No, I don’t mean the idea kind. I mean the light bulb kind.

The old incandescent bulb is going the way of the unicorn, an old myth told to school children to scare them away from liquor stores. No, that’s not right. I don’t think it was liquor stores. From drugs? I don’t even know if it was a unicorn. There was a point to this meandering.

Light bulbs!

In junior high my friends and I whiled away our summer days on lallygagging on rope swings in the afternoons and working on the light bulb farm in the mornings. Yes, you read that correctly - a light bulb farm!

A light bulb farm is something of a hybrid, a crossover between the cutting edge and anachronism. Edison created the first light bulb (supposedly) using tungsten filament and tiny little tweezers to lay the tungsten out. Well this is tedious as all hell, what with the sheer number of light bulbs the world needs and the shortage of tweezers encountered by industry following the artificial eye brow fad of the late 1940’s.

So a group of precocious bioengineers decided to find a better way, and what better way than coaxing mother nature to do the work for us? And after a few years of alchemistc research, the first light bulb farm was sown, right here in Springfield.

You see, you can’t just grow light bulbs anywhere. The soil is your first concern. You need fine soil. The black topsoil of the Midwest works most profitably. Clay scratches the bulb surface, and rocky soil ends in bulb-tragedy. And the weather is right important, too. Naw, light bulbs don’t need any rain. Someone suggested that once, I think my neighbor Sue, and it’s the most down right moronic thing I’ve ever heard.

You don’t need rain, but what you do need is lightning. Lots and lots of lightning. Electrification teaches the bulbs - “teaches” in the metaphorical sense - it teaches the bulbs how to glow. After a few weeks of good storms you can dig the light bulbs out of the ground and get them prepped for shipment.

The light bulb farm is where I learned my work ethic. It’s also where I learned to be scared shitless of thunderstorms.