It didn’t occur to us to mask off the outlets and light switches when we painted Alex’s room. Even if we hadn’t gotten kiwi green paint on them, they were almond, and didn’t go with the white trim.
So we bought a new switch and three new outlets, and I read up on how to swap the old ones out. It didn’t seem too difficult—hot wire, neutral wire, ground wire.
I plugged a lamp into one of the outlets, and sent Lauri downstairs to trip the breakers one by one until the lamp went off. When it did, I tried the other two outlets. No light.
So I removed the plate for the wall switch, and removed the switch from the box. As I went to loosen one of the screws holding the wires in, I was greeted with a Fourth of July-style shower of sparks. A little smoke, too. Verrry impressive, if you’re not the guy holding the screwdriver. There might have been some kind of bang, too, but I seem to have developed a little memory lapse on that score.I have no idea what circuit that wall switch is on, but from now on I’m turning off the master breaker before doing any electrical work.
We discovered that the doorknob had an in-knob lock. That just struck me as a bad idea for a toddler’s room. So we picked up a replacement set.
Lauri removed the old knobs and bolt, and, concerned that they might mark up the new carpet, placed them out in the hall. I handed her the new bolt, and she slid it in place.
“Don’t close the door,” I told her. “Without the knobs, we’ll have no way to get it open.”
I moved closer, to make sure that the bolt was recessed enough into the edge of the door frame. It sat just a little above the surface. I thought it would clear, but figured the only way to check the fit was to…close the door.
“[Click],” suggested the door.
“Oh, [BAD WORD],” we replied simultaneously.
This is the kind of situation that tests your initiative (not to mention the strength of the marriage bonds). In my mind, I saw myself grabbing the emergency evacuation ladder, lowering it out the window, losing two out of three rounds of “rock-scissors-paper” to Lauri, climbing out the window, and plummeting to my demise. I could very clearly see the next day’s headline: “MORON FALLS TO DEATH IN FREAK HOME IMPROVEMENT ACCIDENT. Last words: ‘This ladder sucks’”
Fortunately, before I could embarrass myself further, Lauri spotted the new doorknobs nestled neatly in their package. She calmly released us from captivity.
Hey, we’re going to try installing the car seat now. If you don’t hear from us in a day or so, we’re locked inside the Windstar. Send help.