I saw the light

OK, for anyone out there who still thinks I’m smart, despite my regular protests to the contrary, here’s something that’s certain to clear up any and all confusion on that topic.

Herself bounds in from the garage the other day to announce that the overhead lights are not coming on when she pulls into her side of the two-car garage. Now, mind you, this is a brand-spankin’-new garage-door system, freshly installed back in May, and it does everything for you save park the car, open the driver’s-side door, and fetch in the groceries.

The hardware includes motion sensors and heat detectors, thermometers and clocks, the works. It’ll even text your smartphone to let you know if a garage door opens without your permission in case you’re worried about evildoers making off with your potting soil.

No more darkness, no more night.

No more darkness, no more night.

But now the damn’ lights don’t come on. I don’t remember them ever coming on, truth be told, but I rarely drive, and when I do it’s always during daylight hours.

So I go out there and punch a few buttons on the control panel, like a curious hominid casually swatting a few rocks with a thigh bone, and nothing happens.

Next I start thumbing through the owner’s manual, which like most owner’s manuals is stupendously useless.

Finally I go online to find that the customer-support side of the company’s website is even more useless than the owner’s manual.

By this point I’m working up a pretty stout sense of having been poked in the peaches, and so I grab my smartphone and dial the handy 800 number, thinking I might ameliorate the swelling pain in my ass by sharing it with an unsuspecting technical-support representative.

Ho, ho, etc.

After 10 minutes on hold I’m at full boil. Steam is fountaining out of my ears. Herself has retreated to her office with an adult beverage, and the other critters have all scrambled to safety under various large pieces of furniture.

“Fuck this shit!” I announce to the nobody who is listening, hang up, grab a flashlight, and march back out into the now-totally-dark garage to see if I can break something.

Both cars are parked inside, naturally, it being nighttime, so I open the passenger door in my Subaru and use the rocker panel as an impromptu stepladder in order to get a closer look at my garage-door opener.

Neither the owner’s manual nor the customer-support site tells you how to crack the door-opener’s case to inspect its innards for bum sockets or failed logic boards, and I don’t see any screws to unscrew or clips to unclip, so I’m looking around for a fucking thigh bone or a goddamn rock with which to get prehistoric on the sonofabitch when through the ventilation slots I spot … what appears to be a light socket with no bulb in it.

Ditto for the other side.

And for the two sockets on the other opener.

Four 60-watt bulbs later the garage lights come on, just like when you open the door to a Samsung refrigerator and it catches fire.

Now repeat after me: I will never be smart.

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18 Responses to “I saw the light”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Special note on the box – – light bulbs and batteries not included. If something is not working, log off and restart it.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Well, you might not be smart, but you are funny as hell. You don’t have to be smart when you have talent. The was real belly laugh stuff.

    But, don’t forget you are just a man, as herself probably reminds you occasionally, and Irish to boot. The smart girls get a glass of vino and retreat when us Irish boys start searching for the BFH. Seems we married smart girls.

  3. Charley Auer Says:

    Thanks, I am already starting to feel smarter!

  4. Libby Says:

    I always learn something here. Really. Info, insight, a lesson, a caution, a tale.
    I, who know nothing, don’t even have a garage door opener. It keeps being overtaken by other repairs and maintenance. So I will thank you now, not later, for sharing this “adventure at home” and learn from it.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      My garage-door opener in Bibleburg was me. And I turned on the light by tugging manfully on a string. We lived closer to the bone then. Here in the lazy warmth of the desert Southwest we have grown soft, like old bananas.

  5. Shawn Says:

    What ! You didn’t install LED bulbs to save the 5 microseconds of power generation at your local area coal fired power plant?…… What are you?…, an anti-eco Trumpster dog? Geez…..

    But in truth, LED bulbs do use a lot less power…….

    Woof ! (From one B&W Chin to another)

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We had four of them 60-watt hippie pigtailed sumbitches in a box in a closet, so I improvised. I need to visit the hardware store.

      You’re likewise owned by a Chin? I’d never heard of the breed until Herself became fixated on them while volunteering at the Bibleburg shelter. Like commies, there are more of them around than one might suspect. We know of at least two more Chin fanciers here in the Greater Duke City Foothills Yacht & Gun Club.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    good one, at your own expense.

  7. David Rees Says:

    Been there – done that. Still stupid after 65 years…

  8. debby511 Says:

    Mine burned its solitary bulb out some time ago. I haven’t bothered to replace it because I have plenty of other lighting in the garage – have to, for wrenching on the motorbikes – and my Soul conveniently keeps its headlights on long enough for me to get out, walk to the front of the garage, and flip the light switch.

    Time change tomorrow though, which means I’ll be riding home in the dark on the bikes. So I guess it’s time to finally figure out how to pry that plastic cover off and put a new bulb in.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Gah! Time change tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder.

      With our opener all I had to do was grab the plastic end cap by the top and pull it toward me. Once I had done that it was pretty easy to see, stamped into the plastic, “PULL HERE.” This is invisible from below, of course.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        We don’t need no stinkin’ time change in Arizony. One of the perks of living here. Of course many radio controlled clocks, digital low frequency signal from WWV, are programmed to perform daylight savings time changes. I just change the time zone for ours from PST to MST.

  9. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    So, from May until recently, the cars went in and out during daylight hours – so nobody noticed the lack of light on the gizmo? It does seem odd that whoever installed the thing didn’t bother to a) put bulbs in b) tell the owner to put bulbs in.
    We’re still close-to-the-bone I guess.. I had a new door put on the garage when we bought our shack, but figured I could open and close the door (or the wife can do it if she’s going with me) and save the couple hundred those gizmos cost.

  10. Peter W. Polack Says:

    Great story, greatly told.

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