blue moon (2)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hanging By A Thread ©

Some things scare you to the point that you are petrified where you stand and then some things scare you so much you can’t stop laughing either because you see how lucky you are or maybe you’re just a sick fucker.

The other day I was hanging this huge light fixture my mother had in the hallway that my brother bought for them last year.
It has five large thick glass shades on the top and the bottom is housed by a bigger main glass enclosure, the whole thing weights about thirty pounds and is about two and a half feet in length.

They had finished running the wires on the first floor the day before so I decided to start putting up the fixtures and make my parents place a little less cluttered on the floor and neater looking.
I had already hung this chandelier my mother had in the dinning room.
Now there was a nightmare.
The thing has 140 individual crystal teardrops on it that are about an inch and a half long that hang down and connect to lower tiers to give it that suspended in mid air look.

She had decided while it was down to take them all off this three tier chandelier and wash them.
She did a great job of washing the crystal but she forgot how they all went back on so she called me to help her.
Actually she asked me if I wanted some cake then sprung the chandelier problem on me while passing over a piece of cake.
I’m a sucker when cake is involved.

I sat there in a sea of sparkling glass, lost as how they were supposed to be hung on the five brass rings.
Run came to mind but my eyes kept falling on a second piece of cake that was placed just on the other side of the crystal mountain in front of me.
Damn am I a glutton for sweets.
It took me three hours to figure it all out then hang the thing and my mother said later “ I knew you would figure it out”.
Hmmm, if I had my way I would have chucked the damn thing in the garbage and saved myself the headache, damn cake.
It was walnut cake soaked in a heavy syrup, how can I say NO?!!!!

The whole time I was up on the ladder I was telling my niece not to come in the room where there was construction and to stay in the kitchen where it was safe but she always found a way to sneak back in to watch and offer construction advice.
Uncle Walker, it’s crooked
Uncle Walker why is it moving.
Uncle Walker YiaYia said she doesn’t like that light.
Uncle Walker you have a hole in your pants
She was never around without something to say, she gets that from her mother who hasn’t stopped talking since she said hi to me thirteen years ago.

I was in the main entrance standing on the ladder screwing in a box into the ceiling to house the wires and hold the light fixture when my niece showed up to watch and talk to me.
I told her to leave; her face dropped and headed off back into the kitchen.
She shouldn’t be in the house at all because there are sharp tools everywhere and she might accidentally get hurt.
After I had the box secured solidly I got down and brought up the light fixture and screwed that into place.
I pulled on the top of the chain and I could honestly say I could have swung from that chain and it would have held my weight.

I went back down and brought up the shades and screwed in all five on their perches.
I stood there on top of the ladder and stared at then for a second to see that they were all on straight and proper.
That’s when my niece popped out from the living room behind me, stopped right in front of my ladder and asked me what I was doing.
At that moment the light fixture dropped.
I didn’t even get a chance to move, it was that fast.
I saw it drop down towards my niece at the bottom of the ladder.
On the bottom of this light fixture is a spike to give it that medieval look.
Everyone came running to the front entranceway as soon as they heard the loud crashing noise.
I was petrified with fear on top of the ladder.
The light fixture was as big as my niece and almost as heavy with a spear on the bottom of it.
I looked down at her small body at the bottom of the ladder with shards of broken glass and twisted metal all over the place.
Her arms stretched up into the air, she looked up at me with innocent eyes and said.
“I didn’t do it”.
I just started laughing my butt off.
The light fixture landed right at her feet but she is so small she went between the two arms the shades were sitting on.
I wanted to hug her and kill her at the same time.

The light fixture was another story but who gives a shit about that.
Everything I installed was still attached to the ceiling specifically the chain BUT you see I soon found out that the CHAIN isn’t what holds the light fixture up.
The chain is attached to a rod that should be the full length of the light fixture but its not, the rod is connected to another rod with a nut that hold the light fixture together.
The whole thing depends on this small nut.
The nut itself has a groove in the side that is about two thirds of the size of the nut, when I inspected the bolt I noticed the threads were stripped.

Many of you probably don’t know this but the threads on a regular nut and bolt are thicker and deeper that the nuts and bolts used in electrical appliances.
Finer threads are used so that the bolts are not as bulky, they are still safe but because they use nuts with a third of it missing this compromises it, add a lot of weight and there is an accident waiting to happen.

After all the excitement was over I went back to clean up the mess and look at the light fixture to see what I needed to do to fix it, if it could be fixed, after all it is a $300 fixture and I wasn’t going to just throw it out that easy.
One of the shades was smashed and I bent the arms back in place but I needed to get another nut to replace the one that was there but I was going to get a full nut and not one with part of it missing.

I went to Home Depot where we got it from last year to see if I could find a spare shade and a bolt.
When I got there I found someone from the lighting department to help me but he said there was nothing I could do about the shade, they didn’t sell parts for the fixtures they got from China but he could help me with the bolt.
He took me to the back where he gave me this two-piece sleeve that was made specifically for the light fixture I had.
Wow what a coincidence I said.
He replied no, they sold them for people to fix the fixtures made from this company.
After he told me this the wheels started spinning in my head and I asked him if anyone else had this problem and he said “Oh yes quit a few”.

They know these things are defective and they STILL sell them for an outrageous price.
The sales person then said they had no choice because they had bought a large shipment from China and had to sell them.
What happens to someone if it lands on them?
The way they see it is that the odds of someone getting hurt are small because in order for the light fixture to hurt someone they would have to be under it and how often do people stand under a light fixture in the hallway.
Fucken Bean Counters, they should just shoot the bastards.
Bean counters are the people who determine if it’s cheaper to recall something or to pay off lawsuits before an accident even happens.

I came back home and rebuilt the fixture and this time I used good old Canadian parts and showed my mother, but she said she doesn’t want it hung back up in the hallway.
She says it’s cursed because it tried to kill her granddaughter.
Today we went and bought her a new fixture and it’s NOT made in China.
For those who want or need to know, the company that made the light fixture was Heritage Bay.

So that was my Saturday, I hope you all had some fun this weekend or maybe an adventure.

Have a nice day



Blazngfyre said...

First off, I'm glad that you & your niece are alright.

Now .... cake? You're so easy! lol
Would you have still told your niece to leave you alone if she had brought you a slice of cake?! Didn't think so. lol

Not a big fan of Heritage Bay, and yes, i believe your Mother is correct is saying that the fixture is cursed; many times by you i'm sure!

Have a nice day! :)

Anonymous Boxer said...

Good Lord. Too close, too close.

Heritage Bay? Noted.

Monica said...

Reading this story I can imagine how you were feeling. I'm really glad she wasn't hurt. Light fixtures are a dime a dozen, a little girl is priceless.
It did bring back when Daphne got hit by the car and we were all worrying about Julia witnessing that and going into shock. Bless her heart, Daphne's mama was in there with Daphne and worrying about Julia at the same time. Nothing is scarier than close calls for kiddos.

Vickie said...

That my friend is a little too close---glad things turned out as they did.

A light can always be replaced a little one is another thing.

Take care my special friend, hope things go well for you this week.

Lindy said...

Thank God there was something to laugh at in the end of that escapade. It could have been much worse. A smashed chandelier is the least of prices.

patti_cake said...

SO glad your niece is okay. Children..... they are so innocent and unaware.
Mmmm i'm a sucker for cake too!

Peter said...

A suggested use for that super strong chain would be to hang a bean counter or two with it.

The Chick said...

What? You didn't pee your pants when it started falling towards your niece?

craziequeen said...

WOW: close shave for your little niece......!
And is Uncle Walker all recovered from the minor coronary now? :-)

I got this sinking feeling when you told us the dimensions......

Stick with good ol' Canadian parts - in the UK that shop would be OUT OF BUSINESS....selling dangerous goods breaks the Sale of Goods Act here.


Sally said...

That little angel telling you she didn't do it; priceless, and thank heavens she wasn't hurt.

Heritage Bay? I've only purchased Hampton Bay from the HD - and, I just noticed they're from China also. Shoulda known I've been hoodwinked by that store I've got so much stock in! hahaha

Take care; have a good week!

Angel Without Wings said...

Thank Goodness your little niece got out of it unscathed but I did have to laugh at her saying "I didn't do it", what a little pistol!

Every time you mention your name and ladder in the same sentence I get chills down my spine. I'll be glad when your renovations are finished, its giving me grey hairs.

Anonymous said...

there's a reason your brother is paying for it- he works! what the hell do you do but collect welfare and rip other people off!
get out and get a job instead of sitting around on your ass doing nothing but writing posts about others

Walker said...

Anonymous : HA HA HA HA HA !!!
You're just a sour puss only cares aboutyourself and when you don't get you way you look to blame others.
Why did ytou copme live with me instead of your family, I'll tell you why because you can't get along with them because they won't bend to your will and that fucks you up.
I had yopur mother crying to me on the phone not to long ago and she told me everything.

I am the one that had ti sit here and listen to your seklfish bullshit.

I am the one that had to listen to the others laugh becaise I was the one stuck with you.
they were laughing at you and you are and will be the butt of their jokes for years to come.

You are nothing but a leech.
A blood sucker who sucks thge life out of people and then complains when there is nothing left to draw from them.

You guilted your family to give you money then you talk behind their back blaming them for your troublkes but they are your troubles.
You say trouble follows you but it doesn't YOU create the grief in your life because thats who you are.

Dotm said...

Glad your niece wasn`t hurt. Bet you were glad when your mother decided to hang a new light in place of the old one. Should be safer and easier to hang.
Good Luck with the work.