You light up my life? | HumorOutcasts

You light up my life?

April 20, 2013
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Plumbers in general are more reliable than electricians. I found that out just the other month when I hired an “experienced” electrician to fix the timer on what my husband and I refer to as our bug lights. These are yellow-bulb fixtures on doors that open  onto our backyard. I like to keep them on all night so that if one of the dogs needs a bathroom break around 3 a.m., I can exit through a back door without fear of tripping on the garden hose my husband likes to position on the patio for maximum accidental injury potential.

But a few weeks ago I noticed the lights not going on when they were set to. So I immediately set about correcting the problem. “What do you think we should do?” I asked over my husband’s breakfast repast of leftover baked trout.
“Call a handyman, I guess.”
“Not on your life. Last time I did that he took all day shopping at Home Depot and still came back with the wrong part! This time I want someone who’s an expert, someone who really knows what he’s doing. Someone who will charge $100 just for walking in the door.”
“I think I know just the person. He’s called a electrician.”

A few days later a middle-aged guy with a tool chest and charge tester hovered around the light timer. His diagnosis? Either the timer was broken or my wires were messed up. Either way the final determination could be revealed by reprogramming the timer.
“Sounds good,” I said, praying for a sick timer mechanism.
Next day the results were in. The lights still weren’t coming on, but the timer was running as dependably as Big Ben. “Must be a defect in the timer,” the electrician concluded.
“How do you figure that?” I challenged.
“They’re not making appliances like they used to.”
Back he returned, this time with a new still-in-the-packaging timer. It might have been from Home Depot, but by this point I was too disgusted to ask.
When I called two days later to tell him the lights still weren’t coming on,he announced that he would get back to me when some new part he called a relay conductor came in.
He still has not called, my bug lights are as good as dead, and if anything else should malfunction, I hope it has water running through it. Some of my best friends are plumbers.

Janice Arenofsky

I write humor, but also books and serious essays, features and profiles, usually for national venues. I'm a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists , Humor Writers of America, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. I live in Arizona, where it's hot, hot, hot (but very dry of course), and I have eight dogs and a cat. Oh yes, a husband, too. I blog at https://humorbyarenofsky.blogspot.com/ Come and visit me there or at my website or at Facebook, where I'm The Dysfunctional Family.

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4 Responses to You light up my life?

  1. Kathy Minicozzi
    April 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    The other day, the flush mechanism on my toilet broke. I told my super about it. He took a look at it, knew what was wrong, went to one of those little local hardware stores, bought the inexpensive doohickey that was needed, and fixed the thing quickly.

    A good super is a pearl of great price!

    • April 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      The blessings of knowledgeable service people cannot be too highly praised!

      Janice

  2. April 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I spend all day in Home Repo looking for a part. Home stuff is vicious.

    • April 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Yeah I know what you mean. I get vicious just thinking about the next small or large appliance scheduled to go kaput.



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