How many Mes does it take to change a lightbulb?

I was in London yesterday, which was a shame. I also needed to pee, which was inconvenient as everywhere in London locks up their toilets, because god forbid someone walk in and relieve the pressure on their bladders without paying for the privilege. This is despite the fact that London itself is a giant public piss trough.

I want it to be known that I hate London. I know that that is a decidedly unBritish thing to say, but I can’t hide who I am. Whilst the Nazis did many terrible things, their attempts to level London should be applauded[1]. It’s an absurd place that boasts all the industry and all the jobs whilst remaining an entirely unaffordable place to live. It’s fair to say that London, is a separate entity to the rest of the UK. It’s a cyst, a tumour if you will, feeding off the rest of the country. Yes, you are right; I don’t know how cysts or tumours work. The fact is, London cares about London and the rest of the country must fend for itself.

I had to get to a place called Queen Street, which I found. However, I couldn’t find the building I was looking for, and I suddenly found myself on a tiny street called Bread Street. It’s this sort of thing that makes London such an infuriating place. The naming convention seems far to sporadic. It’d make sense for Queen Street to connect to maybe a King Street, or a Duke Street and we gradually go through various ranks of nobility. Could even go for cards. Or maybe all the roads that feed into Queen Street were named after various queens. But no all the streets have silly names, even the tiny dank little cobbled alleys deserve their own name. Little alleys complete with dancing piper that you must pay a single groat and say, ‘paid the piper to peddle my pelts!’ because of some old weird tradition. And yet this alley won’t be called ‘Piper’s Alley’ it’ll be called ‘Tanner’s Road’, despite having nothing to do with tanning.

People who love London, but chose not to go there unless they absolutely have to, defend it by saying ‘it’s a historic city, rich with culture.’ And so was Dresden, but that didn’t stop us burning the place down. Apparently, some historic cities are worth preserving, but others deserve death by fire. It’s fine now by the way, I’m just saying. As for culture, that has a habit of springing up wherever there are enough people. Cambridge has culture, Norwich has culture, Edinburgh has culture and neither of those cities are tarnished by also being awful places.

London is also too busy. I think that’s my main gripe. There’s too much going on. It’s dizzying and irritating.

You might be saying, ‘but you live in Stevenage, a place renowned for being terrible.’ To which I say, ‘who told you where I live?’ but also, that’s kind of the point. It’s known for being terrible and is. And guess why. Because it was built to house the rapidly swelling population of London. And it’s getting more and more expensive to live here, two guesses why. Because it’s close to London. One day the city will rise up on giant hydraulic legs and march up and down the country asserting its dominance in a lot more literal sense. Stevenage accepts its position as a terrible commuter town. It makes no claims of culture, has one museum which basically states, ‘we have no history’.

Anyway, that was supposed to be a brief introduction to what eventually becomes the real point of this blog, but it got away from me. What I really wanted to talk about was my lightbulbs. In my hallway (what British people call a narrow corridor that leads from their front door to the other rooms, because we have a superiority complex), I have four lights. I live with a flatmate, but I have claimed these lights as my own through the strategic use of tiny flags.

Two bulbs have gone, meaning it’s quite gloomy in there. The simple act of changing a bulb is made rather difficult by the fact that at some point in recent history, we have grown ashamed of lights. Perhaps our inability to see in the dark has made us feel inadequate, so we have had to hide the lights away as best we can, by reducing their size and hiding them in little circles inside the ceiling.

To make matters worse, an incompetent tradesman has painted over them, meaning they will no longer screw out. This has made me very mad. A person, presumably someone whose main source of income is in painting and decorating or some similar trade, got paid to do a terrible job. Me, who, as these blog posts show, is an idiot, looked up and instantly recognised the mistake.

I am a naïve human being and still believe that if you do something for a job, then you are probably quite skilled at that job. At the very least, through simple repetition, you don’t make really obvious mistakes, such as painting over lights built into a ceiling. However, upon peering up at my painted over lights, I realise that is not the case.

So, here I am using a paint scraper – I’m not sure what the actual term is for them. Let me google – using a paint scraper, to scrape the paint away from painted over lights so I can change the bulbs. Will I be compensated for this? No. I must suffer due to other people’s incompetence. This is very much how life works it seems.

[1] I mean, obviously, I don’t believe that. That was said for comic effect.

2 thoughts on “How many Mes does it take to change a lightbulb?

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