29-10-2006 11-03-18_0007a

Tell me again; why is the black one connected to the front when all the rest are at the back?

No, it isn’t obvious. Would I be asking if it were?

Alright. There are four connecting blocks—

No, four. As I’m looking at them, the two on the right have brown wires coming in the back.

Hard to tell. If pressed, I’d say the one in the first block—

Yes, the rightmost one; is maybe a shade lighter than the second one. The third block has the earth wire, the green-and-yellow one, and the furthest left has two blue wires.

Yeah. The slightly paler one is coming from the same cable as the paler brown one. The darker blue and darker brown are coming from a hole in the back of the unit, as is the black one that’s inexplicably joined to the same block as the pale brown one.

No, I can’t send you a picture of it.

Because, for reasons that are beyond my ability to fathom, there’s no camera on my house phone. Okay?

The earth cable? God knows. It’s coming from the same direction as the pale pair, but they’re in a two-wire cable. The earth cable just disappears into the wall.

No, I’m not planning to break the wall open to see where it goes. You’re the electrical gurus, you tell me.

No idea. What’s a ring main?

Whoosh. Right over my head, mate. You’d do as well explaining it in Kiswahili.

No, I didn’t mean I want you to.

Stop it! Stick to English, but choose words I’m likely to understand.

Well, that’s an option, and I suppose I could, but the electricians around here are only interested in big jobs. We’re so far out in the sticks that asking an electrician to change a fuse means at least half a day’s work by the time he’s got here from the city. That’s why I’m calling you.

Hahaha! You want me to look it up on your web site? Maybe I will.

Let me finish. Maybe I will in five years, which is when they reckon we’ll get the internet here.

I told you, it’s for an outside light. Mains powered, PIR activated.

Uh-uh. And if I do that, how confident are you I won’t electrocute myself?

So, you’ll stay on the line whilst I do it. And if I do electrocute myself, what will you do; grab the first flight across the Atlantic and drive three hours from the airport to come and rescue me?

Oh, you’ll call an ambulance. What will you dial?

No, nine-one-one won’t help. I’m in a different country, remember? On a different continent.

In that case, you can stuff it. I’ll buy a solar-powered or battery-operated one. You can have this one back.

What do you mean, no refund?

I invalidated the refund policy by opening the box? How else would I find your phone number?

Do you enjoy bad publicity? One-star reviews?

It certainly sounds like you do.

No, but I will be able to in five years’ time when I get the internet!

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 226 published on this site.

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