Do I Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

Yes, well, at least one.

Remember the story about the guy who invented the magic carburetor which would allow cars to get 100 mpg?  I remember first hearing that story back in 1973, when I was in sixth grade.  Even then, at eleven years old, my bullshit detector immediately went off, with lights a flashing and alarms blaring.  

The story was a big load of crap for so many reasons, and amazingly, it remains alive in the minds of many less intelligent Americans to this day.  Perhaps it could finally be killed off for good by asking these two questions:  "If some magic 100 mpg carburetor had actually been invented, why have the auto manufacturers spent so much time since then, trying to improve fuel economy by much more expensive and complicated means, such as electronic engine management, overdrive transmissions, improved aerodynamics, and the like?  Wouldn't it have been easier to just slap the magic carburetor on top of a 455 Rocket V8 in 1973 Olds Eighty Eight?"

Alright, let's all call the magic 100 mpg carburetor conspiracy story officially dead, and move on to an actual conspiracy.  Not one about who and how many people were involved in  shooting someone half a century ago, but something that actually affects millions of Americans, this and every year.  I'm talking about, of course...

  ...Christmas lights.

Why don't the damned things work?  They worked last year, they even worked when you tested them before you put them on the tree.  They may have even worked at that point, but after you put on the garland, after you put on the tinsel, after you put on the ornaments, and have your family's official tree lighting ceremony...  nothing!  WTF?

Why, why, why?  Why don't these evil pieces of shit work?
And while we're asking that, why does only half the string not work?  And, why are there three wires on the string?  The (non grounded) extension cord only has two wires.  The toaster chord has only two wires, come to think of it, almost everything that isn't a major appliance only has two wires.  Why do Christmas lights have three?

OK, let's get to answering these questions.

Why don't these evil pieces of shit work?  The answer is within the question.  Virtually all Christmas lights are of shockingly low quality and the manufacturer's only real concern is not having them shock someone or cause a fire.  It is actually possible to make high quality Christmas lights, but they are expensive, and that's not what the customers at Walmart or other discount retailers are interested in.  Why would they take up shelf space with products that only one percent of customers would be willing to buy?

Why does only half the string not work, and why are there three wires on the string?  The answer might surprise you.  Christmas lights are not quite as shitty as their reputation for being so, in fact their manufacturer's attempt in satisfying customers is the cause of so much our frustration.

To understand what I mean, you have to go back, back to when the world was powered by the black fuel, and the deserts sprouted great cities of pipe and steel back to when mini Christmas lights were first introduced. Rather than rewriting the whole explanation, I'm going to let the site, How Stuff Works, take it from here.

So (for those of you who were too lazy to click on and read the link), about 75% of our frustration with Christmas lights stems from the manufacturer's design that allows an entire string of lights to remain working, even though one or more bulbs may be burned out.  Each individual bulb contains a shunt, or alternative path for electrical current to flow, and here's where the conspiracy theory comes in.

The shunts within the bulbs do not always work as intended, which wouldn't be that big of a deal except, no one ever told the general public what was going on, until the advent of the internet made it impossible to keep a lid on the story any longer.

Enter: The Lightkeeper Pro

I bought one of these things a few years back, and it really pissed me off.  Not that it it didn't work.  It works great.  It does everything the manufacturer claims it will do and amazes friends and relatives who have watched me demonstrate it.

What makes me mad, is the fact that it wasn't available until just a few years ago, which coincidentally happened to be the advent of LED Christmas lights, which are destined to make the traditional incandescent Christmas lights obsolete.

The Lightkeeper Pro basically "shocks" the shunts within a string of bulbs into activation.  To do this, you simply remove one bulb, any bulb from a string of nonworking lights while they are still plugged in, insert the bulb socket into the Lightkeeper Pro, squeeze the trigger until the string lights up, then replace the bulb. It's that easy.

There is absolutely nothing new about the technology within the Lightkeeper Pro.  It's certainly as old as miniChristmas lights themselves, but it is quite apparent that both the product idea and the information about the design of traditional miniChristmas lights had been purposely withheld from the general public until manufacturers were positive that LED lights would completely replace them in the very near future.  Not that's a conspiracy!

Imagine the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of light strings, needlessly thrown away and replaced with new ones, over the decades.

Imagine the countless hours, wasted as people labored fruitlessly, checking for loose bulbs and such.

Imagine the millions of swear words uttered as cords were plugged in, only to reveal darkness, or half darkness.

It never had to happen, but imagine all the money that was made selling all those replacement light sets made by some Chinese kids working in some factory for a dollar per day.  I wonder if those Chinese kids even knew what the lights were for.

Anyhow, it's all a moot point now.  You are best off to save yourself some time and frustration by biting the bullet, and replacing all your old Christmas lights with LED's.  That is unless you're like me, cheap to the point of it costing you money and time, and you enjoy the satisfaction of beating the Christmas light devil.

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