Friday, 25 April 2008
Last night I stuck my finger in a live light socket, rather inexplicably. True, I’d had a hangover all day and was still not feeling ‘quite myself’ shall we say – but nonetheless, what a bloody stupid thing to do. It’s one of those things that I always find myself doing (well, not always electrocuting myself) at some silly time of the night when I should be focusing just on getting to bed. Yet in my over-tired and fuzzy-minded state (the norm, I might add), I embark on strange activities such as pulling grey hairs out of my barnet with a pair of tweezers, peering at the mirror till my eyes ache (and what’s the point having a grey-free front of head when there’s loads of the buggers at the back which I can’t see OR reach?); or sharpening my make-up pencils or suddenly deciding to rationalise the contents of my bathroom cabinet.
Anyway, heading for bed, my eye was drawn to the wall lamp by the stairs up to the girls’ room. The left-hand bulb has been gone for months with the shade perched on the empty fitting a good inch lower than its companion and looking bleak and abandoned rather than lit up and jolly. Having been in Tesco earlier buying, amongst other things, more light bulbs but not quite remembering the type of candle bulbs I needed out of the myriad on offer (small screw clear 60w 40w 25w; large screw pearl 60w 40 w 25w; small bayonet clear, pearl etc etc; large bayonet clear, pearl etc etc – well you get the picture) I thought I would just stick my finger down the hole to see if it was indeed small screw or bayonet to confirm that I had / hadn’t bought the right bloody bulbs currently languishing in an un-unpacked shopping bag in the stable (we don’t have horses but I’ll spare you the floor plans of our house at this point). This was, of course, my (near) fatal error. Electricity: Lesson 1 – Do Not Poke Metal or Body Parts into Live Connections, especially if not wearing rubber-soled shoes. Which of course I wasn’t. It was like a scene from Mr Bean. As my finger became a light bulb for a brief moment in its 44 year old life (never be afraid to try something new) some weird sounds came out of my mouth, my body jerked backwards and my brain said ‘You stupid cow!’ I stood for a moment just to see if my racing heart was about to stop – thoughts rushing through my head about how, instead of tucking myself under a welcoming duvet where I’d longed to be all day and tickling the cat under the chin with my lovely girls asleep upstairs, my life was actually about to end on the landing at midnight in the most banal and stupid of fashions and that the girls would find me there in the morning and no-one would be able to take them to school (N away, of course – never there when you need them). When, after a few minutes, I found myself still standing – albeit with a pulsating index finger on my left hand which clearly had not enjoyed its brief change of career – I thanked God for my reprieve and tottered uneasily (and buzzing gently) to bed putting all ideas of any other last-minute-stupid-things-to-do right out of my head. I didn’t even pluck my grey hairs, though I imagine there’ll be a fair few more when I next take a look. But as long as they’re round the back I s’pose it doesn’t really matter, does it? For now, at least, I’m still here to tell the tale and we must be thankful for small mercies, eh? I now have to go away and worry about why my life was spared and exactly HOW I’m going to save the world…Ho hum, busy, busy. Meanwhile I’m going around turning off electric switches with a certain amount of trepidation and renewed respect - rubber soles firmly ON.