Bedroom light

We have in our bedroom a really attractive and useful bedroom light, which also has alarm clock and radio functions. It is about twelve inches high, overall and has rather the appearance of a mushroom. At the top is a white, hemispherical, translucent plastic shade, which imparts a suitably diffused light to the room. The base of this shade consists of a chromium plated metal ring at the ends of four spokes which radiate from the central bulb-holder. This ring is touch sensitive and switches the light through the cycle, off, dim, medium, bright and back to off with subsequent touches of a finger. The great advantage of this switching is that it is silent, there is no click when the light is switched. This light is positioned at Susan’s side of the bed, within easy reach and so it falls to her to put the light out at night.

One night, a couple of years ago, we settled down for the night and Susan put the light out. After about half a minute it came on again at the ‘dim’ setting. “What’s the trouble, dear?” I enquired. “What do you mean, ‘what’s the trouble?’ ?” she replied. “Why have you put the light on again?” “I didn’t put it on, it just came on” she said, slightly testily. At that moment it came up two notches to ‘bright’! “Stop playing with the light” I said and the light promptly went out. “Well, thank you for that” I said, “now, if it’s all the same to you, I’ll go to sleep!” “It’s nothing to do with me” she protested, “I haven’t touched the….” At which the light came on again and went through a complete cycle, back to ‘off’. “What the hell is going on, why don’t you leave it alone?” “I’m not touching the bloody thing” she protested, at which it went through two more cycles and stopped at ‘bright’. I was now unable to keep up my air of injured innocence any longer and burst into laughter. I then explained to her what was going on!

As Sue still works full time it falls to me to do daily housekeeping chores, one of which is making the beds. On the morning before the night I have described, I was making our bed when I had an idea for a little joke at Sue’s expense. Having confirmed, in principle, that it would work, I found in the garage a length of insulated bell-wire, which is suitably thin and easily concealed. I connected the bared end of this to the sensitive part of the lamp, then led it down the back of the bedside chest and along behind the head of the bed, out of sight. It was then brought up and the other bared end concealed under my pillow. When Sue put the light out, I had only to put my hand under my pillow and touch the wire, for it to come on again! Childish I admit, but Sue, being the great sport that she is, thought it was really funny and we still have a good laugh about it!