Stupid signs for stupid people

There’s a great deal of signs and warning notices around these days, warning us of such perils as “CAUTION: CONTENTS MAY BE HOT!” on a coffee cup, or “WAIT UNTIL BULB IS COOL BEFORE CHANGING” on a new lamp. I mean, who would be so dumb as to attempt to change a bulb whilst still hot? How can people who are that stupid survive in this modern world? I am, unfortunately, one of those people. Here’s a story about how it all happened:

I was flooring out the loft using a regular tungsten bulb for illumination. Unfortunately, at a critical point in moving a flooring board, I knocked over the only source of illumination. Said mishap caused breakage of the bulb and loss of all light, bar the measly amount creeping up through the hatch. This left me carrying an 8ft x 4ft board, while balancing on the joists in almost complete darkness.

After some fumbling and cautious tip-toeing, I managed to put down the board, reach the backup torch, switch it on, and sit down next to the loft hatch. Panic over, I sat down and thought the smart thing to do would be to take the old bulb downstairs and bring up a new one, saving myself a trip. Unfortunately while I was still contemplating my “lucky escape”, simple physics left me behind and I proceeded to attempt to change the bayonet-style bulb.

I was doing quite well, until I realised it was still hot, when I dropped the bulb. Recalling from above that I’m now above the loft hatch, the bulb fell a full floor height, bounced once then rolled down the staircase. It reached the bottom of the stairs intact, however, which I thought was impressive.

So yes, I have changed a lightbulb while it was hot.


As a footnote to the story, after some loud outbursts, I went downstairs, picked up a new bulb, climbed all the way back up into the loft, only to find that I’d also blown the fuse on the lamp, so I needed two trips anyway.

I later discovered that I’d also broken the lamp itself.