Groucho stance: the world’s worst light fixtures you don’t need a ladder to reach…

…are the ones in our bathroom. They’re halogens, four of them, and they don’t last as long as they should.

I have to use a stepstool to get up and stand on the counter.

The lights cannot be on because if one must manipulate the bulb, it becomes extremely hot, thus a lamp has to be placed on the bathroom counter for basic ability to see.

The roof is too low for me to stand up on the counter, so I have to do something like what cavers call the ‘Groucho walk.’ Call it the ‘Groucho stance.’

One must remove a ridiculously long screw that holds in place a little screen piece that keeps dust from landing on the bulb. One must not misplace this. The only easy part is removing the old bulb, which of course flashes light a couple of times while doing so, thus making me suspect that it isn’t really burnt out and that this is a needless pain in the ass.

I have to get the new bulb out of the blister packaging without getting finger oil on it, lest it burn out within minutes. That isn’t as simple as the writing makes it sound.

For the same reason, I must handle the bulb solely with a washcloth fresh from the dryer. It is hard to do all this while doing the Groucho stance.

It’s then time to attempt to screw the bulb into the fixture. Usually it’s too loose. The washcloth is a pain. Don’t fumble it, even though washcloths are not designed to be primitive oven mitts! If it lands in the bowl-like covering, which is full of dead bugs, guess what–bulb is rendered useless. Start again.

Did I get the bulb in correctly? Hope so. Have Deb switch the lights on. If it comes on, we’re almost done.

Now the screen has to go back in place–without touching the bulb. At all. It must be held steady until the screw is driven all the way down. I have excellent manual dexterity for a man; even so, I manage to ruin one bulb in four this way, just by bumping the bulb, which resides about 1/2″ below the screen’s final resting position.

Repeat this whole pain in the ass two times. Because you can now see why I don’t get into this until three of them are dead.

If in the end, I have four functioning light bulbs in the bathroom, I deserve a beer. If they all still work correctly the next day, I should go buy a lottery ticket. If only three still work, I declare marginal victory and am grateful.


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