Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fluorescent Follies

Mr. Fix-It, I am not. Here's the story: I've got three fluorescent lights in my kitchen, one up above the sink, and two in fluorescent light fixtures which are fastened underneath the cupboards. About a year ago— maybe more, maybe less— the light above the sink and one of the lights underneath the cupboards conked out on me. Fizzled out. Caput. Finito.

Do you think I went and replaced them?

Well, not for going on a year. I just got along without them. Then finally, maybe two or three months ago, I stopped off at a hardware store down in Waukon. Got the two replacement fluorescent light tubes. The one above the sink, fine, it worked. The one underneath the cupboards, no luck.

Not that there was anything wrong with that new fluorescent light. I tried it out in the other fixture underneath the cupboards, and it worked fine. So. By Sherlock Holmes process of elimination, the problem must be with the one fixture that wasn't working.

Now, do you think I went and got a new fluorescent light fixture?

You're catching on. The answer is, not for another two or three months. Until finally, about a week ago, finding myself in the vicinity of a hardware store way up in La Crescent with a few minutes to kill, I wandered in and started looking around for... a new fluorescent light fixture.

Of course, this is one of those annoying stores where you can't get ten feet down an aisle without a store employee accosting you, "May I help you find something?" I'm like, "No, just looking." I swear, I was in that store less than five minutes, and I was accosted in this manner three times, and I think twice by the same employee. I always hate it when they do that in a store, makes me feel like they're eyeing me as a potential shoplifter or something. Once more, and I think I would've walked out the door without buying anything.

But. I found the fluorescent light fixture, bought it, and within a few days here at home I got around to installing it. Which was almost beyond my abilities. I mean, the old fixture was mounted underneath the cupboards on two screws, 12" apart and 2" out from the wall. To mount the new fixture, I had to move the screws 15" apart and 2½" out from the wall. However, where there's a Phillips screwdriver, there's a way.

So, after something like a year— maybe more, maybe less— I once again have three functioning fluorescent lights in my kitchen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Paul! SO many missed opportunities!

Just think of the joy and/or horror you could spread by actually letting the poor little clerks help you. Even if you have to think of oddly interesting things for them to look up. For example, its a safe bet you'll be left alone if you ask for a metric nut/bolt. They're rarely available in hardware stores in the states. Which isn't an issue unless you buy really cute cabinet knobs that were produced in China.

Or you could burst into an Elvis impersonation. THAT would definitely get them to leave you alone. That happened once at HomeDepot near where we lived. The guy just walked around the store singing (really out loud, not just humming to himself)Elvis songs. Let me assure you that everyone left him alone. AND it gave them something to talk about when they told their family about the day.

Ooooooo! You could speak FRENCH!

You can see you've brought out the worst impulses in me :)

Saturday, March 04, 2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya, heh, when you are in town next could you help me put in some lights? I have been considering putting in some lights under my cupboards for some time now and just have not gotten a round to it (there should be a symbol or icon for 'a round to it' somewhere), but now I know a, somewhat, expert.

Sunday, March 05, 2006 4:15:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...


LOL! Or maybe I could speak Hermetic— you know, "Ghty'omfiris"— English translate, "Just looking"...


With emphasis on the "somewhat"! :-) That fluorescent fixture I installed, well, it moves around when I press the switch on it...

Sunday, March 05, 2006 7:27:00 AM  

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