done trying to do the right thing.  It’s too exhausting.

When we moved in here over five years ago, I did the right thing and bought those (at the time three bucks each ZOMG) swirly cfl lightbulbs.  I think one or two have burned out since then, including the one socket in The Keep where they burn out almost instantly. (Add that to my next Lowe’s splurge.  That’ll make the kitchen fixture, two closet lights, and The Keep.  The old man is gonna love me.)

Last night the hall light burned out, and it was a doozy, kind of like a forgotten scene from the Green Mile or something, except the bulb didn’t actually explode.  It’s death took a long time, though.  The light got brighter, then dimmer, then it flickered on and off, then it got really dim and hummed for a while, and then it finally popped and went out, leaving a stink of smoke that made Mr Moth say, “Bring me a fire extinguisher.”

Which I did, because putting out fires is something that, while not in his job description, he has been called upon to do repeatedly at his job.  In fact–well never mind.  That can and should be a post of its own.

Anyway, I brought the fire extinguisher, but by the time I got there the smell was gone. And, yadda yadda, I positioned myself where I could watch that fixture, you betcha, and I figured I wasn’t going to get any sleep, and actually planned to go outside and make sure there weren’t flames shooting through the roof or anything, when I remembered a long time ago when Zor was little, she was jumping on the bed–illegally, of course.  I was writing, and she sneaked off.  Then, predictably, a leap went wild and she came down on my little table, which smashed, along with the lamp thereupon, which shorted out, flipped a breaker, and plunged our apartment into darkness.

In the darkness, I smelled smoke.

I am one of those people who generally freaks out after the crisis, so I dropped my clipboard, which is how I wrote in those days, and charged, blind and barefoot over broken ceramic, to collect my shrieking child, and whisk her outside.

But then what?  Should I rouse all the neighbors and tell them to get out because the house might be on fire? Keeping in mind I didn’t even actually know what had happened yet, since I had been minding my story when CRASH, BLACKNESS, SHRIEKING, SMOKE happened, in that order.

So I stashed my toddler in her car seat and grabbed the flashlight out of the truck and went back in.  I was able to figure out what happened, establish that nothing was on fire, get the kid back in, and mop up the bloody footprints…  But the point of this sidebar is, the smoke was not coming from the broken lamp, but from the living room ceiling fixture, where all three bulbs had fried.  I really wanted that fixture replaced, but the landlord refused, and while there were never any problems afterwards, it was a long time before I slept easy again.

So last night I remembered all this, and decided to look and see if anyone else had reported bizarre cfl lighbulb deaths, and so using my trusty phone, I googled it and, yeah. Not only do they fizzle, but they stink, too.  In fact, they say it’s normal.

Buy cfl bulbs, they said.  It’ll be good for the planet, they said.

Well to hell with that.  No more of those suckers for me; my blood pressure can’t take it. Also they’re a huge pain in the butt to get rid of. Also, apparently they’re obsolete already.

So I’m going to get a few more incandescents to tide us over until the price on the NEXT BIG THING settles down a little. (Apparently LEDs. Or something.)

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