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Front Page » June 15, 2010 » Opinion » Home and a thousand points of light
Published 1,568 days ago

Home and a thousand points of light


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

Last week the doctor told my wife that she needed to do a test to see how much oxygen she is getting while she is sleeping. They sent home a device that looked like a large i-Pod that she had to attach herself to for measuring purposes.

No big deal, I thought. Just attach it and go to sleep.

Little did I know that the device was actually designed to (A) either keep husbands awake, and/or (B) scare the hell of of them so they will never complain about cats on the bed again.

We had settled down for the night when I rolled over; as I did the device rolled over too. I was blinded.

You see it had this flashing light on it that about took my head off. It gleamed right into my eyes as I turned.

"What the heck is that," I said.

"It's the light on the machine," said my wife. "It will be doing that all night."

"It's bright," I said, based on my momentary experience with shear blindness. "I thought it was the big bang all over again."

"Not even you're old enough to remember the big bang," my wife replied to me, being the young chick that she is. "Just turn away from it. That's what I had to do."

"Yeah, you put it on my side of the bed so you could turn away," I said. I rolled over on my back. It's flash on the ceiling reminded me of the late 1970's and some of the clubs I had been in.

"If I wanted to disco I would have put on Donna Summers," I said.

"Yeah,well you would also have to grow back that afro hairdo you had then too," she remarked, based on a photo of me she has from that time period that she threatens to reveal to the world. I have been waiting for years for that photo to show up in the newspaper, which the conspiratorial crowd here at the office in full compliance with her wishes would gladly slip in sometime.

I rolled over away from it; I could still see it flashing on my dresser drawers handles. Worse yet, however, turning over had made be stare at the martian green display numbers on my clock radio. So I laid on my back. This didn't help; I could still see it flashing on the ceiling. So I got out of bed and went into the TV room thinking I could sleep in my favorite easy chair.

I got in and pulled a blanket over me. I stared at what I expected to be a dark wall when I turned the light out. Not so. Off to the side of me on the wall was one of those plug in flashlights that come on when the power goes off. It had a little red indicator light on it that pierced my paripheral vision. So I tried to look straight ahead. There, on the bookshelf was the television, with a little green light on the front of it that indicated it was off.

"Idiots," I thought. "Of course it's off, because it isn't on."

To the left side of the television were the DVD and VHS machines. One had a bright yellow light to indicate that we had left it on and it was ready to play. The other machine had a chartrus colored penetrating light to simply tell me it was there and plugged in.

I rolled my head to the side. On the desk against the wall I could see there sat my wifes computer; the screen was off, but it was obviously on because this white light in a quarter inch circle on the front of the machine softly raised in intensity and then would back off, kind of like the sound of the surf on the ocean, if sound were light, I mean. Next to the computer was her external hard drive, with a bright blue light saying, "Don't forget me."

I got up and walked into the living room. No less than three devices in there had little lights on them too. The kitchen have five more and the bathroom where I tried to take my last refuge from these tiny obnoxious points of light had my razor charging on the counter with a purple light illuminating the darkest place in the house on the main floor.

I remembered I had read a brochure from the power company about these lights. They're called power vampires. They are on all the time and their draw through your power meter, added up, can make a power bill soar.

By this time I was so tired, cussing out the little lights and bemoaning the fact that there was no place that was dark enough to sleep that I decided to go to the basement. There everything was off; no lights. I was a happy camper, for a while anyway. I had just slipped into sleep in the big cat bed that resembles a chair when I heard a "bong" and light filled the room. It was my cell phone I had left on the end table the night before. I got up and looked at it; a text message had come through advertising a special on smart phones from my cell provider at three o'clock in the morning. I couldn't believe it. I nearly threw the phone up the stairs, but reconsidered and shut it completely off.

Back to the cat bed that resembles a chair I went. Finally I slept but I dreamed. And you know what I dreamed of?

Dana Carvey's impersonation of George H.W. Bush's speech "A thousand points of light" on Saturday Night Live 20 years ago.

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June 15, 2010
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