Really, in this case, I should have remembered that, along with my father's power to store mass quantities of stuff in small places and always arrive on time, he also had the power to obtain infomercial products that actually worked. Yes, it's true: this rare and amazing power belonged to him. To me ... not so much. So, my first clue that things would go horribly wrong in buying the Super Amazing Bulb-Changer of Doom(tm) should have been the "As seen on TV" bit on the label.
Rob also does not have the power to obtain infomercial items that actually work. Some day, when he's not around, remind me to tell you the story of the Flavor-Wave oven.
At any rate, we were still trying.
"Do you think eleven feet is going to be enough?" I asked Rob.
"Oh, hell yeah," he said, "No problem."
I got to Dad's den, extended the bulb-changer pole and lifted it up. Sure enough -- it would more than reach. I pushed it up towards one of the lights, and it went right over the light bulb! Score! I fiddled with it a bit, trying to get it to grasp the light bulb, but couldn't seem to get it to work. The track lights didn't seem to be very stable, and the fixtures they hung in sort of flopped around aimlessly rather than being set in any kind of fixed configuration.
Hmm, I thought. This may be a little trickier than I anticipated.
I kept trying to move it around, but the damn light kept escaping my grasp. It hovered and flipped, mocking me. Okay, I decided, the heck with it, and went to lower the pole.
But the pole did not lower. No, it did not. In fact, it stuck up there, halfway on the bulb and halfway off whilst the fixture jiggled around aimlessly. I pulled on the pole. Nothing. I tugged it to and fro. No result.
Finally, in desperation, I just let go of the damn thing.
At this point, Rob walked in just in time to see the bulb-changer swinging merrily from the ceiling, unsupported by mortal hands. The room was silent as we watched it hang there for a few moments.
"I ... it just ..." I was at a loss for words. "It's sort of ... um ... stuck, I think."
"I told you no good would come of this," said Rob.
Well, actually, Rob didn't say anything -- it was more of a facial expression kind of deal. You really had to be there, because trust me: if you were, you would have interpreted it the exact same way.
After more jiggling and tweaking and tugging and begging and pleading, we managed to disengage the pole from the light, and were able to reassess the situation. It was obvious that this particular attachment probably wasn't quite what we wanted for this particular set of lights.
"I think you should try the suction cup attachment," suggested Rob.
"Hm, good idea," I agreed, and he went off to get it.
"You get to be the one to lick the end, though," said Rob, handing me the suction cup. I rolled my eyes at him, then licked my hand, and wiped it on the cup.
There was something we were forgetting, though. What was it? It was right on the edge of my thoughts ...
Oh, yeah. It would probably be good if we turned on the bank of lights first so that we would actually be changing a bulb that was out, rather than wasting our energy on good bulbs.
Thus, we found ourselves facing yet another problem (which was actually more-or-less normal for this house). That is, finding which freaking light switch actually turned on the track lights at the top of the vaulted ceiling in Dad's den. I flicked about four switches on and off (probably setting off automatic gas fireplaces and potentially opening garage doors all over town) before I found the one.
The lights went on, and we could see which ones were out. This was going well.
Yes, it was, dammit! It was going VERY well.
So far ...
[to be continued here]