Thursday, September 22, 2011

On A Lighter Side

No, not the light we walk into when we die, the light the Government forces us to buy and use. On second thought, it might ‘be’ the light we walk into when we die.

On a personal note: I hope you find this amusing or as I was, ‘fighting mad’. And it’s true, all true.

By de Andréa

And God said: “Let their be light”… or was that the government?

Most of you, have been reading my column long enough to know that I will fight the government regulatory agencies all the way to the mat. I have fought them in the trenches; I have fought them on the mountain tops. For thirty years I fought them in and out of the courts; until I was so exhausted and broken I finally walked away from my business and retired early. With that being said, and now refreshed, I’m ‘back’ and ready to fight!

Several months ago the electric company called me and said that a federal regulatory agency has ordered them to replace all the light bulbs in America, starting with our local rural and residential areas with these more efficient (dreaded) CFL’s, I think it means Curly Fried Lights, but don’t quote me on that. Oh! That’s not all; they also had to replace all the ceiling light fixtures with the new ones that use a circular florescent bulb with the curious and flamboyant name of “Circular Florescent Bulb”. They said the new circular one would give me a lot more light, use half the electricity, and last for years. Up to ‘five’ years she said. And it was all free. Well now, ‘I’ know, there’s no free lunch or light, as in this case. So I asked… just who is paying for all this free stuff that the government says is so good for me. Well the government is of course! Soooo! I said, then… I am paying for it. NO! It’s free, all free she said, installation and everything.

Now I could have gone into a long dissertation of how the government doesn’t produce anything to earn the money to buy the free stuff to give away, so they have to get it from me and you…but I didn’t. So I thought if I have already paid for this free stuff, I might as well accept it. Besides --- I was going to save money, right? And get more light too.

We made an appointment and two nice young men came and took down my old fixtures and replaced them with these wonderful brighter energy saving green ones. No, they weren’t the color green, they had a green philosophy, and they didn’t make carbon footprints all over the house. Again I was tempted to say, well…my other lights didn’t leave footprints, but again I was very gracious and bit my tongue. When they finished removing my old fixtures and replaced all my other familiar round bulbs with those scary little curly CFL’s, I very graciously thanked them and they left.

While I didn’t notice a significant increase in lumens, lumens, that’s light talk for more light, ‘or’ a drop in my electric bill, a few months later however, I did notice a difference when the light stopped coming out of one of my new free fixtures. One of those with the wonderful new circular free bulb in it, you know, the one that is so appropriately called “The Circular Bulb”, the one that was supposed to last for years, up to ‘five’ years I believe she said. Or was it five minutes, I don’t know anymore, I can’t remember.

Anyway, no use crying over a burned bulb right, or is that something spilled? No matter. I mean they were all free anyway. I didn’t even begin crying until I got to the hardware store. Oh! They had replacement bulbs alright! That wasn’t what made all the water well up in my eyes; it was what I read on the little sticker on the package that caused all that burning salt water to leak down my sweet taxpaying cheeks. $9.98 it said, plus tax. No… this was not for a whole case of bulbs, this was for one single light bulb that doesn’t give me anymore light and doesn’t lower my electric bill and doesn’t last too long. And what’s this plus tax, didn’t I already pay for this with my taxes? Oh that’s right --- it was free. Oh! Wait… That’s not all; it cost $5.00 at the hazardous waste site to dispose of the free one that no longer emitted any light or lumens either, just wonderful free silver colored mercury, no, it was silver not green. But we must remember it was free, paid for with my taxes and yours. As I recall they said they would replace my refrigerator too, if mine were one of the old inefficient kind. For free. Boy! Am I’m sure glad I already had one of the new types. What if I had an inefficient car or horse, I mean house, would they replace them too? For free? I …don’t think I can afford anymore of this free stuff.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Well…as I said, there is still a little fight left in me so I’ll show em. I’ll just put my old light fixture back up, with my old round bulbs, the ones that are not free and not green, the ones they say leave those nasty carbon footprints all over and are cheap and last a long time and contain no mercury. Mark my words, this is truly ‘war’ my friend, footprints or no. And I defy the government light police to check my bulbs, whether they be round, Circular, or the scary Curly Fried ones.

I can tell, that you see I still have a ‘little’ fight left me, and you would be right. Be it very little…

Now I'm wondering if those free fixtures have microphones and cameras in them. Just remember there’s no free lunch…or as in this case, “Free Light”.

-de Andréa

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