Okay the reason I haven’t regaled you with all my moving in adventures is that our flat wireless isn’t up and running yet. Right now we’re stealing from the neighbors, but I absolutely had to tell you about the very dumb thing I just did.
In the spirit of spiffying up my new digs, I went out and bought a lamp for my bedside table. I almost got a charming but ho-hum terra-cotta round thing in a triangular pattern. And then on the shelf above that one I saw a lamp in the same pattern, but in the shape of a FISH with a big open mouth. “I’ll take that one, please!”
I love my fish lamp; it’s like a little pet I don’t have to feed. It does take unusual bulbs, though: instead of your normal screw-in bulbs, it takes these ones that have pins on the sides and you kind of slot them into place. Then there’s a little plastic ring that you use to balance the lampshade on top.
I had my doubts about sticking a bit of plastic on top of a lightbulb. But I figured since they sold me the lamp, and the bulb, and the shade, it was all made to work together and nothing bad would happen, right?
So I plugged my new lamp in and I was so excited that it was finally going to work after I found the strange bulbs by asking in Arabic and everything. And then about five minutes later there was a horrible burning stench. At first I suspected my computer was overheating and frying the circuit board, but then I looked over at the lamp and I knew where I’d gone wrong.
Swift action: turn the lamp off. Remove smoldering bit of plastic from top of bulb. Evacuate room. Spray with room-freshener spray that the girls mysteriously provided before I arrived.
And then I realized that what they’d been saying to me when I bought the lamp wasn’t to balance the plastic part on top of the bulb, but that you’re supposed to put the metal ring of the shade down around the base of where the bulb goes, then tighten the plastic ring on top of the metal ring of the shade,then put the bulb in on top of that. So it never goes anywhere near the hot lightbulb.
Which in retrospect makes a lot more sense, if you actually take time to look at how the lamp is constructed.
I feel dumb. But maybe I’m just lightheaded from the fumes.