When people graduate from college, most people go out and buy a new car or get their first house. When I graduated from college in the mid 90s, there was one thing I wanted more than anything else in the world. Because I was going on to graduate school and going into debt and poverty simultaneously, cars and houses were not in my future, but goddamn it if I wasn’t going to get one of those green banker’s lamps. I had always thought they were cool, mostly because they were green lamps. It always seemed to me that whenever a movie had a library in it, there were the green banker’s lamps, all lined up in a row. Funny how I have never seen one of those lamps in any library in real life. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen them in any bank either.
The mystique of the banker’s lamp was seriously diminished when I found out you could buy them at Wal-Mart for around 25 bucks, although you can spend upwards of $100 on premium models. Still, it was a boon because I wasn’t going to have to spend a lot of money to get one. I bought one – the 25 dollar one because, after all, a lamp is a lamp – and put it on my pre-fab pressed wood desk that I bought at Target and thought I was the shit.
I still have a green banker’s lamp, although it’s not on my desk. It’s on my bedside table, having found a home there after we rid our bedroom of all lamps with cloth shades. I’m pretty sure this is the second one that I’ve owned, the first one having had its green shade cracked and broken.
I don’t think they’re as cool as I once did, but I can’t imagine not having one around. Fortunately, since they’re mass produced cheap enough for them to be sold at Wal-Mart, I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that.