We Jowerses have started hoarding. But don't worry about us. We're not hoarding like the full-time TV hoarders on A&E. We're not stuffing plastic crap into boxes and then putting the plastic-crap-filled boxes into even bigger boxes and stacking them up so high they could shift and cause a crapalanche. We're not checking and rechecking the contents of decades-old plastic bags, and we're not tossing mummified cat carcasses into the neighbors' yards.
Right now, our hoarding is focused on run-of-the-mill tungsten-and-glass light bulbs, the revered bulbs of our forefathers. The Jowers' hoarded bulbs aren't those damnable Chinese bulbs full of resistors, diodes, capacitors and deadly mercury. Our light bulb storehouse comprises plain light bulbs that fit into just about every kind of lamp holder. I've tested my bulbs and I've proven — to myself anyway — that regular everyday light bulbs aren't likely to catch on fire like the Chinese bulbs. So, wife Brenda and I intend to hoard plain and simple incandescent bulbs as long as we can find them.
No offense to anybody — except maybe a few militant Greenies — but who convinced regular Americans we'd all be better off with expensive toxic light bulbs made in China? Why are we paying Chinese folk to build ugly worm-shaped light bulbs that have mercury inside? How is it that health-minded Americans are worried mightily about mercury in fish, but just love mercury in compact fluorescent light bulbs? Fish don't break into mercury-laced shards, but those dang lights surely do. And there's this: Who's paying for all these Chinese light bulbs to hitch a ride to the States?
As faithful readers know, I will experiment with things now and then. I've launched skyrockets carrying doodlebugs for pilots and buried their dead doodle bodies under rocks. When I was about 12 years old, I blew up a homemade tower and gantry, causing people in my old hometown to believe they'd felt an earthquake. A few years back, I set two plug-in air fresheners on fire. The smoke clung to wife Brenda, and to this day she smells a little bit like apple-cinnamon air freshener.
So y'all shouldn't be surprised that I opened up a few compact fluorescent bulbs, just to see what's in there. You want to know what's in there? Check this picture. There's a circuit board, resistors, diodes, capacitors, wires and a whole bunch of other things I don't recognize. Does this look like a light bulb to you?
It shouldn't look like a light bulb exactly, because it's just part of a light bulb. What you see is a circuit board, harvested from a CFL bulb. These circuit boards sometimes overheat. Why do they overheat, you may ask? Well, they can get hot if they're hooked up to a dimmer. A lot of homeowners have CFL bulbs hooked up to dimmers. Turn up the dimmers in a circuit with a CFL on the other end, and the guts of your CFL will get hot, then smoke or maybe even catch fire.
Note to Nashville Cats: Some of the parts on a CFL circuit board can be repurposed to upgrade guitar players' stompboxes. Do we really need stompbox parts in a light bulb? I don't think so. I say let NASA give all the world's CFL bulbs a rocket ride to the sun and let us citizens continue to use our tried-and-true high-functioning old-school light bulbs.
The best example of an exceptional old-school bulb is the "Centennial Light," the world's longest-lasting light bulb, which is now in its 110th year. Last time I checked, the bulb was located at Fire Station 6 in Livermore, Calif. The bulb has its own fan page, www.centennialbulb.org.
Best I can tell, old-school bulbs work just fine. They worked for Thomas Edison, and they've worked for me. You can eat an incandescent light bulb — not that you'd want to. But if you're curious, go to YouTube and search for "eat light bulb." There, you'll be able to see a fair number of geeks eat — or at least chew up and spit out — incandescent light bulbs.
Bulb-eating geeks, don't say I didn't warn you. If you just can't resist the urge to eat a light bulb, I say stick to the mercury-free ones, mix a few slabs of cornbread in with the broken glass and wash it all down with buttermilk.
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