Once upon a time, inside the living room of a suburban home was a lightbulb screwed into a socket on the ceiling. His name was Darrel, and every day when the people who owned the house came into the living room, they would flip a switch on a wall beneath him that would tell him to start up his light. So, Darrel would stay lit until the people would leave the room and turn off the switch. It was a fairly easy existence for Darrel. Most of the time, he slept through the whole day undisturbed. That was until one morning when he woke up to see the house owners screwing in a new light bulb into an empty socket that was a small distance away from him. Darrel could not believe what he saw: the female lightbulb they were screwing in was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She sparkled and shined. In fact, she was so gorgeous he felt as if he was going to explode from excitement. Darrel had never felt like this before. It felt weird, but he knew one thing for sure: He had to know her name.

He yelled out: “What’s your name?” But she was too far away. He called out again and again, but no luck. She just couldn’t hear him.

An idea came to him. He flashed his light toward the beautiful lightbulb. He knew he wasn’t supposed to do that, but he did it anyway because he had to know her name.

However, no matter how much Darrel blinked and flashed his light toward the new girl-lightbulb, she didn’t seem to notice, at least not as far as Darrel could tell. She was just too far away. Then Darrel got another idea. Maybe he wasn’t direct enough, so he focused his light directly on the girl-lightbulb and began to flicker his light in Morse code. Finally, he spelled out:

H.E.L.L.O. M.Y. N.A.M.E. I.S. D.A.R.R.E.L. N.I.C.E. T.O. M.E.E.T. Y.O.U. W.H.A.T. I.S. Y.O.U.R. N.A.M.E.

But still no response from the girl-lightbulb.

Now, Darrel was determined to talk to her, even if it meant unscrewing himself from his socket to get her attention. In fact, he was going to do just that. Darrel forced himself to spin and spin until he was completely dizzy. Then he checked to see if he had gotten unscrewed at all. To his delight, he was unscrewed, just enough to wiggle back and forth but still stay attached to the ceiling. Finally, Darrel knew what he had to do: he wiggled toward the direction of the beautiful girl-lightbulb. He began swinging forward and backward, closer and closer to the girl-lightbulb. When he had swung as far as his socket would allow, he called out with all his might: “Excuse me! May I ask you what your name is?” But he was still too far away. There was no response from her. He figured she just couldn’t hear him.”

He was frustrated and distraught. All he wanted to do was talk to her. But no matter how hard he tried, he was too far away. He needed to get closer. He needed to unscrew himself just a little more and lunge himself forward, which he hoped would land him on the stack of pillows on the couch. Then he would call up to her. However, this was risky since the couch was several feet away. So, once again, he began swinging harder than ever before. He swung and swung until he gained momentum. As he swung back one last time, he gave himself a mighty spin and lunged forward. Before he knew it, he was flying through the air. He tried to aim himself toward the stack of pillows on the couch. At first, it looked like he wasn’t going to make it. He saw himself crashing on the ground and shattering into a thousand pieces of glass. He braced himself for the end, cursing himself for being so stupid. But when he found that he had landed safely on the top pillow, he was stunned. He made it! He looked up. He was right under the girl-lightbulb. “Hello, there,” he said.

She looked down at him and paused. “Who are you?” she asked.

“My name is Darrel.”

“Well, what are you doing down there?” she asked.

“I wanted to get close to you. I was hoping I could talk to you.”

“That’s naïve of you,” she said.

“I would very much like to know your name,” he said.

“I am sure you would.”

“Well, will you tell me?”

“No,” she said.

“What?! Why?”

“Oh, I am sorry,” she said sarcastically. “Here I am, minding my own business, and you show up.

“I didn’t mean to be rude.”

“Well, then go back to where you came from.”

Darrel was heartbroken. I should’ve stayed in my socket, he thought.

“Can you hurry up?” she said.

“I can’t move,” he said.

“Then I’ll just ignore you,” she said.

Darrel sat there awkwardly in silence, unsure of what to do since he could not move from his spot on the pillow.

Just then, the humans who owned the house entered the living room. One of them, a young man with a thin mustache, looked down at the pillow. “Hey,” he said. “One of the lightbulbs fell out.”

“It looked like it fell out of that socket,” said his blond wife, pointing to the space where Darrel had initially been screwed in.

“It looks too far away,” said the young man. “But it’s the only empty socket, so I’ll just screw it back in.”

Darrel was picked up and screwed back into his original spot. He felt bad that he couldn’t connect with the other lightbulb after trying so hard. He felt lonely. Just then, the young man turned the switch on the wall to test the lights after screwing in Darrel. “It looks good,” he said. “As long as we’re changing lightbulbs,” said the blond wife. “The one right behind the one you just screwed in is burnt out. Why don’t you replace it with another lightbulb?”

“I’ll do it later,” said the young man.

“How about you do it now?” said the blond wife.

“Okay, honey,” he said. He left the room and, a few moments later, returned with a box of lightbulbs. He unscrewed the dead one that was behind Darrel and screwed in a brand-new lightbulb. Darrel looked over at it. It was in the opposite direction of the female lightbulb who had just rejected him and was much closer to him. In his disbelief, he realized he was right next to another beautiful female lightbulb. “Hello,” said the new female lightbulb. “What’s your name?” she asked. Darrel froze for a moment. He couldn’t believe his good fortune. He couldn’t believe she was actually talking to him.

“Uh,..um,…” he stammered. “Uh…Um. Uh, my name is Darrel. What’s yours?” he asked.

“My name is Marlyn,” she said. “It looks like we’ll be working with each other.”

“I am pleased to make your acquaintance,” he said.