For nearly as many years as most us reading this have been alive (yes that would include you Mom and Dad) we’ve been hearing that famous jingle “…clap on, clap off….THE CLAPPER!" Today, when you see the commercial, its kind of like watching an old movie; the video is grainy, the clothing long outdated; and the old lady cheerfully clapping the light off before she goes to sleep has probably been using her clapper in the “great bedroom in the sky” for at least three decades now. (see the classic commercial again here: The Clapper)
To this day you can still find these curious devices with the “As Seen On TV” marking on the box in virtually any lower end discount store (uh, a place that media people frequent by necessity, but that’s another story).
Oddly, these silly things do seem to come in handy for situations such as mine. Now, I’m not exactly sure who planned this (probably someone who read by oil lamp at night); but the outlets in my room don’t really seem to be in a cooperative location, no matter where you place the furniture. While this inspires creative decorating, it probably won’t help me make the cover of "House Beautiful" anytime soon. In fact, a quick glance and you’re more likely to get the impression I drink when I arrange furniture. But I assure you with this arrangement of outlets, it’s a distinct possibility someone instead drank when wiring them. Go ahead…find a nearby place to plug in a table lamp, I dare you!
At any rate, after much complaining to anyone who would listen about not having a way to control the lights from the bed (which makes for much stumbling in the dark), as a joke I received a “Clapper” as a gift. Ha! Perfect, I thought! Problem solved! However, what they don’t tell you in the commercial about these “handy” little devices is that they will turn the light on and off at the sound of ANY sharp, loud noise. Oh sure, there’s a sensitivity setting on the thing that’s supposed to avoid this; but that’s as helpful as a call to the IRS tax tip line. I must admit though, with this predicament, what the clapper lacks in control it makes up for in entertainment value.
Get one and let the fun begin! Nothing like the lights coming on at three in the morning at the sound of a sneeze or cough; laughing puts on a wonderful light show….on, off, on, off. And it starts a strange cycle: the more it flashes, the funnier it becomes; the more you laugh, the more frequently it flashes (laugh) on …..off (laugh laugh, laugh) onoffonoffonoff.
When LW first arrived, she was spending her nights sleeping in a crate next to the bed. Several weeks ago; however, when retrieving her from this crate, I realized her little legs were becoming giraffe-like as she grew. This meant it was time to move her to a “bed chain.” This is a chain leash commonly used by puppy raisers with the goal in mind being to train the pups to sleep next to the bed. This is important so that later, when working as a Seeing Eye dog, she will be used to staying there if needed during the night by her blind partner. The first evening on the chain was quite a challenge; LW has always enjoyed sleeping on the comfort of her blanket, in her crate and was not happy at the thought of “the bed chain.” Therefore, she started off with a slight whimper, after telling her “quiet” she want back to sleep. Fifteen minutes later the whimper turned to a short woof....uh oh, light on! “Quiet”, light off. “Woof” light on, laugh- light off. “Woof,” “Quiet” “Laugh” “Woof” on-off on-off on-off...onoffonoffoff” I guess that explains the strange looks I’ve been getting from the neighbors. How would you begin to explain the lights in your room flashing on and off like a disco at three in the morning? Next time I think I'll just drop hints for the "Stick Up Bulb ."