I'm doing right by Al Gore. I have just installed two of these solar lights to illuminate the many dark and treacherous paths that ring the house. Okay, I just staked the darn things into the ground.
The gal at the overpriced-gardening-store-that-goes-by-two preppy-names insisted that they would light up a football field after soaking up 15 minutes of sunlight.• They were on sale, so I got two of them.
She was such a liar. I hope her pants are on fire, 'cause these lights sure ain't. Now I have $70 yard art that barely couldn't make a chipmunk cast a shadow. I have moved the solar panels that came with the lights to every sunny location conceivable, all for nothing. Cigarette lighters are like blazing torches compared to these lights. Matches could give them a good run for (less of) the money.
Still in the Al Gore state of mind, I am wondering what I could use these useless light fixtures for, a kind of recycling revenge. I 'm thinking of options like:
1 - Home security device. This baby could pack a punch after a good wind up.
2 - Modern art conversation piece. I have seen $multimillion exhibits of stuff that looks just like this at MOMA with written placards nearby that explain, "This is a retrospective piece from the artist that explores his relationship with is family vis a vis the existential experiece he had once in Chelsea with a bologna sandwich."
3 - Inverted, a grapefruit juicer.
4 - Inverted and filled with ice, a party acoutrement.
5 - Worn on the head, a protective device to ward off whatever they are dropping on us this week from Langley.
6 - A decorative tomato stake for early spring.
7 - A Christmas gift for Ralph Nader, mailed off with a note reading: "If I can organize a big splashy press event in my front yard featuring the injustice of this well-meaning purchase -- that features you, of course -- can you get my money back? PS Did I mention it will feature you?"
8 - With some slight modifications, a Mission-style WII controller grip.
Better to light a candle, than curse the darkness, as they say. I'm handing out flashlights from now on...with rechargeable batteries, of course.
* I am such a sucker for retail promises. I just know that salesclerks everywhere start laughing as soon as I pull out of the parking lot. "She went for that old line?!" Guffaw, guffaw.