Mike’s electrical problem solved with just the turn of a tater
As part of Glenside’s “First Friday” event in December, Mike will be signing copies of his book “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life” from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in the outer lobby of the Keswick Theatre.
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 rHDGHr, PLJhW finG FRnIuVLnJ whHn GHscribing 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 Vice President in Charge of Changing Light Bulbs and I have, in the past, demonstrated a certain level of competency Ln WhH GuWLHV DVVRFLDWHG wLWh WhH 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 end of the bulb stayed firPOy LPSODnWHG Ln WhH (7HFhnLFDO 7HrP AOHrW ,,) OLJhW fixWurH GRRhLFNHy. This is what I consider a “complication.”
Although I am not an expert in electricity, I do know that sticking a pair RI SOLHrV LnWR D OLJhW fixWurH WR IrHH WhH WhrHDG WhLnJy IrRP WhH fixWurH GRRhickey 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 SonIn-Law (government code name No1SIL) and No. 1 Pennsylvania Brother-In-Law (government code name No1PABRO) are both card-carrying members of the Federated Brotherhood of MacGyvers (FBOMS). Give these guys a plastic spoon, a paperclip, a rubber band and a roll of duct tape and they’ll build you a house.
Tired oI Py hHVLWDWLRn Rn ― DnG IHDr RI ― WDFNOLnJ WhH SrRMHFW, 7hH Blonde Accountant consulted her brRWhHr ― 1R13AB52 ― DnG GHWDLOHG WhH OLJhW fixWurH SrRbOHP. (DVy enough, he said, we only needed to take a raw potato and jam it up into WhH fixWurH GRRhLFNHy WR unVFrHw WhH thread thingy from its predicament.
When she relayed the information to me, I had never heard of such a thing. A potato? Really? My firVW rHDFWLRn wDV WhDW 1R13AB52 was pulling my leg. So I consulted 1R16,/ DnG hH, WRR, FRnfirPHG WhH Great 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 anything into the OLJhW fixWurH,” DGGHG 1R16,/. “BuW it’s no big deal. It’s only 110 volts.”
I beg to differ. I consider 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.
(YHnWuDOOy , VHFurHG D rDw SRWDWR ― nRWH WR RWhHr hRPH LPSrRYHPHnW novices: It really needs to be a raw potato because french fries, tater tots and hash browns really don’t work DV wHOO ― DnG wHnW DbRuW WhH WDVN RI MDPPLnJ LW uS LnWR WhH OLJhW fixWurH, with a twist.
AW firVW, nRWhLnJ SRVLWLYH wDV hDSpening, unless one considers that OLJhW fixWurHV DSSDrHnWOy FDn bH uVHG to peel potatoes. I’m not sure how useful that information is, but I’m FRnfiGHnW WhDW WhH 0DFGyYHrV Ln the family could somehow incorporate it into their next house-building 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 WhHn rHLnVHrWHG LnWR WhH OLJhW fixWurH 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 get my thumb and index finger around it and finish the 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 (DVW CRDVW wDy RI PDNLnJ IrHnFh fries.
I’m going to have to consult the family MacGyvers on that. It’s a VDIH bHW WhDW WhHy’OO fiJurH RuW D wDy to 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 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column can also be found at www. montgomerynews.com.