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Stupid capitalist tricks



My fridge light blew awhile back. After spending days opening the refrigerator and thinking “<gasp!> The fridge is dead!” I finally got around to buying a new bulb today.

Either the profit margin on these things is very small, or GE is just messing with me. The smallest number of bulbs you can buy is two. They also sold a four pack.

Let’s see. This fridge is about ten years old, and this is my first bulb replacement. Yes, I’m sure a decade from now when the next one goes, I’ll know right where I put that spare. Especially if I put it in a drawer I use a lot and bat it out of my way for ten years.





Comment from Lokki
Time: May 8, 2007, 5:12 pm

This is an example of a near-monopoly at work. Since there’s little competition in the light bulb market, they can force you to buy two of their bulbs. When you can buy a microwave oven for $40, do you really think they’re settling for a tiny profit margin at $4.49 for two bulbs?

Of course, instead of buying it at the supermarket, you could go to (insert forbidden W word here) and buy one but that would cost you half a gallon of gas – enough to make it a wash.

Comment from Gnus
Time: May 8, 2007, 6:12 pm

Yeah, GE is messing with ya. (And me.) If you figure out a good use for the extra bulb, let us know, will you?

What is it with the disdain for (forbidden W word) anyways? I like saving money.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: May 8, 2007, 6:14 pm

Um…when I have to replace my fridge light, I use the other one in the pack to replace the freezer light too. I mean, why not? Assuming you have two lights in the appliance, that is.

Then I put the OLD still-good one in the knock-a-round drawer until the filiment or glass breaks and I cut the shit out of myself, then I throw it away and clean the blood out of the drawer. Then I’m good to go for another 10 years.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 9, 2007, 4:11 am

You have a freezer light? Uptown McGoo!

Comment from Pupster
Time: May 9, 2007, 6:42 am

Might as well change out the oven light with the “spare”.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: May 9, 2007, 8:14 am

You got it, Pupster. Some dryers have ’em too. The important thing is to find a still-functioning OLD lightbulb to put in the junk drawer.

The old oven bulb is nice because you get to clean it up nice and spiffy before putting it in the junk drawer to break.

Comment from mesablue
Time: May 9, 2007, 1:30 pm

Did you get the bulbs that look like real sun light?

I had to replace a tail light (on my truck) yesterday. Went to the store — yup, only sold in pairs. So, I replaced both and smashed the crap out of the still working old one.

Take that, Sylvania.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: May 9, 2007, 3:50 pm


I pulled into 7-11 once and noted in the store window reflection that I had a bad headlight.

Duh. I replaced the one I saw in the reflection, i.e. the wrong one. And then I broke the old(still good) bulb when pitching it in the trash. Dooooofuuuss!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 9, 2007, 4:33 pm

That’s not as bad as surgically removing the wrong kidney, but it’s got to be pretty irritating.

Comment from Pupster
Time: May 9, 2007, 6:13 pm

Mr. McGoo,
Your headlight story has warmed my heart. Someday I will open up a virtual saloon, where beer can be sent via the Internets. When the technology finally catches up with my vision, I owe you a frosty one.

Stoaty, if you put up a tip jar, it will get hit. I understand that it is not your aim to profit from minion gathering, but you have provided me with much mirth and amusement, and I feel a debt of gratitude.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 9, 2007, 6:44 pm

Much appreciated, Pupster. Only…there’s something wrong with the tipjar concept. I can’t put my finger on it, but it bothers me.

I’ve kicked in a few bucks a few times. It feels…stupid. You hit the lever, you don’t get a reward. You don’t hit the lever, you get the reward anyway. I don’t mean this to sound mercenary, it just feels…out of kilter with how things work in the real world.

Somebody needs to figure out a better paradigm.

Ads are okay, I guess. But they screw up the look of a site. Have you seen the banner ads Pajamas Media has made mandatory? Right up in the header! Plus, who the hell ever clicks those things? I never have. Not on purpose, anyhow. Sooner or later, advertisers are going to figure that out.

S&H green stamps. Redeemable for valuable disemboweled rodents. I don’t know…

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: May 9, 2007, 8:03 pm

Years ago I worked in a sandwich shop and I got permission to put out a tip jar. We didn’t get much the first couple days so I had the bright idea of putting a couple of my own dollars in so people would “get the idea”. Not only did nobody add anything, sometime during the shift someone stole the money I put in.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: May 9, 2007, 9:07 pm

Yeah, Weas’ — Pupster has wisdom and knowledge that other wise folk only hint at! Listen to him.

(Besides, he liked my self-doofus story and is gonna buy me a beer.)

I would like a tip jar here so I won’t feel so guilty about enjoying your (free!!) articles so friggin’ much. Just put it up in the corner somewheres, real quiet-like. Shhh. You could even hide it so a person has to look for it. That would be fun. It would make us minions feel we’re “in on it”.

Comment from SteamBoat McGoo
Time: May 9, 2007, 9:16 pm

Oh, yeah. I forgot. The Pajama banner that is now compulsory really uglies up a site quite thoroughly. The one at Aces sucks mightily. We’re talkin’ 10^-8 Torr. Hard vacuum.

Comment from Pupster
Time: May 10, 2007, 2:08 pm

*waves dollar bill*
Dance Weasel!

Protein Wisdom and Dave @ Garfield Ridge have Amazon “Wish Lists” in the margins. Is that less icky?

I dunno, no one has ever offered to buy me stuff, or pay for my blogging (though I am taking offers to quit, it’s up to 2 bucks!).

I’m holding out for the virtual bar. I’m sooo close.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 10, 2007, 5:48 pm

Oh! Thanks for the ASCII art link. Love that stuff. I know what I’ll spend the next hour doing.

I don’t know. Something about tipping relationships has always weirded me out. I avoid things like cabs and pizza delivery whenever possible. Something about looking somebody in the eye and saying, “here. This is money. It is for you.”

I guess it’s because you don’t have to do it, the thing you get is the same whether you do it or not, and you’re saying to somebody, “this is what I think that thing you just did is worth.” It’s unnatural.

Comment from nbpundit
Time: May 17, 2007, 10:32 pm

Save that extra incandescent light bulb. You’ll be
celebrating not only the uniqueness, but the rarity
of light bulbs after the environs get through with
screwing up the whole deal.
/cfs = mercury = hurts ma gaia

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