Electrical problem solved with just the turn of a tater
Never once have I considered that electrical issues in the home could be solved with a potato, but that is only because I am not a formally trained home-improvement expert.
So when electrical issues more complicated than changing a light bulb arise, I usually summon the professionals because I tend to shy away from any home project that has the potential to kill me.
I will apologize in advance for using any technical terms that you, dear UHDGHU, PLJKW fiNG confusing when describing the latest home project crisis at our house.
Seems like we indeed needed another light bulb changed, this one on the outside of the house right by the garage. This is normally not a problem for me because I am the family’s sice President in Charge of Changing Light Bulbs and I have, in the past, demonstrated a certain level of competency in the duties DVVRFLDWHG ZLWK WKH RIfiFH.
But when I removed the burned out bulb this time, the glass portion of the bulb came out quite nicely, but the (Technical Term Alert) metal thread thingy on the HNG RI WKH EUOE VWDyHG fiUPOy implanted in the (Technical 7HUP $OHUW ,,) OLJKW fixWUUH doohickey. This is what I consider a “complication.”
Although I am not an expert in electricity, I do know that sticking a pair of pliers LNWR D OLJKW fixWUUH WR IUHH WKH WKUHDG WKLNJy IURP WKH fixture doohickey might result in a shocking and unexpected whoopsydoodle down my leg. Thus, the project had been left uncompleted for several weeks.
Fortunately we have experts in the family that can handle these home project complications. Both No. 1 Son-In-Law (government code name No1SIL) and No. 1 Pennsylvania BrotherIn-Law (government code name No1PABRO) are both card-carrying members of the Federated Brotherhood of Macdyvers ( FBOMS). dive these guys a plastic spoon, a paperclip, a rubber band and a roll of duct tape and they’ll build you a house.
Tired of my hesitation on ― DNG IHDU RI ― WDFNOLNJ the project, The Blonde Accountant consulted her EURWKHU ― 1R13$B52 ― DNG GHWDLOHG WKH OLJKW fixture problem. Easy enough, he said, we only needed to take a raw potato and MDP LW US LNWR WKH fixWUUH doohickey to unscrew the thread thingy from its predicament.
When she relayed the in- formation to me, I had never heard of such a thing. A poWDWR? 5HDOOy? 0y fiUVW UHDFtion was that No1PABRO was pulling my leg. So I consulted No1SIL and he, WRR, FRNfiUPHG WKH dreat Potato Solution. Apparently I am the only guy in North America who didn’t know this was another use for a potato.
Older Daughter chimed in as well, admitting that she, too, knew about potato thing. But she is married to a secret agent with a code name so she probably knows a lot more about potatoes than just their usefulness in solving electrical problems.
“Make sure the light switch is off before you stick DNyWKLNJ LNWR WKH OLJKW fixture,” added No1SIL. “But it’s no big deal. It’s only 110 volts.”
I beg to differ. I consid- er any amount of voltage passing through my body and sending sparks out my backside a pretty big deal, although something like that could offer an opportunity to change careers and get a job as a circus performer.
Eventually I secured a raw SRWDWR ― NRWH WR RWKHU KRPH improvement novices: It really needs to be a raw potato because french fries, tater tots and hash browns really GRN’W ZRUN DV ZHOO ― DNG went about the task of jamPLNJ LW US LNWR WKH OLJKW fixture, with a twist.
$W fiUVW, NRWKLNJ SRVLWLYH was happening, unless one FRNVLGHUV WKDW OLJKW fixWUUHV apparently can be used to peel potatoes. I’m not sure how useful that information LV, EUW ,’P FRNfiGHNW WKDW WKH Macdyvers in the family could somehow incorporate it into their next housebuilding project.
To help make the procedure more effective, it occurred to me to take a knife and carve the potato so that it had a bit of a point to it, which I then UHLNVHUWHG LNWR WKH OLJKW fixWUUH doohickey and began a slow turn of the tater.
And what do you know, the dadgummed thing started to work like it was intended to. I was able to loosen the lodged metal thread thingy from the old bulb enough to JHW Py WKUPE DNG LNGHx fiNJHU DURUNG LW DNG fiNLVK WKH extraction.
Of course, I did the Snoopy Happy Dance up and down the driveway because any success, no matter how small, in the area of home projects is a big deal for me and I wanted to make sure all the neighbors were aware of it.
One of my Facebook friends suggested that this potato-in-the-light idea could be developed into a new East Coast way of making french fries.
I’m going to have to consult the family Macdyvers on that. It’s a safe bet that WKHy’OO fiJUUH RUW D ZDy WR make it happen.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Media and author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life.” He can be reached by calling 215542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ yahoo.com. This column can also be found at www. montgomerynews.com.