On the Stairwell Light

In the stairwell that leads upstairs there are two lights, one at the bottom and one at the top. Top and bottom both have lightswitches. The lightswitch at the top is older, and it mades a loud clank! when it’s thrown. The lightswitch at the bottom is newer and, thus, quieter. About a year ago, when I got a Superman lightswitch cover plate, I put it on the switch at the top of the steps, and then about two minutes later decided it would work best in a different location.

In the stairwell there hangs art. It is, indeed, a veritable museum. I did this on Labor Day, hanging posters, prints, and other items. There are Lord of the Rings posters, LEGO posters, Batman posters, even a poster of Wrigley Field. It’s nice to contemplate, from a stylish depiction of Gandalf, to one of The Dark Knight‘s teaser posters (in particular, the one of Batman standing, and in the background a skyscraper is on fire in imitation of 9-11), to a glittering map of Middle-Earth in the late Third Age.

I describe this, to set the stage.

From the bottom of the stairwell, my grandmother shouted up. “Do you need me to turn out the light?”

“If you want,” I said. “Or I’ll just turn it out later.”

“There are two lights.”

“Yes, I know.”

“I’ll turn off the one down here.”

“If you want.”

From where I was sitting, I could see the light at the top of stairwell went out.

“Oh!” my grandmother exclaimed. “The switch turns out both lights.”

“It does, yes,” I said.

She turned the light back on.

“And it turns both on, too.”

She went away.

She came back a few moments later, wanting to know if I needed or wanted anything to drink. I told her I’d come down later, if need be.

She noticed the light in the stairwell was on.

And we proceeded to have the exact same conversation. With her flipping the lightswitch, her surprised discovery that both bottom and top turned off, and then flipping the switch again to turn the lights on.

I got up, turned the lights off myself. Hopefully, this will keep her from another round of flipping the lightswitch.

I’m sure that the lightswitch at the bottom of the stairs has, for fifty years, turned off both bottom and top. Yet, it’s suddenly a mystery to her. :-/

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