Tuesday, March 06, 2012

In which we have a close call

I don't know if it's a thing among homes of a certain age or if our house is just an oddball, but we don't have any actual light fixtures in our living room. There's an ostentatiously large chandelier in the dining room and a weird lantern-like fixture in the entryway, but no lights in the living room. Because of this, we have a torchiere lamp at each end of the couch and I'm constantly bitching that there isn't enough light in the room. About two months ago, I noticed that the lamp at my end of the couch had a huge crack in the plastic shade and the lip that was supposed to hold it steady around the lamp was completely gone. We never figured out how it got broken, and to my knowledge it's never been dropped or knocked over. It is pretty old, but the other lamp is much older and it's just fine. The broken lamp has been getting on my nerves ever since due to the shade sliding around any time the lamp is jostled. I used to be able to grab the pole and tip the lamp toward me so I could turn it on while sitting on the couch, but once it was broken I couldn't do that without the shade falling on my head. We haven't got around to replacing it because it technically still works and there always seems to be something more pressing that needs to be bought.

Then tonight, Nico and I were out running errands and didn't get home until about 6:30. MB had worked late and was upstairs taking a nap. When we first walked in, I noticed the house smelled funny, kind of like stinky armpit. Someone in the neighborhood had been cooking out, so I chalked it up to cookout smoke + lingering cooking smells + me being a bit smelly from spending the morning outside at the zoo. As I was getting Nico's dinner ready, I noticed the smell was getting worse and worse. I went over to the candle I had lit twice to make sure it wasn't singing leaves from the nearby houseplant and to check and see if I'd dropped the hot match onto something. And then, finally, it dawned on me to check the lamp. The traitorous, backstabbing lamp that was apparently trying to burn our house down while we weren't looking. The shade had somehow fallen completely off the lamp and was resting directly against the 3-way bulb.

It makes me a bit ill to think what might've happened if we'd left the lamp on and then gone out for several hours. Or if Nico and I had been gone on our errands just a bit longer. Or if this lamp was within inches of the curtains like the other one is. I feel like we really dodged a bullet with this one. Nico and I will be stopping by Target to buy a new lamp tomorrow after swimming lessons and the busted one is going straight into the trash, where it should have gone as soon as I noticed it was broken.


  1. Scary! So glad you caught it when you did.

    We had a pair of super-old lamps in our living room. One day, we heard one of them making a bzzzzting noise. Then the lights started flickering. Then both J. and I immediately pointed our paranoid minds toward "fire," and we immediately went out and bought two new lamps at Target. :)

  2. "Get away from the curtains!" Tucker DaleWin

  3. "You've gotta start being more careful!!"