Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Poof Went The Dad And Out Went The Light

A sizzling noise.
A puff of smoke.
A large spark.
A small flame.
Then ... darkness.

*Cough, cough*  I emit yet another puff of smoke as I cough.

"That ....
was ....

So said my oldest boy as he watched me fry myself while attempting to change a GFCI outlet in our basement.

The outlet in question is the only thing that stands between the breaker and a fully lit kitchen, and I was determined to change the little bugger today.  The only problem is ..... well, there are several problems, actually.

First, I'm not sure that I own the correct tools for the job.  I used to have the right stuff, but that was in the pre-flood garage inventory.  I have absolutely no idea whether I own lineman's pliers anymore.

Secondly, the outlet is tucked away inside the basement ceiling, in a place that would take a professional contortionist to reach.

Thirdly, there isn't a light in that part of the basement because, well, my guess is that the light is somehow powered by a line coming from the blown outlet.

Finally, It's come to the point in my pathetic middle aged-ness that my eyes simply aren't strong enough to read the chart and shut off the correct breaker, nor to see where the wires are supposed to be place and secured.

Let's face it, even though my son rather enjoyed watching my hair stand on end and seeing me blow smoke from my mouth (he really does need to get out more), electrical work, especially the hard-to-reach variety, is best left to someone else.

I used to subscribe to the idea that I shouldn't do anything that is beyond my capabilities.  "There are people for that," I used to say.

Perhaps I should start saying it again.  Before something bad happens.

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