The Lights Are On…

July 31, 2008

In my office we’ve been asked to cut back on our power usage lately. We’ve mostly been turning off lights. I’ve also tried working with my monitor turned off but that mrfl skrg qbm lpn. But I bdjpwzdd. In the hallways the maintenance guys have unscrewed one fluorescent bulb in each of the overhead lights so we only have half the light, but they leave the lights on. I can’t help wondering whether there isn’t still some electricity being used. Someone once told me that his grandmother would go through the house each evening tightening the light bulbs in their socket because she was afraid electricity would leak out during the night. This was back in the day when telephones didn’t have buttons but had a handle on the side that you’d crank. Logically I know there isn’t any electricity leaking out because there’s only electricity being used if the circuit is completed, like the time I stuck a key in a light socket to see what would happen. Now, you’re probably thinking, "He stuck a key in a light socket? What an idiot!" but I can prove I’m not an idiot. I used a pair of pliers with rubber handles to stick the key in the light socket, perfectly insulating myself from electric shock. If I were an idiot I wouldn’t have used the pliers. And I learned two very important things from that experiment. The first is, if you stick a key in a light socket you’ll get a lot of cool sparks and the lights in the school gym will go dim for about thirty seconds. The second is, once you’ve stuck your key in a light socket you won’t be able to get your locker open again because the key will be partially melted.

But I digress. Thinking about the old days when people had to crank their telephones reminded me that I have an emergency flashlight that has a hand-crank on it. This is a very ingenious thing that gives you something to do when you’re sitting in a completely dark office or maybe even out in the middle of a dark forest waiting to be mauled by a bear. If they really want to save electricity maybe they should put hand cranks on all the office lights, and maybe on our monitors too. Maybe they could give us exercise bikes and hook them up to generators. Wouldn’t that give a whole new meaning to the term "rat race"? The biggest office bonuses could go to the person who generates the most electricity. And while they’re looking for ways to curtail energy use, maybe they could also get the maintenance guys to stop propping the doors open. That’s just letting all the cold air out, which is almost as bad as letting all the electricity leak out.

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