I have a fairly checkered past when it comes to small electrical and battery operated nuisances. There’s not a watch made that I can’t stop just by wearing it. I even wore a series of them around my neck on a chain – charming little pendant watches – thinking it was the direct contact with me that was the problem.
Nope. About once a month I’d be at the jewelry shop getting a battery replaced or apologizing while my favorite repairman scratched his head in disbelief. As a second-generation watch-guy, he’d seen cases like mine before. Chip died not long ago, and I quit wearing watches altogether.
Light bulbs. Now, they’re a real issue. I can blow a light bulb dark faster than anyone. Those can be a bit pricey to replace, so I tend to leave them be and live with a few lamps here and there. Climbing up and down the ladder that much is a worrisome venture anyway.
As a public school teacher I had an unnerving habit of blowing those little overhead projector bulbs regularly. Students in my classes took this phenomenon for granted after a while and one of the sweet backrow-boys would always scuttle off to the office to bring back more bulbs. Sometimes they came back emptyhanded.
I was rationed. My reputation was so tarnished that none of the other schoolmarms would loan me the use of their projectors, not even in a pinch. We were close friends who would and did share our last dimes and many times our county-line box-wine. Not their overhead projectors, though. They knew better.
There are other incidents. My favorite was the time both Em and I were writing furious poems at the dining room table and the chandelier bulbs began going out one by one. And the other time when we argued loudly over something teenagery and knocked out cable TV for three days. I suspect she’s got a few electrical issues as well.
Oh, and the neighborhood street lights. That’s okay. I don’t walk the subdivision loop anymore and no one on the Homeowners’ Association board has fingered me as the culprit. Let’s just keep that one between us.
The point of all this is that I think it’s getting worse. Recently I’ve found myself stuck in elevators that don’t seem to stick for anyone else. Twice last month and once again already this month. The first one was a particularly good stick, one warranting pushing that button and asking the campus police for a little assistance. The other two I’ll call “stalls.” The elevator hesitated, then decided to deposit me on a floor I didn’t choose all the while refusing to open the door.
The other day, I rode that badboy up and down half a dozen times before anyone could get the thing to release me.
I‘ve almost made friends with the problem, really. It’s a lot like the watch-and-light-bulb thing. If I half expect the elevator to malfunction, then there’s no reason panic. Eventually, the door will open. As long as it deposits me and my trick knee on the first floor, I’m golden.
I figure if it happens again I’m going to outfit that elevator with a comfortable chair. I’d carry a flashlight for emergencies, but that’s just asking for trouble and darkness. Maybe I’ll stow a box of kitchen matches and a fat candle under the cushion, just in case.