Many things start out very simple and end up blown COMPLETELY out of proportion. Escalation gets many of us into trouble. And not just us… countries escalate minor things into full blown contingencies.
Case in point: In March 1963, just three months into office, John F. Kennedy became incensed when the White House kitchen ran out of pork bar-b-que. After jockeying around every grocery in Washington DC, things escalated to the point that, by April 1963, an invasion of Cuba was attempted in order to try and corral their pork market. After this attempt failed, the US government came out with a “cover story” that it was actually an attempt at over-throwing the Cuban government. However, in deference to the true cause, it was dubbed the “Bay of Pigs” invasion. Not many folks know the true story about that…
Anyway… things in my life have a way of escalating to a point that makes me… MAD!!
Like when I mowed the grass in my shirt and shorts. My neighbor comes out and mows in JUST shorts. So I come out in just boxers. And he comes out in a thong. So I… so I… well… well I let him win that one. But that is how things escalate in my life.
So I have this light fixture that hangs over the dining table. And on this light fixture are five candle shaped bulbs. And in the middle, hanging downward is one “spot” bulb. So this “spot” bulb decides to pop leaving just the five candle shaped bulbs. Hmmm… what to do… what to do. Maybe I’ll change the bulb.
I can already hear your little steely minds just clickin’ already. “How many idiots does it take to change a bulb?” Well I’ll tell ya… more than just ME!!
So first off, I gave the light a couple of days to see if it was just foolin’ with me. Maybe it was just playin’ a trick on me and would come back on. Nope. That didn’t happen. It was dead.
So I removed the bulb. Or should I say I removed MOST of the bulb. It seems I removed all things glass about the bulb and left all things metal up inside the light fixture. Not a problem. I’ll just grab it with the needle-nose pliers and remove it that way.
Somewhere in the not too distant future, you’re gonna be driving down the highway on whatever road you commute on and you’re gonna look up at this new billboard that has been installed and you’re gonna think to yourself… “Why is Tom’s picture on that billboard for Idiots-R-Us?” Let me call that number up there by Tom’s picture, 1-800-IRA-Idiot, and ask.
Before you call, let me save your fingers the trouble of dialing. If your Mama never told you about sticking a knife in the wall socket, she should have. Mine did. Numerous times. “Tom,” she’d say, “don’t be stickin’ no knife in no wall socket. You’ll get dead.” So, being the good son that I am, I never stuck no knife in no wall socket. And to this day, I ain’t dead. Yet.
But a light fixture ain’t no wall socket. And a pair of needle nose pliers ain’t no knife. But let me tell ya… they are pretty DAYUM close to being one and the same. Or so I learned.
Now first off… let me say that in the confines of my home, I do not always meet the dressing standards that are considered normal. That being said, let me impart that I was scantily clad when this ordeal began. And by scantily clad… I mean boxers and socks.
And just a word to the wise… if you ever decide to come for a visit, you are more than welcome. I will do my best to be a gracious host. Born and raised in the south, I find company is nearly always welcome. And you do not have to call in advance. You can just show up at the door and knock. But if I have no prior warning, boxers and socks is normal attire. Just so you know.
So there I was in boxers and socks, with a glass bulb on the table, the metal twisty part up inside the light fixture, needle nose pliers in hand, ready to get to work.
I’ve often heard tell that right at the moment of death, your entire life passes before your eyes and you see a bright light. I don’t know about any of that. But I CAN tell you this… things move in slow motion when you can’t let go of something.
As best as I can recall, I think things happened pretty close to the order of sequence that I have listed:
The needle nose pliers went up into the light fixture and made contact with the twisty part of the bulb that had gotten stuck. Right about this same time, a blue flame shot out of my left nostril. This flame was long enough that it reached down past my chin reaching my left nipple and burning off every hair I had on it. All both of them. The fillings in my teeth became tuned to the frequency used by the shuttle which was still docked at the space station. The hair on my head stood straight out and still has the consistency of a Barbie doll that has been through washing machine. And I never realized I could stand on one foot and put the other leg over my shoulder… from the back. I swear I could have been the poster child for one-legged hop scotch.
As the dancing subsided, some part of my being managed to pull the pliers out of the light fixture. And lo and behold, the metal screwy thing from the bulb came out, as well. But so did the bottom half lamp.
So as I write this, my teeth are tuned to a country station, my right foot still has a twitch, I have no hair on my left nipple, I can breath better than I EVER have through my left nostril, the wires are hanging out of the light fixture, and I haven’t replaced that “spot” bulb.
I hate the way simple stuff escalates.