By Livia Turnbull, The Most Boring Person on the Planet
Many of you today are reading this while under an invention you all take for granted: the light bulb. Ever since the light bulb was invented in the 1880s, people have become more efficient at organizing their thumbtack collections (I know I always sort mine by colour and sharpness).
What is it about the light bulb that brings so much joy to our lives? For a while, I didn’t know the answer myself. But after pouring myself a glass of tepid water and blasting John Cage’s “4’33” for an hour, I finally came up with an answer: light bulbs are great because they provide better lighting than candles. Think about how many potential masterpieces have been lost to humanity’s most cruel mistress, Fire.
Some might argue that fire paved the way for the invention of the light bulb. Balderdash, I say! Fire burns people, and sometimes those burns can be permanent. Fire also destroys whole civilizations. There is a reason that fire is often associated with anger and hate, while light bulbs are associated with bright ideas. Light bulbs don’t burn people—unless you’re stupid enough to touch a hot one. I have never burnt myself on a light bulb in my life, for I always wear oven mitts whenever one of my precious light bulbs has burnt out.
Along with the fact that the light bulb is a mostly harmless invention, they can also be used to check if anyone has stolen anything of value from your home. For example, I was lying in bed one night, counting the stucco on my ceiling as I normally do, when I noticed that there were 268,258 bumps instead of the usual 268,259. Without the invention of the light bulb, I would have never known that some thief wanted my stucco for his ill-gotten gains.
Two weeks after the night of the missing stucco incident, my apartment put out a notice saying that there were rats living in our ceiling. I approached the exterminator’s truck and asked them if I could have one of the dead rats. The corpse is now framed on my wall, where a light bulb shines its glorious light over the display. I put the corpse on the wall as a warning to other vermin who might steal my stucco bumps. However, thanks to the almighty light bulb, I see that no other pest has since tried to steal my stucco again.
Thank you light bulb, for all your bright ideas.