Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who Turned Out the Light?

Remember when you were a kid and the greatest mystery in the world was whether or not the light stayed on in the refrigerator when the door was shut? Of course, once you'd found the button that depressed when the door shuts, the mystery was gone.

I haven't had to worry about the light going on or off for about a year now - the bulb burned out. I know it's the simplest thing in the world to replace it, but for some reason I just never get around to it. I also have some very good reasons for keeping the food in the dark.

Aside from the fact that the dark keeps most things fresher longer, especially milk, there's also the hope that the fridge is a less inviting place to visit. The children treat every visit to the fridge as if they were on a window-shopping expedition. Even the day before grocery shopping, when it's fairly empty, they can stand and stare at the nothingness for ten minutes.

Children must be hopeful creatures because they will return to a refrigerator several times just to ascertain that it still contains nothing they are interested in eating. In fact, the less it contains, the longer they stand there staring. The day after I've done the shopping, they can lay hands on something tasty within seconds of opening the door. But the day before is a day of bleak lack and snack hunger. With wide-eyed, unblinking gazes they survey the barren land before them and sigh.

According to my calculations, a 40 watt light bulb that runs an hour a day could cost me nearly $2.00 over the course of a year. I know it doesn't sound like much, and it won't make us rich. But it will annoy everyone to have to explore a dark fridge and I will make $2.00 at the same time. What a deal!

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