Somewhere in Wayne County there's an ACO hardware store without a single incandescent light bulb in stock. They're all on a shelf in my basement.
The idea of soon having no illumination choice other than those twisty light bulbs has left me a little bit nuts. So now part of my Saturday routine is making the rounds of various stores and loading my pickup with packages of incandescent bulbs. It's an obsession I bet I share with others who dread the day a year from now when the old-fashioned bulbs become extinct by federal fiat, and all that's left are the smug compact fluorescent lights.
Congress has decided that everyone should use the new bulbs because they are more energy efficient, though I doubt anyone factored the extra energy used to ship them from China, where they're being made instead of the Midwestern plants that produced the old bulbs to price them anywhere near affordable.
I hate everything about the new bulbs. So I've done my best to calculate how many of the old bulbs I'll need to light the rest of my days. I figure I burn out about 25 bulbs a year. If I'm lucky I've got 30 years left. If I'm really lucky and someone comes up with a major life-extending breakthrough, 40 years.
So I'll need 1,000 bulbs. If I've overestimated my expiration date, any remaining bulbs will make a nice next egg for my heirs. I've got to believe they'll be like glass gold once folks can't get them anymore. There may even be a trading exchange.
I've been buying them in every wattage and shape. Three-ways. Spotlights. Sconce bulbs. I'm even thinking about stashing away some colored Christmas twinklers.
Revulsion to the new bulbs is rooted in two of my many character flaws: impatience and stubbornness.
It's as simple as this: When I flip a light switch, I expect light. Immediately. The delay between switch and light with the new bulbs is unsettling. No matter how many times it happens, my reaction is always to keep flipping the switch on and off again.
I suppose I could get used to that, but not to what the new bulbs represent. I don't want to use them mostly because the federal government is telling me I have to.
We've been bullied and brainwashed into accepting the ever-growing intrusion of politicians, regulators and do-gooders into our personal decision making in the name of the greater societal good.
We're told that if we give up some of our individual freedom to buy what we want, drive what we want, smoke and eat what we want, the world will be a better place.
But we can't be trusted to make the right decisions on our own just because we understand the need to conserve and may hope to save a few bucks. We need laws to make sure nothing is left to chance.
Those mandates have already saddled us with toilets that won't flush, washers that won't wash, ethanol-laced gasoline that burns up our lawnmower engines and electric cars that aren't nearly as comfortable, powerful or practical as the models they're supposed to replace. And next, we get crazy-looking light bulbs shoved into our sockets that may or may not come on before we fall down the stairs in the dark.
Well not my sockets. If I can hoard enough bulbs to make sure I die by the glow of an incandescent light, I'll consider it a small blow for freedom. If you feel the same way, you'd better get to ACO before I do.