“I didn’t ask for your life story.” #6 – Light Bulb

  • It’s always difficult when you get taught two different things; one thing at home and another thing at school.

I remember being told by my teacher that if you ever want to know whether a light bulb is broken, all you need to do is shake it, if you can here stuff jumping around in there; it’s bust.

I gleefully arrived home to tell my parents about this new found information by going into the cupboard, grabbing the nearest light bulb I could see, and shaking it violently; to my surprise, I was told, “light bulbs should never be shaken, rather they should be held very delicately.” Utter confusion to my poor developing brain.

  • One of my very earliest childhood memories is of a searing burning sensation in my right hand.


Being rushed to the cold water tap, after touching a turned on light bulb. Lessons like that are literal occasions when we: learn the hard way.

I never ever never touched one again.

  • In my early teens we went to a popular Swedish home product retailer.

Amongst other things, we bought the… Coolest. Light bulbs. Ever. For a start, mine was red. (My brother got a green one.) Which meant that when I read at night, the whole room would be illuminated like a secret blood filled cave – or something scary/creepy to that effect.

But the light bulbs got even better! They had these spikes all over them which made them look a bit like a mace! I know what you’re thinking, doesn’t that make the installing process much harder, surely you can’t hold the thing due to it’s immense spikes? The spikes were all flexible and a bit gooey (but not sticky).

Coolest. Light bulbs. Ever.

  • I loved the concept of glow in the dark stuff.

I had glow in the dark stars and planets, stuck all across the ceiling of my bedroom.

I was also in possession of some glow in the dark crayons.


I also had those vampire teeth which you bit in your mouth, they were glow in the dark too!

The thing I loved about these things the most (beyond the fact that they glowed in the dark) was that they never ran out! If they started to lose they’re luminosity, you could just hold it next to a light bulb for a few seconds and it would be bright again.

I used to think that the longer you held the thing there, the brighter it would be. At one point, I distinctly remember the wax crayon melting in my hand, emitting a foul stench and creating a bit of a mess and my Aunty telling me off.

  • Then there was my torch.

Again with the different colours thing, which I loved; the torch had a button which turned the light red, and then green. I thought it was really cool to press both at the same time, which just made it kind of dark.

I used to turn all the lights off and create lightning bolts on the wall by jiggling the torch repeatedly. Much of the joy of this particular pastime was brought on by my little brother crying at the sight of scary lights on the wall, and my yelps of doom.

In the end my torch broke, it had been badly affected by all that moving about; which just goes to show, I should have followed my Father’s advice “light bulbs should never be shaken, rather they should be held very delicately.”

As has been the habit:


2 thoughts on ““I didn’t ask for your life story.” #6 – Light Bulb

  1. Fascinating, coherent and just the sort of thing that the experts are referring to when they say we need to keep our sense of childlike fascination. BTW “passtime”.

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