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Saturday, January 29, 2011

"New Light" Enforcement

A parody. Rap, rap, rap!" I was jolted from a sound sleep by a sharp knocking on our door.

My husband jumped up and rubbed his eyes, "Did you hear some knocking?"

Sleepily, I replied, "It's probably just some religious cult." It was Saturday morning and I wanted to sleep in. I rolled over and closed my eyes again.

"Rap, rap, rap!" There it was again.

Paul groaned and fumbled for his bathrobe. "I'll go see."

"Thanks, darling," I responded, eyes still closed. I heard him undoing the three locks on the front door.

"Hydro Police!" a stern male voice announced.

I fairly leapt into my bathrobe, stunned at the words I heard.

"What have we done?" Paul asked the two officers standing in the doorway.

"Here is our warrant to search your home for illegal light bulbs!"

"Wha…? Since when…?" Paul was baffled.

The two officers pushed their way inside the door and headed directly for our kitchen. One officer went straight for our stove and smashed out the small stove light with his Billy stick. "This is an illegal bulb!" He glared at me.

I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, still unclear about the reality of what I was seeing.

The other officer smashed the two lights situated over the sink. He pulled out a small pad and began jotting notes. "Stove, sink…" Then he smashed the overhead light in the kitchen.

"Wait!" Paul interjected. "That light is okay. I mean, it's a fluorescent!"

The officers ignored his objections and moved to the dining room, smashing more light bulbs — including the decorative fixture. These were on a dimmer — they had to go. The second officer wrote furiously while the first one systematically went through our house, room by room, smashing all the incandescent bulbs with his Billy stick — plus a few fluorescent ones just for good measure. We weren't going to pull any stunts with these two tough cops enforcing the newly-enacted law.

Paul glared at me and I glared back, as the police paraded through our home this Saturday morning. True, we had known about the law to ban incandescent light bulbs, but I never imagined it would come to this.

"What will happen to us?" I queried.

"You have 30 days to comply!" the first officer holding a Billy stick shouted into my face. Strange what a little adrenaline and a mission to restore law and order will do to a man's voice. He continued, "When we come back after that, if there is any trace of incandescent lighting, you will go to jail!"

I had seen the Conservative flyers about the need for new jails, but I thought they were for rapists, murderers and drug dealers.

And I had heard how, without warning, retailers suddenly removed their incandescent lights from the store shelves. I wondered what motivated them. That little government ruse completely by-passed the general public, who were not consulted. More government corruption, I supposed. Right here in "democratic" Canada.

I was jolted out of my ruminating.

"It's all your fault, woman!" Paul suddenly blurted into my face. "I wanted to convert, but you don't like the new bulbs."

"It's pure bullshit! Those bulbs don't last ten years. We have been in this house for three and you've already had to change several of the new bulbs. I, on the other hand, have not changed any of my incandescent bulbs! This law is corrupt!" I looked at the first officer. "We live in a free country and you can't do this to me — to us!"

The first officer raised his Billy stick to me, but fortunately, the second officer checked the Billy stick with his own, motioning down. They continued their march through our home, smashing all the incandescent lights in their path. Quite unexpectedly, Paul stepped into the lead, taking them directly to the illegal bulbs for which I was responsible. "These are in the house against my wishes," he declared with conviction. "I am all for good laws that help us to conserve energy. I am not the lawbreaker here. My wife is!"

"Well, if our house burns down from one of your magic bulbs doing a melt-down, how much energy will we be conserving?" I countered. "Remember the pictures Professor Marla showed me? Those bulbs were spewing toxic chemicals into her home…why, those bulbs had black blisters on them! Some trade-off in the name of 'energy conservation' — poisoning her innocent pets!"

By this time Paul was leading the officers to our basement. My office was the only room down there with the illegal bulbs. As the police smashed the lamps in my office Paul declared, "Gentlemen, I have one more thing to show you." He led them directly to our cold storage room. "Her stash is in here!"

It is true. When I heard the new bulbs were to replace the incandescent bulbs, I went from dollar store to dollar store, buying up all the incandescents I could carry. At one store, I bought up their entire stock of 40-watt bulbs — my favorite.

Paul grabbed a Billy stick from one of the officers and raised it with a sneer on his face. "We have to stamp out this disease — this independent thinking!" The last thing I heard was the awful sounds of my precious bulbs being smashed to smithereens.

Then everything went black.

Visit website "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2011.

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