Lessons in Powerlessness

Using all the old candles in my house, I came across these Hanukkah candles made in Israel and guess what? They don’t burn for eight days. Not even close.

So yeah, I got ripped off. Again. On the other hand, those fat Christmas candles don’t really work—too much wax drowns the wick—whereas these Jewish candles don’t waste any wax. It all gets burnt. They’re very—what’s the word?—frugal.

Often given, rarely used, I’ve learned a lot about candles recently due to a disagreement with a Florida power and light company who shall remain nameless. I disagree that I owe them a fucking thing, see.

The optimum thickness for a candle seems to be between a half and one inch. The best color is white. In other words, exactly as they were in the old days when people actually used them. They knew. Now that we don’t use candles we make them in all sorts of unburnable sizes and shapes.

For modern Voltage Man, the best candle to give is one too pretty to burn because if you burn it you’re just gonna get an ugly puddle of wax and who needs that? ‘Best to stick with beautiful uselessness on a shelf.

The skinny Hanukkah candles leave no wasteful puddles but they also don’t last long. They’re designed for getting ceremonies over quickly so the people can move on to gift giving and overly frank dinner conversations.

The trick is to not sit too close to the candle unless you are reading that way your night vision makes the room seem brighter. To read you have to have the candle between you and the book. Try not to fall asleep. Limit yourself to thrillers.

Shout! will not remove candlewax stains nor do they claim to. Nothing can. It’s hopeless.

I suspect but I can’t prove that the next major breakthrough in candle technology will be in wicks. People think of wax when they think of candles but it’s really the wick. A thicker, slower burning wick might make these fat-ass gift candles actually function.

And why not new science for old technologies? Why does candle-ology have to remain stagnant just because people have moved on to light bulbs?

Fuck light bulbs anyway—you know how many billions of hours of sleep have been lost because of light bulbs? You live by candles, you get your sleep, that’s for sure. And you’re up before dawn because your always Jonesing for daylight. Voltage Man barely even cares about daylight. Daylight just makes it harder for them to see their phones.

They say it’s illegal to live without power in this jurisdiction. I wonder who wrote that law? The powerful. If you have kids, ok, it should be illegal to disadvantage them, but a single guy in his own home should be able to do whatever the hell he wants. My dog doesn’t give a damn about electricity. He wants food, attention and fun exercise, and so do I.

And daylight; lots of daylight. Everything else is just sleep deprivation. Thomas Edison can kiss my well-rested ass.

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