I’m not going to lie to you. I hate lightbulb shopping. It has to be the worse, demeaning thing I’ve ever had to do. There’s a particular one that you have to get. Why can’t it just be one size fits all for most light fixtures? I’m heard of having variety in life, but this is ridiculous. And I’d gotten the lightbulb size right the first couple of times I purchased them at Big W.
Four times now. Four times back and forth. First time I went to Coles in Northcote and got a lightbulb, but I accidentally got a screw one that was too big. The receipt and lightbulb box got soggy cause I put them in my bag and it rained through my bag, so I had to dry them out.
I took the lightbulb into the city and got a refund after queuing for like a half-hour. I then got another one from woolies that was an edison screw 25 watt, like it said on the box. It was frosted, which on the box it didn’t say to get. Surprise surprise, it wasn’t the right one.
Third time, I got stooged into getting two smaller lightbulbs after I went to Big W where I bought the lamp, and I told this fucking asshole shop attendant that this is the third time I’d been in there. He STILL managed to con me into buying TWO lightbulbs when I’d never bought two before. Lo and behold, the lightbulbs are too fucking small.
I just got the refund for this one. At that point I was just too pissed off to try again. I put up as my status on Facebook “I fucking hate lightbulb shopping”, and then my mates are like comedy AK47s…
“Maybe you’re a little dim” or “Brighten up” or “You’re in a dark mood today.”
More like Incandescent with rage. Rat-a-tat-tat.
Speaking of which, I learnt some interesting facts about lightbulbs at Wikipedia.
Did you know that most incandescent bulbs convert less than 5% of the energy they use into visible light? The difference between incandescent lightbulbs and halogen ones is that incandescent ones use a tungsten filament wire heated at super-hot temperature so as to glow brightly, which is protected by oxidisation by being sealed in its chamber of inert or evacuated gas, usually argon or nitrogen.
Halogen ones use a small amount of iodine or bromine, which is actually what you would call a halogen, as per say. The halogen sets up a reversible chemical reaction cycle with the tungsten evaporated from the filament, and keeps the lightbulb cleaner and more energy efficient.
Anyway, I digress. My girlfriend’s coming over tonight and I gotta have this lamp, cause I stay up late and write while she goes to sleep, so I want there to be less light glaring on her when she’s asleep.
While she’s over, she gets bored of me writing and want to go get the lightbulb herself. So I tell her exactly what I need.
“It’s an edison screw, that’s the fitting. Okay?”
“You mean the pin ones that slot in?”
“No, it says screw.”
“But it has pins that lock in.”
“No, I’m saying the word. Screw. Edison-screw. You know?”
“That’s sort of old-school terminology but…”
“Yeah okay okay. 40 watt incandescent small Edison screw or 28 watt halogen small edison screw.”
She makes an exasperated clicking noise with her tongue.
“Yeah yeah, I know. I’ve got it memorised, okay?”
I can see where this is leading, someone is going to forget what kind it is, and I’m not having this again. I took out my phone and opened the notebook application. She looks up sharply at me.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m not forgetting this time.”
She raised her voice tersely, like a a boiling kettle.
“Hey look man. I got this, it’s in my head. I’ve memorised it…”
“My memory is shocking though.”
“Not you, me. I have it memorised. It’s always about you.”
“What do you mean? This is my thing, I just need to memorise it.”
She makes that tsk noise again, and storms off onto the verandah with her pouch of tobacco. She said she was going to quit a couple of days ago. I mimic her tsk noise and breeze off in mock anger. Her voice hits me from the verandah.
“Hey, I really don’t like that.”
“You making fun of me.”
“Well, you’re not even letting me take notes on my phone and getting shitty with me because I am.”
“You’re questioning my memory.”
“There was no question, dude. I didn’t ask you if you were going to memorise it. I just put the note in my phone cause I might forget. I wasn’t sure if you’d remember 100%.”
“You mean you don’t trust me to memorise the lightbulb size.”
“It’s not about trust or about questioning your memory, I just want to take a note in case we can’t remember this. I’ve been through a lot because of this.”
“It must be terrible.”
I ignore that one and put some shoes on.
She’s still angry as we start walking down the street.
“This is just like the other day, you wouldn’t let me wave the guy past.”
I remember that, she was helping me move my stuff to my new apartment that day, That was the last time my last lightbulb worked.
“That futon was in the way. He couldn’t even see your hand waving you past. I only said to you there’s no point in waving him past because he couldn’t see you.”
“But I knew how to drive, you don’t tell me how to drive in my car.”
“Right, so now I was telling you how to drive.”
“Look, don’t be a smartarse. I forgot my book, can you give me the keys to the apartment?”
“Sure, here you go.”
I just want to be by myself, go catch the tram and sort this thing out myself. There’s too much drama over bullshit right now and I’m standing on the street. For what? Another crappy dialogue?
When she gets back, she goes “you just aren’t very considerate and you don’t listen. I’m trying to help you.”
“I’m not owning this one. If you have a problem with how I’m rolling this, it’s your problem, not mine.”
“What the fuck, man? You need to take more responsibility with how you communicate.”
I mince up to her. “Okay then, I guess I’m sorry.”
“Look don’t be a fucking smartarse, okay?”
“Don’t be so aggressive, I was trying to apologise.”
She walks off ahead of me to the waiting tram.
We get on the tram, and I sit down in a seat where there’s room for her. She sits on a seat away from me. We get into the city and get off at swanston. She’s still with me, I see. I stay quiet.
When we get into the Target store, they don’t have the right lightbulb. She holds up a 9w lightbulb.
“Why don’t you get this one? It said a maximum of 28watts.”
“I already told you I’ve been through this before, it has to be the exact one. 28 watt halogen edison screw. I’m going to big W to get one, that was where I got the other ones.”
“Why don’t you go to the store where you got the lamp? Why didn’t you bring the lamp in?”
“I just said I was going to Big W, where I got the lamp.”
We head up to Big W, and she steams ahead of me. She grabs a lightbulb.
“There it is, 28 watt halogen. Let’s go.”
“It doesn’t say edison screw.”
“It’s a double pin lightbulb. That’s the fitting. It doesn’t need to say the specific technical fitting name.”
“I’m pretty sure it does…”
I go along with her anyway.
We get to the register and she’s now watching me like a hawk with how I use the automatic register. I press any buttons to get the thing working.
“You just pressed cash out when you’re making a purchase.”
I face her. “Can you wait for me outside, please?”
She storms out.
I ended up making another mistake with the dumb machine, I get money out when it’s purchase only, and I have to get an attendant over to write out a receipt so I can get the extra $20.
When I get out, she’s gone.
Postscript: The lightbulb was too big and I wasn’t given a receipt.
Written by Kristian Hatton.