The Nightlight

Nightlight picture

From my early childhood, it was clear that I like to fiddle with stuff. I remember I was 6 or 7 when my uncle came back from Belgium. He used to bring objects with him that I often found interesting. But then there was this nightlight that caught my attention. Its light bulb was a U shaped fluorescent tube. I don't remember exactly what it was with that thing, but it sure got me excited. I waited until no one was looking and reached for the nightlight and took out the light bulb. Fortunately, it was very simple. The tube had two electrodes and the nightlight had two connectors. You align the two together, push them against each other... Et voilĂ ! I saw that and thought; Hmmm, I might be able to make something based on that knowledge!

Days later, my parents left me home alone with my big sister. That was obviously the perfect time for an experiment. Take an empty BiC Cristal pen, remove the inner tube that normally contains the ink, the lower cape, and only keep the outer tube. Run a thin, naked cooper wire inside it and connect each end of it to two other thicker, plastic-protected wires. Finally, try to make the whole thing airtight as much as possible using duct tape. Now all it's left to do, is to connect the wires to the wall power. Now sure, I was a bit scared. But that wasn't the first time I'll get electrocuted. So I was like; C'mon! What could go wrong?

I took a deep breath and pushed the two wires inside the two holes at the same time, and... K Booom!!! My sister heard that and came to me screaming. "What have you done? What have you done?...". I was scared too, but I know my sister very well. She'll freak out if I don't act calm. There were some small black spots around the power holes. I quickly cleaned them with my fingers while replaying to my sister. "Nothing, nothing happened. I was just playing". Luckily for me, it was around 15 to 3pm and school is at 3 o'clock. I went to school and when I came back, I noticed a lot of activity in the house. Mom was cleaning the floor and dad is on the ladder fixing a fuse. It turned out that the power plug that I used for my little experiment was using the same fuse as the one that was powering the fridge just behind the wall.

My sister didn't make the connection between the two events and no one questioned what happened. So why should I tell them? Anything I would have said could and would have been used against me. Silence is wisdom kids. Silence is wisdom.

Over and out,