Better to have one (or two) and not need it…

Live wire
By electric emmet

It really was a dark and stormy night. Not only was her driveway covered with a big piece of a downed tree during last week’s storm, but there was a CMP live wire mixed in with the tree, branches and leaves. All I could think of was that CMP guy who has warned us since the ice storm to never touch a downed wire.
I was at the house of Blue Eyes on a rescue mission. The violent storm had split her tree in half. The half that fell (she warned the city repeatedly) took the phone and power line with it. It fell so hard that it tore the CMP box right off the house. I had to get in the house. So I reached for my trusty four-cell Mag-Lite to find that killer wire.
I have a few fetishes in life. Megyn Kelly, the Red Sox, Debbie Reynolds (yes!) and Charlize Theron. And flashlights.
I believe it all started with hotel visits to Beantown with Blue Eyes. Three times in a row, we were awakened by fire alarms in the middle of the night. Then, I decided to always, always, always keep a flashlight (or two) in every single piece of luggage, plus a few in the car. This fetish was reinforced on those Jefferson-Phil-forced marches through the Allagash. When you climb out of the tent at 3 a.m. for a watering session, you want something else in your hand, like a flashlight. The noises!
The fetish was aggravated by that eminent host Charleston John, who is as daffy as I about massive illumination. When he discovers another flashlight breakthrough, he informs me immediately. I order it on, forthwith.
Like the gun guys say, it’s better that have one and not need it, than need it and not have it. Right?

Now, I have flashlights in my car, backpack, cooler, dry bag, suitcases and a few in the kitchen drawer. When my famed daughter Meara 3 went to Bean’s for my birthday-Christmas gift, the helpful clerk suggested a Mag-Lite. “He has more than you do, “ Said Meara 3.
So how in the name of Pinky Lee did I end up in the rain and the wind and the dark in Blue Eye’s driveway, with a live wire lurking under the branches? We used to call that (expletive) Poor planning.
I stood there in the driving rain, channeling Scarlett O’Hara, and yelled to the curious neighbors, “As God as my witness, I will never be without a flashlight again as long as I live.” Then I tiptoed through the branches in the dark, giving that live wire as much room as possible. In the dark. Stupid.
When I returned to cozy Cobb Manor with heat, lights, television and internet services (Blue Eyes had none), I surrounded myself with my lanterns, flashlights and candles, like Scrooge McDuck and his money. I was hoping for a blackout to illustrate my matchless preparedness, to make up for my impotence in the Blue Eyes driveway. When Blue Eyes and Chief Al lost power and showed up seeking shelter from the storm, I assigned them each an article of personal illumination. In a rare stroke of luck, the Lovely Sandra suggested the Coleman 10-day lantern as an addition to my collection. It arrived a few days before the storm and blackout.
When I tried to change the batteries in that massive Mag-Lite, I discovered that the task was impossible. The batteries had apparently rusted in place. Despite my best efforts to open the monster I could not change the batteries. Now that I remember, this happened a few years ago with another Mag. Clearly, I should change my batteries more often. Truth be told, these new compact LED flashlights have more illumination that the massive, four-cell Mag-Lites. I hate to admit it, but the time has come to move on.
There was only one thing to do. I got on the internet and connected to my friends at They are always there, waiting, ready to help…if you have a credit card in good standing. They offered the UntraFireWF-502B, with 900 plus lumens with high, low and strobe settings for a mere $11.48 each. I would have paid $100 in that live-wire driveway. I took two.
It’s better to have one than…well, you know.