The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Lights Out!
by Laara C Oakes

I once owned a 3-way bulb. All three filaments lived happily together. Everyone thought the 50-watt wasn’t too bright. “He’s reckless,” they said. “He’s crazy.” I had to agree. He was always the first one to enter a dark room.

Buzz circulated about 100-watts unnatural attachment. He followed 50-watt everywhere. But they got along, so we accepted 100-watts obsessive codependency issues.

They both enjoyed the company of 150-watt. He was a shining example of what a bulb could be when all its filaments were connecting. Yes sir, things got brighter when 150-watt was around. And when he beamed about his latest adventure, he lit up the room. Life was sunny in the land of bulb.

Then one rainy day, everything changed. I was sitting on the couch reading a brilliant book that had received glowing reviews, Let Your Light Shine when I heard a loud pop. The room darkened. The sound had come from the land of bulb.

“What happened?” I questioned the 3-way. Not a flicker. Not a hum. It just faded in the corner. But I had my suspicions.

I turned the switch off to let the bulb cool down. I lifted it from the socket. I held it gently in my hands. Carefully, very carefully I brought it to my ear. Then I shook it. The rattle was all the proof I needed—150-watt was dead! Snuffed out! His filaments fried!

We held the funeral that gloomy afternoon. Everyone reminisced about how we always thought 150-watt would one day be Pop to a string of 5-watt holiday bulbs. Nobody had expected him to pop this way.

Everyone lowered to half-light in honor of 150-watts passing. And then one-by-one, they shut off. That night was dark and stormy. 

Underwriters Laboratory launched an investigation, but neither remaining filament admitted they had anything to do with the death of 150-watt.

Rumors circulated that 100-watt did it. After all, 100-watt never could light up the room like 150-watt. Maybe it wasn’t 50-watt that 100-watt was obsessed with after all. Was he really following 50-watt around, or was it a cover?

Accusations ran wild. After all, 100-watt always entered the room just before 150-watt. It’s like 100-watt always knew where 150-watt was going to flash next. Stalker? You tell me.

Over time, our memories dimmed and we forgot about the incident. We all adjusted to a 2-way lit world. Life went on in the land of bulb.

Two weeks later, I heard that same unmistakable pop. I ran to the room. Too late! The 100-watt filament was kaput!

I eyed 50-watt suspiciously. He didn’t blink. He didn’t flicker. He just sat there, giving off a smirky glow. But the jig was up. In a burst of jealously, the 100-watt was off’d. The 50-watt was a light stealing, filament frying, current sucking murderer!

They all called 50-watt dim. Said he was crazy. He’s crazy all right. Crazy like a spotlight.