I had to replace my brake light yesterday. (And by “had to”, I mean “wanted to do it all by myself. Don’t need a silly husband to change a light bulb.”) I marched up to the auto parts store all I got this and efficiently purchased a pack of two light bulbs that were self-proclaimed “longer lasting” than their competitors. I paid for my merchandise and walked out to the parking lot ready to conquer this lightbulb and be on way to more important business. Like Frappucinos.
I got out the trusty owner’s manual for reference, deciding it would be best to follow step-by-step directions as I’d never done this before. Like, ever.
Step 1: Open Trunk. Check.
Step 2: Remove the compact spare tire cover. Check. This is cake.
Step 3: Remove 4 convenience net nut wings. I have convenience net nut wings? I have a convenience net? Okay. Turn. Turn. Turn. Geezus. How long are these screws? Turn. Turn. Turn. Okay. Check. Check. Check. Aaaaaaaand check.
Step 4: Pull the carpet back away from the body of the vehicle on the side with the burned out bulb. This is…….carpet? But it’s…….stiff. Like…….fiberglass. Maybe if I just……….oops. Okay. No biggie. I’ll just turn my head upside down and peer through this tiny crack to see what I’m doing. It can’t be that hard. Except my head is blocking the only available stream of light. Oh, well. I’ll feel around. Really, it can’t be that hard.
Step 5: Remove the two mounting screws from the lamp assembly. What the hell is the lamp assembly?
*Walks into auto body store all anybody got a wrench? I totally know what I’m doing, I just don’t have my handy dandy set of Craftsman with me. Proceed back out to parking lot with wrench.*
Okay, mounting screws. Could be those. Or those. Or……….those or those. These look like they might be………………screws.
*Wipes sweat that is beginning to run down back of neck. Finagles wrench into small slit and attempts to remove (maybe the correct?) screws. Turn. Turn. Turn. Wipes more sweat. Brushes hair from face. Turn. Turn. Turn. Wipes more sweat. Moves head to allow small iota of light to shine on the (maybe correct?) screws. Contemplates a short break for a Slush Puppy from the gas station next door. Turn. Turn. Turn. Brushes hair from face. Gazes up at sun. Swears she hears the doo doo doo wah wah wah theme from the Showdown at the OK Corral. Turn. Turn. Turn. !#$#!#$ Wipes sweat again. Turn. Turn. Turn.* There! They’re off!
Step 6: Pull out the lamp assembly to expose the bulb sockets. I guess I’ll pull here………or…………………………not. Okay. Maybe that wasn’t it. Let’s see. Lamp assembly. Lamp assembly. Lamp. Assembly.
*Contemplates the hard truth that those screws may not have been the right screws. Decides this was not such a good idea. Proceeds to driver’s seat, grabs phone, sends text to husband that reads something like stupid lightbulb effing car goddern wing nuts do i have a convenience net? then walks back inside to clerk to return borrowed wrench with very defeated look. Smiles, thanks clerk, walks back out to car. While checking to be sure all wing nuts/spare tire covers/other-various-plastic-parts-that-come-off-when-you-remove-convenience-net-wing-nuts are back in trunk, brake light FALLS OFF THE CAR.*
So. THAT’S the lamp assembly.
*Stops to appreciate the fact that, yes, those were, in fact, the correct screws. Walks back into store to borrow wrench again. Returns to car with wrench but very little remaining pride.*
Step 7: Turn the bulb socket one-quarter turn counterclockwise and pull the bulb and socket out of the lamp reflector. Oh, look! I see the bulb socket! And……….two other bulb sockets. So. I wonder which one is out?
*Decides that what the hell, might as well replace them both while the entire trunk, piece by piece, is sitting on the asphalt anyway.*
Step 8: Pull the old bulb from the bulb socket keeping the bulb straight as you pull it out. Check. Twice.
Step 9: Install a new bulb. Check. Twice.
*Successfully replaces both potentially burned out bulbs. Smiles at self. Looks at ground, notices entire contents of trunk, including 6 (I thought there were 4?) convenience net wing nuts spread out, ready for reinstallation. Smile fades. Picks up owner’s manual.*
Step 10: Reverse the steps to reinstall the lamp assembly. Fuck.
*Returns to store counter to return wrench. Clerk obliges request for a test press of brake pedal to be sure she-who-knows-exactly-what-she’s-doing has done exactly what she was supposed to. Test proves successful. Thanks clerk and returns to trunk to begin reassembly. Notices convenience net peeking from beneath spare tire.*
*Spends next 20 minutes trying to make trunk look the same way it looked when she started. Texts husband brake light replaced found convenience net I rock. One rogue wing nut left good luck with that.*
Learn a lesson in Things-That-Are-Better-Left-To-Professionals-Or-Husbands. Check.