30 October 2006

The Incandescent Light Bulb c1870-2006

The Incandescent Light Bulb in its primeThe whole of Britain will be plunged into darkness tonight following the unexpected death of the Incandescent Light Bulb, burnt out after almost 140 years of service.

Born in the latter part of the 19th century to at least 25 different inventors, all of whom claimed to have been on the scene at the time of its conception, the Incandescent Light Bulb was to brighten up evenings and nights across the globe for more than a century.

Ever eager to please, the Incandescent Light Bulb thrust itself into the world of entertainment. Soon it was adorning the dressing-room mirrors of West End stars and the fronts of the finest cinemas, not to mention adopting a fetching red hue in order to illumine the front windows of several Soho haunts favoured by MPs, judges, top celebrities and sad men incapable of forming a meaningful relationship. Within mere decades it had brought light to the most desolate and depressing places in Britain, including even parts of Blackpool, where "The Illuminations" are ritually celebrated to this day by groups of pensioners high on Stone's Ginger Wine and hen parties high on alcopops.

In the flowering of The Bulb's success lay the seeds of its failure. As it expended ever more energy on banishing the darkness The Bulb found itself cast in the role of profligate planet-destroyer by concerned scientists and economists as well as politicians eager to be seen to do something about climate change without having to, as the case may be, (a) talk to Gordon Brown about tax changes or (b) give up jetting off on fact-finding missions and having swanky official cars driving behind them just out of camera shot on the daily cycle ride to work .

An evil low energy bulb intent on world dominationThe tide of opinion turning against it, The Incandescent Bulb soon found itself under threat from lower-energy lighting alternatives including compact fluorescent lamps and random acts of arson. Increasingly lonely and unloved, and forced to rely for what little popularity it could retain on the frequent retelling of ever-more-tired jokes about the number of persons required to change it, the Incandescent Light Bulb was eventually to pass away following a collision with the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and Environment Minister David Milliband.

The Incandescent Light Bulb will be buried by new green taxes. The Bulb is survived by cheap flights, millions of TVs left on standby and the energy policy of the United States of America.