The Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home?

For the most part, humans are an intelligent species. Yet curiously, once alone and hidden from the eyes of our social peers — safe in our private abodes, our hair temporarily let down — the word Intelligent comes into question? Here we’re prone to foolish behavior, superstitions, routines and habits. Silly, even gross self-entertaining behavior. Functioning at times as if our brains have gone to sleep or temporarily are “Out of Order?” Sometimes it seems, our lights are on — but nobody’s home?

The Lights are on but Nobody’s Home: Used to describe somebody who is not thinking clearly or paying attention. Awake, but not using their brain in an intelligent manner.

Surprisingly, we may share or have in common a lot of these what we think of as private little “what the hell am I doing?” moments! Thankfully as a rule, most of these happen when we’re alone! So let’s confess to being human, imperfect, and sometimes downright foolish! Let us drop those protective social curtains we all hide behind and reveal our commonality with foolishness. We are after all — only human?


I’m sure we can all relate to the occasional dumb things that happens to us when we are either overly tired or focused on something else rather than what we are presently up to! We’ve all have our moments of “duh?”

Have you ever read heating instructions on a box of food, thrown it in the trash, then had to retrieved it because you’ve forgotten everything you’ve just read? This in itself may not be so uncommon. But hasn’t there been a few times when you had to dig that box out, TWICE? And cursed yourself while doing so?

How about walking into a room with purpose, only to realize that you’ve completely forgotten why you’re there? “I came in here for something?” “To do something? Get something?” But no matter how hard you try, you just can’t remember. What the Hell? I’m not going senile Am I? Already? But I’m still so young!

Or looking frantically for something only to discover its in your hand? “Where are those damn keys! They should be where I always put them!” Or in the case of your lost glasses, that are resting on your head where you put them after reading! My Dad always amused us with that one and we would all play dumb and pretend to help him look for them. No Dad — I haven’t seen them?

“Hey! Anybody seen my Glasses?”


Do you ever talk to or criticize yourself Out loud! We all have occasional conversations with our inner-voice. But when alone, sometimes we do it out-loud! Whether it be in happiness “Yes! I did it! I’m the man! In your face!” or in desperation “Come on girl! You can do this!” or in frustration “Are you kidding me! Again? What’s the matter with you (your name here)!”

Have you ever, after a long argument, think of an amazing comeback that you wish you would have said? Only about four hours too late! At times we can let little things bother us for way too long. We dwell on their emotional negativity and let them fester, repeating and replaying the words of an argument over and over in our mind until we come up with the perfect rebuttal.

Only now its way too late! Perhaps still somewhat satisfying though as you replay the scene over with your new-found wording added in. “Yes! In your face! You got no answer to that one! Do you smart-ass?”

Have you ever rehearsed an entire conversation in your head — just in case? “If he asks me why, I’m going to look him right in the eyes and say…!” or “If he brings this up again, I’m going to just say…!” Sometimes we can spend hours lying in bed and plotting and planning endless conversations that never materialize or never go as planned.

“I’ve been Rehearsing this all day!”


When your alone, do you pull back the shower curtains before you use the bathroom? Just to make sure there are no serial killers hiding in there? Could be you’ve been watching too many horror movies lately. Like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho? I think that shower stabbing scene has traumatized many of the female persuasion. Can’t say I blame them either. Very scary scene! And the build-up music? Yikes!

“Okay, who was in the shower last?”

Do you have superstitions you follow as routines? Like: as long as I always put on my right shoe first, nothing bad will happen to me today! Or perhaps you must dress in a certain order or wear lucky clothes or items when needed? Do you avoid walking under ladders? Opening an umbrella while indoors?

We all have them, or used to anyways! Little rituals or routines that (we think) keep us safe from this mad, mad, world. Or bring us luck? “Where’s my lucky casino shirt? I’m going to win tonight — Fingers crossed!


When you’re alone and talking to yourself out-loud, do you sometimes just randomly start using a funny accent for no reason? Pretend you are French or Italian? Mixed with broken English of course! “Tre’s Funnie, No?”

Or perhaps some foreign name strikes you as being just absolutely hilarious and you walk around saying it all day in different situations? ” Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Caccapoopoo!” Alone and bored we can sure do some strange things to amuse ourselves.

Do you occasionally check to see if you can move things with your mind? Wouldn’t that be way cool? And why not? The brain is still mostly a mystery and may have hidden yet untapped powers? And hey, haven’t you had a feeling on occasion when you just knew when the phone would ring? And knew who would be on the other end? Maybe you just need to practice a little and voila! An ESP Superhero is born!

Or weirder still! Have you ever looked at your hands like they were ALIEN HANDS? Stared at them while pretending to be someone from another planet? And be horrified (just for a second!) when they start looking that way? “Oh My God! They’re so weird-looking and strange!” Man Can we get weird or what?

Oh my God! I AM an Alien!


When your alone do you drop all remaining self-held pretext and act like a prehistoric caveman/woman? Burping and farting out loud without any embarrassment what soever? Maybe even giggling as you do? Perhaps raising your derriere a little as you really let one go? Oh! Gross! But hey! Nobody around to see me (or hear me) do it!

What about picking your nose? Come on now? Those caves can get pretty dry and built up and need a good cleaning once and awhile! EH?

You ever pee in the shower? Never mind! I really don’t want to know! What about clip your toenails while watching TV and not caring where they shoot off to like tiny little missiles because hey! You’ll just get them later on vacuum day! These gross-out habits sound like they are probably, mostly, Male oriented? But are they? Ladies? Anybody want to own up? I didn’t think so!


  • Hit the elevator button multiple times even though we know it doesn’t help?
  • Push the cross walk button that clearly states “For Audio signal only!
  • Check our symptoms on the internet, and now we’re positive we have brain cancer!

Why do we keep scaring ourselves like that? Do you know what a headache might be a symptom of ? Pretty much every friggin fatal disease ever discovered!

  • Always carry a ridiculous number of grocery bags in from the car, just to avoid a second trip.
  • Continually check the fridge to see if any food has magically just appeared.
  • Think about a scenario in which you would save everyone’s lives and become a hero? Hey! Maybe while using your new ESP Superpowers?
  • Pretend to check your phone when someone else gets on the elevator.
  • Sing or dance in front of the mirror to see if you would look sexy in a music video? Clothing of course is optional! — You sexy thing you!


Perhaps you had a giggle or two when we hit upon one of your quirks? Or at least found it reassuring that you are not the only; weird, or strange, or dopey, or forgetful, or overly superstitious person in the whole world! Or maybe even, the grossest human that has ever lived? Just knowing that you share and have in common some of these, “less than desirable traits,” proves one thing at least…

That your Human! Just like the rest of us and…

Sometimes the lights are on — but nobody’s home.

Of course, that doesn’t explain why some of us today still follow or believe in these silly things. Or why? Even sillier still, we then go on to act out our (supposedly) counter-active rituals to negate them? Perhaps the phrase (an idiom) “better safe than sorry” applies here?

Perhaps fitting in this case, here’s a line of idioms I put together just for this occasion.

“Get a grip on yourself” because “It’s all in your Head!” however “Old Habits do die hard” so maybe all you can do is “keep your fingers crossed” and “Join the club!”






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