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The Saga of the Bedside Lamp

[Well, seems a few of you guys are on the ball, you knew right away who the new Dingette was, yes dingette is also a word despite what you may have heard to the contrary, so come guys, let’s give it up for Equoni…]

The whole story began because I have this beautiful little brass lamp on my nightstand.  It’s a nice lamp…it’s one of those touch on varieties, so it’s really easy to use.  I noticed recently that the bulb seemed to be going out, but I wasn’t worried…I knew (I thought) what kind of bulb it took, and I had several on hand, so I felt well prepared….

Then it went out.  I got one of those bulbs I had on hand, and went to replace the bulb…this is where the trouble started…when I took out the old bulb it wasn’t quite the same as the bulb I had on hand.  It was slightly smaller and shaped a little different.  I thought it took the candle shaped skinny bottom bulbs, which I had, and I knew it took 40 watt.  Well, I was wrong.  It takes a 40 watt bulb, but it’s smaller than the candle bulbs but bigger than a night light bulb.

It’s in between.

I wrote down the specifications (which are printed on the lamp) and put the old bulb in a ziplock, so I could take all that with me to Ace and HOPE that they had the right thing.  (For those of you who don’t know, Ace is our local hardware store…they are known for their excellent customer service and for always having what you need.)  In the mean time I had to kidnap the lamp from the guest bedroom and try to make it fit on my nightstand so that I could still read my book in bed.  Of course I had to try to make it fit without moving any of Marley’s pictures (which have been carefully placed in perfect formation to maximize the number of photos that can be displayed, and also to maximize their visibility from my pillow)!!!!

I finally got myself together and went down to Ace to look for that lightbulb.  They didn’t have it and they said they couldn’t order it either.  The helpful salesman wanted to know where on Earth I’d bought a lamp that would take such a weird bulb.  Of course I couldn’t remember where I got the lamp (I now know).  He said the only other place in town to try would be Kmart….he said they may have sold it to me, so they might carry the bulbs for it.

So Poncho and I loaded back into the car and drove down to Kmart.  (For you non-Americans, K-mart is a big discount store) [for you Americans, we know, it’s everywhere, like Coke Cola].  They didn’t have hardly ANY lightbulbs, let alone WEIRD ones.  So I thought, OK, I guess I have to buy a new lamp.  So I went to the lamp section.  First all I saw were really ugly lamp bases and really ugly shades, sold separately.  This did not impress or interest me.  But as we were walking away I saw some lamps in boxes on a shelf.  And I saw one very much like the one I have now.  It says “takes 40 watt bulb, not included”.  It doesn’t say “WEIRD SHAPE and SIZE bulb that NO ONE will carry”.  I tried to open it up to double check that it took normal 40 watt bulbs, but it was taped shut.  But I thought, well, the bulb when I bought my lamp was obviously included.  Now this lamp just says “40 watt bulb” so they must have redesigned it to take regular light bulbs.  So I went and picked up a couple ceiling fan sized bulbs in 40 watt (thinking they were a little smaller, and also because they came 2 to a pack instead of 4).  So I bought the lamp and brought it home.  And wouldn’t you know…I open it up and it takes the same funky little mishapen bulbs that I couldn’t find for the lamp I already own!

It’s exactly the same as the lamp I already have.  So, it is totally worthless!  So I package it back up, and drive all the way back across town to Kmart.  I take it to the RETURNS desk…and this is where my frustration level goes over the top.  I explain the whole story to the girl.  That I had a lamp just like this, that NO ONE carries the funky little bulbs for it, so I bought a whole new lamp.  I show her on the box where it says just “40 watt bulb”…not “weird little bulb that no one carries”.  I explain that this lamp is totally worthless because nobody carries the bulbs that it requires.  And, I’m not kidding, she looks at me and says, “So, do you want to return it???”  I looked right at her and said, “NO, actually I’d like to keep it.  I thought it would be really nice to own a matching set of lamps that don’t work because they have NO BULBS!!!!!”  She looked at me and said, “Really?”  It was at this point that I lost all patience, humor, and reason for the day.  I just said, “Put it on my debit card”.

But the saga doesn’t end there!!!  NO…I wasn’t smart enough to give up then!!!  See, I really like this lamp, and I still need a bedside lamp…so I made a trip all the way into the city (which is equivalent to a trip to the moon as far as logistics, fuel cost, roughness of reentry (due to road construction), and travel time required.)  And I went to Home Depot thinking if ANYONE would have these funky-ass bulbs, they would.  (Again, for you non-Americans, Home Depot is a gigantic warehouse style home/hardware store that sells every thing you can possibly imagine ever needing for building, remodeling, improving, repairing or anything else related to a house/home.)  So I went there, and after much searching in an aisle full of every light bulb imaginable, I FINALLY found one that met every criteria printed on the lamp!  It was a 40 watt, candelabra base, type B8 bulb.  WONDERFUL!!!  It was EXACTLY like the one I took out of the lamp (which I had in my purse for comparison).

So, since they were so hard to find, I bought 8 of them…preparing for the future…So when I got home I happily went back to my room and screwed one of these wonderful bulbs into my beautiful brass lamp…and it came on just like it should!  Perfect!  Then I tried to turn it off.  Problem.  The damn thing would not turn off.  At all.  Nothing would make it go off.  The only way to turn it off was to unplug the lamp!!!  So the *&%$#^!* lamp STILL doesn’t work!

Unless you want to get out of bed…move the 500 pound bed…and unplug it before you go to sleep every night!!!
So until I have further funds and either get this lamp fixed or buy a new lamp…the kidnapped lamp from the guest room is in service…


21 Responses

  1. I have just had a sense of dejavue. This story just gets funnier! Congratulations on your very first blog entry! That was not so hard was it? Looking at those light bulbs Im sure they are in abundance down here! You have far more patience than you think. I would have just bought a new lamp in the first place.

  2. Welcome Equoni!

  3. Well at least you will still get peaches from Swampy in the future. 😀

  4. Whew, not bad for your first blog post! Funny story! (well, not for you…!)

    The KMarts here also have the the wierdest damn shit.

    Hey, how about plugging it into an extension cord, that you can just reach down and unplug it from?

  5. ok, i’m confused. who is eqoni? and why does he/she write exactly like Wt, on Wt’s blog?

    i’m going back to bed. the world is too confusing.

  6. ohhh, man… I’ve been there. Hate those goddamn “non-existent” bulbs.

  7. Laurie – Of course she writes like me! Why else do you think I chose her to be my protege??

  8. I’m confused too. I want to know more about Eqoni.
    And the bulbs? Bloody hell that is so annoying. We bought a kids lamp from Ikea then realised they only sell t’s stupid little bulbs at Ikea. SO I gave th lamp to Miss E’s school sale. (Bad Jo).

  9. Welcome E.

    How frustrating!

    Perhaps get an extension cord that has an on/off switch?

  10. Welcome Equoni,
    Great post, an adventure with a resolution. Funniest thing, yesterday I went to the store to buy those same candlebra base flame light bulbs. My purchase was not as difficult as yours. I bought mine at Walgreen’s, the huge drugstore chain. The package actually said Walgreen’s. Now, I wonder though if they will keep carrying these. I bought the last two packages. (Our lamp used to be a touch on and off too. That feature broke several years ago, and my husband replaced the cord with an on-off swtch.) It would probably be easier to buy a new lamp or keep the guest room lamp on your nightstand.

  11. Or as TLG suggests and extension cord with and on-off switch should be just the thing. Hopefully, they have those in stock at any of those stores.

  12. We have a similar scenario with one of our bedside lamps, but its a 25 watt variety. Because it’s not really a bedside lamp, but one of those yea oldie “Art Nouveau” copies, (that should only be turned on when your trying to impress). So it blows bulbs often. The only place we can get them is in a Lighting Shop, the ones that specialise in importing them from China or Pakistan, flog them off at 1000% mark up & then hit you again when you have replace those “specialty” bulbs at a 10000% mark up, (but they do give you a really, really, big printed receipt). I to have spent many lonely hours wandering through places like K Mart & to the shame of my family, Clints Warehouse.
    In the hope of finding that elusive bargain & buy 5000 of the buggers for the same price as 1.
    Have a look in the Yellow Pages Peter, I’m sure that they have support groups all over Australia, for those that have tried & failed in their quest for the right “bulb”.

  13. This sounds like every time I needed to find something in Ireland. Except none of the stores were familiar, and it never had a happy ending. Best wishes for the lamp to turn off!!

  14. I have had days like that.
    After all that, and having 8 bulbs that only work in that lamp I’d go back to Kmart and buy that lamp again! That’s just me!

  15. Welcome Equoni….see how easy that was!!! You did a great job!!

  16. Got one word for you: powerbar.

    But jeez. Sounds much like my excursions to find bulbs form my bathroom. Sigh. Laughed like an idiot about the girl at KMart. I take it a basic level of intelligence isn’t a job requirement there, eh?

    Great first post!

  17. Hello Equoni, welcome to the Dingo and the blogosphere at large!! I am currently searching for a similar bulb for our fridge light, so I feel your pain …

  18. There’s a new “Dingette” and we haven’t seen a picture of her yet? Or have I just been absent that many days to class?
    Pictures! We must have pictures.

    And light bulbs for our lava lamp. Try getting one of THOSE suckers. They’re nigh impossible to find.

  19. You could put metal foil over the lamp if you don’t want to do something as sensible as getting an extension cord with an on off switch.
    Or a hammer. Just to tap the light bulb … lightly … till it goes out.

  20. Melissa,
    Thanks for the Welcome! I just went through the search for the Fridge Light Bulb! I finally had to have my “other former neighbors” (the ones I lived next to AFTER I lived next to Swampy) mail me one from there!!!! It was a frustrating search, so I completely understand what you are going through!!! Good Luck!!!!!

  21. Wow your bedside table is NEAT!! There’s so much dust on mine and so many books piled up the lamp is impossible to reach anyway!!

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