Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Picking Up Where Martha Leaves Off


Martha Stewart has a handy tip for safely removing a broken light bulb from its socket. She says to use a small potato to press against the broken glass. Turn counterclockwise. Great.

But...

...what if (in the middle of family movie night) that light bulb is so completely shattered that there is not much broken glass to speak of, much less pierce a potato? And what if you didn't have a potato on hand, so you thought a firm apple might substitute?

I'll tell you what. That apple will turn and turn and drip juice all over the inside of the socket and the result will be nothing more than a sticky socket with a broken light bulb stuck in it and an apple with a circular cookie cut through the middle, filled with tiny, tiny shards of broken glass. Now what?

Martha had no suggestions, but I found a way.

First, let the lamp sit for about three weeks in its disgusting and unusable condition. Every once in a while, think about that lamp and the broken bulb inside, sigh and feel discouraged. As often as you feel that way, pick at the bulb with a needle nose pliers, chipping off bits of glass and toying with the strange gummy, rusty metallic apple pulp substance inside.

Let other items in the household go into disrepair. If you throw out the bathroom rug, for example, don't replace it. Find switches not working, toys broken, books outside in the rain. Go nuts. Make a long list of everything in the house that needs attention and attack. Spend a small fortune at your favorite Big Box Mart*. Decide to buy a new lamp, too. Realize that you like this lamp and don't want to throw it away. Hold it over the trash and tear the metal out bit by bit with needle nose pliers. Wonder for a moment if you aren't tearing out the lamp hardware along with the remains of the broken bulb, glass shards, and apple-element compote.

At long last, the pliers will take hold of the last twisted chunk of dilapidated ruin. Turn counterclockwise.

* There is a potty word in that video.

9 comments:

Julie said...

Love this... I have a hallway light fixture that has a broken bulb left inside it along with some potato stuck in there too! Frustrating! I try to forget about it but boy do I wish it was fixed! Looks like I should try to locate some needle nose pliers...

Jamie said...

OOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!! This happens to us all the time, are they making lightbulbs cheaper these days or what? (we used to use 100 watt bulbs, because I like it bright,but we switched to only 60 watt and have not had the problem anymore, just fyi)My dad told us the last time this happened to use a longer needle nose pliers and it comes right out, somehow....

Diane said...

We had the same problem even though we used a potato. Now my husband automatically grabs the needle nose pliers and doesn't waste food in the process.

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

I am SURE that you could be a stand up comedienne!

God bless,
Donna

Cheryl said...

This was hilarious. It's too bad the potato didn't work, but hey, you made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

mel said...

haha! This is so funny! I have a broken bulb like this in a bathroom light fixture,,,got a little happy with the windex,,,if you don't know, when you spray windex on a hot light bulb, it shatters into a billion tiny pieces. I'm scared to death to get it out of there. Even if I throw the breaker, no one can really convince me that I really won't get electrocuted digging around in that thing!

Jennifer in Maine said...

Suzanne,

As I read your blog tonight, I couldn't help but think of your other post in which your talked about Jacob losing the skeleton key. Did he ever find it?

Suzanne Temple said...

Thanks for asking jennifer. No. We haven't found the key yet, but I managed to pick the lock on his closet. I haven't been able to get the linen closet open yet though and so I'm still looking for that key every day. It mostly sheets in there, so I'm just washing what I need for in the meantime.

Vicki said...

A good sense of humor can solve just about any problem! You have a wonderful blog.