Friday, September 09, 2005

Cataldo's Flying Circuits

To save some $$, I bought a second-hand wall lamp. First, it was the wrong color, so I painted it. Paint was see-thru, so I painted it again. Then the shade was yuck, so I bought a new one. But then the shade was boring, so I trussed it up with some beads and fuzzy trim. And painted it. Then the cord was sticking out the wrong way, so I got a canopener and twisted the metal and bent it until the hole was big enough to get the cord out and move it to a new location. Then I didn't like the way the cord just hung there on the wall. So I made hubby drill a hole in the plaster. A BIG hole, with the intention to weave the cord through the wall to the outlet. But lamp plug didn't fit into the hole, so we cut it off (we intended to reattach this severed limb once the cord was through). But the cord didn't go through the wall because it got bunched up in the insulation.

So we used a straightened coat hanger, and removed a ton of insulation (asbestos?) by accident. Since the hanger got stuck, we drilled another hole with a better angle. Still got stuck. Abandoned this attempt and went to Home Depot and bought a new cord/plug to replace the mangled one, plus a cord cover. So I tell hubby to cut the cord to the exact right length to reach the outlet, so that the kids don't play with it. So he plugs it in and measures how long it should be. Then he gets the pliers to cut the electrical cord. NOTE>> NOT UNPLUGGED!!!! So ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT! Flash of light, explosion, flying sparks, hubby screams, lights go out. Hubby lives to tell the tale because of the rubber handle on the pliers. I have a spark burn on my ankle. Joey is laughing his ass off:

"Daddy, you are supposed to use sparklers OUTSIDE!"

The kitchen fuse is blown, so hubby runs back to Home Depot before the Swansons melt. I make myself useful by stuffing painters tape into the hole in our wall. How much can go in? I wonder if I can stuff the whole roll in the wall, a little at a time? What about a box of Q-tips? Luckily, hubby returns to replace the fuses. Wall lamp is now in the basement in little pieces. No cord, no plug, just a wasted abomination of the home decor item it once was.

Now that my power is back, let's assess how much money I saved buying second hand:

Retail price of nice, perfect store-bought lamp: $30

Second-hand lamp cost: $2.00
Paint & brushes: $6.00
Beads & trim: $5.00
New shade: $7.00
Wall damage: $100.00
Insulation loss: $60.00
Destroyed hangers: $2.oo
New cord & cord cover: $18.00
Fuses: $5.00
Gasoline: $10.00
Huband's near death: $300, 000
Total cost of the cheaper, money saving option: $300, 215

But the fireworks? Priceless.


At 12:46 AM , Blogger becky said...

Thankyou so much!! I haven't laughed that hard in such a long time and I so needed it:) I love your site, I even bookmarked it for a future much needed laugh. Keep it up! It's nice to find something lighthearted amidst all the devestation going on. Thanks again.

At 11:55 AM , Blogger Pete Mitchell said...


Read it an hour ago and I'm still laughing.

(And thanks for the scratching advice by the way.)

At 12:22 PM , Blogger Karen said...

Franny, only you could tell this tale and make me laugh so much. Thanks!

P.S. I know Cat pisses you off sometimes, but next time, make sure the insurance is paid in full and take away those rubber handles. I bet you look really good in black. (For those of you who don't know...I'm joking!)

At 12:56 PM , Blogger Kimberly said...

ok Fran, there has to be an easier way to fix Cat's wagon! Karen's right, pay the insurance first!!!! Don't you know a guy?

(Just kidding, Cat...if you're reading this...and Joey's right, no more fireworks in the house...they could be hazardous to your health!!!)

Love Kim :)

At 2:47 PM , Blogger Magdalena said...

Ah yes Franny, I too, have been laughing my head off!

We all knew you were crafty, though perhaps we under-estimated just how crafty! Just kidding! You must love having a smart kid to tell Cat exactly what you were thinking though ... saved you from having to do it!

Love from Texas!


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