Eli Duke


I was cleaning and re-arranging some funiture this evening. During that process, I had a problem. It was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but it completely stopped me in my tracks…


Let me start from the beginning: I was cleaning my lamps. For one of the lamps in particular, I had to remove the bulb, unscrew this weird plastic washer thing, and then I could remove the lamp shade. I set the bulb and plastic washer on the table and then wiped down the lamp shade. When I grabbed the washer to screw it back into place, the bulb rolled off the table and landed on the carpet.

It didn’t look broken in any way, so I put it back in the lamp, turned it on and nothing happened. Hmm. I guess I broke it? After just standing there with my mouth open for a while, I went to the bathroom and grabbed another fluorescent bulb from the shelf. That one didn’t work either. I went back to the bathroom and unscrewed a working one from the vanity and gave it a shot. Still no luck. I had a confirmed working lamp just moments ago, and now I had nothing?


With a confirmed working bulb, the one I unscrewed from the vanity, I unplugged the lamp and tried it in a different outlet. Nothin’ doin’. That outlet was on the same wall as the other outlet, so maybe they were on the same breaker? I tried the lamp in a different outlet altogether, the one in my room, and it worked!

Oh, sweet goodness in life!

Now that I had a confirm working power source, I double checked the other two bulbs. The one I grabbed off the bathroom shelf worked just fine. Awesome. The crazy pills were starting to wear off. I grabbed the last bulb, screwed it in, twisted the knob, and BOOM! the overhead light in my room went off. Say what?!


The bulb that I had dropped on the floor must have gotten its wires all twisted around and knocked up. It was the light bulb itself that kept tripping the breaker! Oh, for crying out loud! I went to the panel and sure enough there were two tripped breakers. I flipped them back and threw that bulb away.

(deep breath)

The thing about this story, the thing that really settled in for me, is just how profoundly I was stumped and continued to be for a while. And in that process I was able to see just how much I am obsessed with that process! I am absolutely obsessed with trying to solve the problems that I discover in my life. It’s not every single day, necessarily, but I really do enjoy it. Those moments of frustration just pair so well with the eons of satisfaction that will wash over you once you’ve solved the problem.

You should try it sometime.