Trina Machacek: Security screws and boxes

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

In a perfect world nothing would ever need to be fiddled with. Especially by me.
In a perfect world the wood pile would magically grow an extra piece every time I took an arm load off of it to burn and warm my backside. In a perfect world my television would know when I fall asleep and turn itself off so I don’t wake up in the middle of the night with lights and sirens blaring from some cop show that has replaced my calming Murder She Wrote re-run that I was watching when I drifted off to “happy dreams” land. But! Yes an imperfect “but.” It is not, yet, a perfect world. So I found myself with a microwave oven that needed a new light bulb.
In case you don’t know me, know this. I am pretty self sufficient. I can do a lot of things my mother would shake her head at because she never attempted to do things I do. Over time when an obstacle stood in my way I bulldozed ahead. Sometimes with a real bulldozer. Usually with power tools or a big hammer.
I have a happy saying when something doesn’t work, “Use a bigger hammer.” I did actually sell the 20-pound sledge hammer my other half would swing with one hand, I knew that was too much of a bigger hammer even for me. I did keep my favorite little five pounding pounder and I know how to use it! But I have pounded along long enough.
I recently opened my microwave oven and the light bulb started to flicker. So being me, I hit the oven on the side where the bulb is living in its protective metal case. It straightened up and worked right, until it didn’t work at all. Changing a light bulb shouldn’t be a project but this light bulb was apparently a very, very bad bulb because it is housed in a metal box held together with security screws.
Security screws are these little buggers put on things to keep us mere mortals out of whatever they are holding hostage inside of boxes held together with security screws. I get that. I also get that they are put there for “our protection.” I don’t get though that if the security screws are so secure how come I can pop on into the local big box home improvement store and by a set of security screw, screwdriver tips? All for about ten bucks. Which is just what I did.
Yes, I broke into my microwave oven to replace a light bulb. I do not recommend this. Let me repeat myself. I do not recommend this. It has drawbacks. There are things in there that can really hurt you. Electric stuff that can really zap you.
So if you are not listening to me be sure you go to YouTube to learn how to change the bulb first. Then if you get zapped, don’t call me, call the guy on YouTube. Because, again, I am telling you, do not buy 10 bucks worth of security screw screwdriver tips to take your oven apart and change the bulb. Like I did.
Oh, and now apparently because I did this fix myself my warranty, that was for as long as it took for me to carry the oven out to my truck, is now void. Boo Hoo. Come on! Have you ever really read a warranty? First it says to take your oven, weed eater, mower, radio or whatever to your local repair shop. When was the last time you EVER saw a repair shop for any thing you have a warranty for? Except for maybe a new car. Even that can be a crapshoot. But I have strayed again.
While on this security tirade let me tell you a tiny quick story about a security/fire box a friend had. Lost the key. Really, really wanted into that box. We tried every key we could find. We knew there was stuff inside. We shook it and there was stuff to be had inside. Like a couple of mice who could smell cheese but couldn’t get a bite at it we of course went straight to YouTube to see how to break into a security box. So easy a 12-year-old kid we saw on YouTube did it.
So we tried it. The little whippersnapper made it look too easy. Insert a thing, wiggle and twist at the same time. Insert, wiggle and twist. Nope, didn’t work. So I said I know let’s just drop it on its corner and it will pop open. Something I had seen on TV. That worked. The boxed popped opened. Out fell…
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her new book “They Call Me Weener,” is available on or email her to find out how to get a signed copy.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment