Lights & Teenagers

The Middle Age Follies

A Slightly Skewed Look At Life

By And For Those Of Us On The North Side Of 50

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We have an energy crisis looming. Its threat to our well-being increases daily, and I carry so much guilt … my home was for many years the prime cause of it all.

Because I’m now finally coming to terms with my culpability, I feel an obligation to share with others what I know, and what experience has taught me about how to solve this great national challenge: We must send every teenager in America to a remote place, far, far away. Ideally, that forbidding locale should have no light switches. Preferably, it should simply be a dark place.

Now before all of you parents get all up in arms about this and you all start screaming at me to send your teens away first, and before fights break out amongst you as you try to elbow your way onto the front of the line to hand over your teenagers, let me explain (Reason 17 of 4,257) why this is such a good idea.

What’s that? Oh! You’ve already bought into this. Okay. I understand reasons don’t matter, but let me explain one of the reasons why getting rid of teenagers is such a good idea, just in case anyone ever asks.

All right, then let me explain it for those parents who might want to keep their teens – what? Oh, right again! Those kind of parents have only younger children; the cute and affectionate kinds who will eventually be kidnapped by brainless aliens from the Planet Attitude. Just wait….It will happen to all of you, and when you least expect it.

For those parents under the illusion that life as they once knew it forever changed when they first became parents, let me just say you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

Back to the energy problem and its very simple solution: Light switches.

It may surprise many teenagers to realize that light switches are just as easy to turn off as they are to turn on! The secret? You just have to do the reverse thing you did to turn lights on! We’re all familiar with them right? The switches do not become radioactive in the “on” position. Repeat … they are not radioactive, and no teenager  will be exposed to harmful radiation or currents of electricity by turning the lights off when rooms are vacated.

For many years, I was convinced our teenage son was destined to be the manager of a large metropolitan airport. No light was ever left off if he had any say in the matter. No pilot within 400 nautical miles of him would ever worry about inadequate lighting on runways. If you could grab the sun and prop it against an airport fence, the runways could not be brighter if our son was within reaching distance of anything resembling a light switch.

He was especially fond of turning on all the lights in our home at high noon on the brightest of bright sunny days because the extra .00006834 % of light was the difference between … well, there really was no difference. If he moved his head just so, and if the trees in the yard swayed just a bit in the breeze, then he apparently feared he might not be able to see every molecule in the eleven-course snack he’d consume twenty minutes before we prepared the first of four dinners over the next three hours and fifteen minutes.

Neighbors would be so annoyed when he would go into their homes and turn on their lights, too.

He and our two daughters were also quite fond of simply leaving on every light within fifty yards of whatever their present location, just on the off-chance they might return to the same place at any point in the subsequent two weeks.

Let’s not forget the potential danger which lurked on the similar off-chance they might awaken at night during their usual nineteen hours of sleep and then be forced to cross the thirty-six-inch wide corridor to the bathroom, where all of those lights are kept on all night just in case….

I’m certain our family is far from the only one who had to endure years of such energy waste. According to my calculations, if we in fact launch every teenager to the aforesaid far, far, faraway place, the energy saved strictly from keeping lights off would extend our electric capabilities through the year 2364.

It’s worth considering. If not for the energy savings, it’s still worth considering….