Sunday, October 26, 2008

One Hundred Milliamps

Each Christmas people across the world decorate their homes with lights of all shapes, sizes and colors. This tradition has spilt over to the decorating people do for Halloween as well, and this is also the case at our home.

Last year we got some Halloween lights to hang outside. Some look like big eyeballs, some look like little crystal skeletons and some are just basic, run-of-the-mill Christmas lights, but with orange light bulbs. Last year we used all but the plain orange lights.

This year it was my bright idea to decorate more than usual for Halloween. Don’t know where this bug in my butt came from, but to scratch it the girls and I went to the basement and pulled out everything we have.

As with any decorative lighting activity, the first thing you do is plug them in and make sure they work. There’s nothing that makes me feel more stupid than working hard to hang lights, only to find out they don’t work.

So Vic and I started plugging them in and checking for problems. Everything was fine until I got to the ‘never before used’ orange lights. On the very first bunch I pulled out only half of the lights worked. Dang!! So I started looking, one by one, at each bulb to see if one was missing or broken. I just hate it when this happens ‘cause I know I’ll end up pulling out bulbs one by one and replacing with the spare till they start working. Then, as I was pulling the strand of lights threw my hands I looked down and saw this.

I was standing there holding bare copper wires connected to a 120v outlet. I immediately barked at the girls to step away from me and for Vic to unplug the strand NOW!!!

Vic unplugged the lights and I composed myself. I didn’t want to get too excited around the girls, but WOW. That was close. It only takes 100 Milliamps to stop your heart. Way more than that was in my hands right then. I was very lucky.

We bought those lights over a year ago, so taking them back isn’t an option. I don’t even remember where we got them or who made them. I don’t even have the original box.

So let this be a lesson for everyone out there. It may sound corny, old fashioned or dorky, but before plugging in your Christmas or Halloween lights, visually inspect the strands. Look for frays, cuts or anything out of the ordinary. It could have gone very different for me today. Don’t count on luck the next time you’re decorating for the holidays.

Well that’s all for now. Glad to be here. G’nite.

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