Today, I was over at my daughter's new house helping out with the settling in process. Part of that is - of course - changing things that are not quite to your taste. So, for example, if you are staring at an ornate fake crystal chandelier, and aren't expecting Liberace to drop by, you might want to replace it with something a little more subdued. And for that, you might call Dad, if Dad is the kind of guy who has, over the years, learned how to do stuff like replace electrical fixtures.
I actually don't mind doing stuff like that. I know my way around circuits and such, but I am - let's be honest - a bit lazy. So, I went down into her basement and opened the circuit box and saw that none of the circuits had been labelled (how hard is that to do? For Chrisssake, it takes like one second with a Sharpie. Jaysus).
Well, my options were 1) spend a half hour flicking circuits over and having a person upstairs yell "Nope, that was the hall! Nope, that was the back bedroom!".; or 2) Go back upstairs and just be really careful when I replaced the fixture.
I chose 2.
I was on a ladder, wrapping the lead from the new fixture around the hot wires, when my older daughter said "Did you shut the power off?"
I mumbled something about the switch being off, of course, what am I, crazy? (Which is totally NOT the same thing. The switch can be off, but you touch two hot leads, you'll end up on your ass across the room going "Whoa ... anybody else smell burnt toast?")
My younger daughter immediately sniffed out my ruse. She said to her Mom, "Could you get your cell phone out?"
"OK, what do you need?"
"I need you to dial 9 and 1, and we'll just wait for Dad to come off the ladder at 100 MPH before you punch the other 1."
"Fine, Christ, I'll go figure out the damn circuit breakers."