We had a bit of a kerfuffle. Jay and I were sitting in our office, and all the lights dimmed and brightened again. We just paused a moment, wondering if the power was going to go out. It didn’t and we moved on with our night.
Later that night, Jay called me into the bathroom asking if I could smell anything. I did. It was this awful scent of burned plastic mixed with electricity. We start hunting the smell down, because the last thing we need is an electrical fire smoldering somewhere. We tracked it to the chandelier
in the dining room. It is original to the home, when Dad bought it in the fifties. We don’t know if the chandelier caused the surge we saw earlier, or if we had an electrical surge the chandelier couldn’t handle (chicken/egg), but one of the bulbs was completely scorched all the way down into the base.
We turned off the chandelier, and I took the bulb to dad. There’s this strange annoying phenomenon. When there’s an issue… say the car is doing something funny, or the water in the house is doing something funny, when dad tests it it works perfectly fine for him. It’s incredibly annoying. So I took the scorched bulb to him so he could see there really is an issue. Dad comes over the next day to check it out. Jay’s asleep (he works nights). We’re in the living room. He tries a new bulb, turns on light, nothing happens. He turns off light, takes bulb out, and removes the outer casing of it, and the shaft next to it, so he can see if anything’s different. There is some scorching. He tells me to turn it on and I do. Nothing happens. Then he goes to manipulate it.
The damn thing exploded twice. Once, scorching dad, and then another time, then the whole thing went up in flames. I start screaming, Jay leaps out of bed running into see what’s the problem in his underwear, and I leap to turn off the electricity. Once I did, the flames went out on their own immediately. Dad was fine – although I truly thought his hair would have been standing on end after his zap – and he had a scorched fingernail. Thank God he didn’t think he could fix it.
Sometimes I think Tim “The Toolman” Taylor was based on my father.
“… So I rewired it!”
This is the story of how I eventually got a ceiling fan in my dining room, which has always been sorely needed in the summertime.