The Mystery of the Hidden Plug


 After Superstorm Sandy back in October 2012, my mother had to pretty much rebuild/overhaul the house at the shore. Just about all the furniture needed to be replaced.  And by May 2013 most of it had.  New tables, chairs, bureaus etc.

The replacement furniture in the master bedroom consists of a white Broyhill bureau and night table. On the night table was a lamp and a (cordless) phone.  Both were plugged into an outlet on a nearby wall.

When my mother died, I cleaned out most of the items in the night table drawers.  I unplugged the phone and put it in one. When I stayed overnight when my dad was alive, it was the bedroom that I slept in and I put my stuff on the table when I went to bed.  One problem I had was that the cord for my phone charger was too short to reach the table, so I would end up with my phone sitting on the floor charging overnight.  (Nothing wrong with that right?)

With my dad's passing, my husband and I have been coming down regularly, not just to clean out the old "stuff," but to enjoy the house and the shore.  (And we have!).  Hubby has taken over the side of the bed with the night table and I have been relegated to the eastern side of the bed.  I set up a tray table (and I mean that literally, it is a very cool tray that sits on  a luggage rack) where I put my stuff.  I was able to use the outlet behind the bed with a somewhat longer charger cord (but not as long as I would like) so that I could charge my phone overnight.

And so, since the first week of July, when my husband and I come down, we take our respective sides of the bed and store our "stuff" on our respective night tables/stands.  End of (somewhat boring) tale, right?

WRONG?!

This morning, my husband goes to return his flip flops to slightly under the night table where he stores them, he notices a plug.  It's wrapped up; like it would be when it was delivered.  (Meaning it had never been used.)  What the heck is it?  He pulls out the table and not only is there a plug coming out from the table with no indication as for what it is for, but there are also two sockets that you can plug something into.  (But what?)  What the heck is going on?

Before we Google anything, we plug in the table and see what happens.  Nothing.  We open the drawers, thinking that maybe the drawers light up when you open.  No.  I start my online search, while hubby takes a closer look.  One of the sockets says "hot" and the other says "dimmer."  Maybe we are getting somewhere?  (Do you know where we are going?)

With the table now plugged in, hubby plugs the phone charger into the "hot" socket and attaches his phone.  Sure enough his phone starts to charge!  So all those times when I wanted my phone on the nightstand but couldn't get the cord to reach...it never needed to.

Now, for the dimmer socket.  At one point there had been a lamp on the table, but it took up too much room (in my opinion), so I got rid of it and instead just used a lamp on the bureau.  (Side note:  hubby hooked it up with Alexa so we just tell her to turn it on and off when we want).  Hubby grabs a smaller lamp from the other bedroom and plugs it in.  He turns it on and, voila!  

But why does it say dimmer?  There is a metal strip on the back of the table.  Gently tap it and the light dims somewhat.  Keep tapping and it gets even dimmer.  Tap again and the light goes out!  Tap again and it's on to full strength!  WTF?

In researching night tables today, I see that they are Broyhill tables with touch on/off power strips.  (Some even with USB ports!)  However, I've never seen or KNOWN about tables like this.  Clearly my parents didn't either because it was obviously never used...

After 10 years, the night table is finally being used to its fullest, and I guess how it was intended.  Who knew?  Did you?

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