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Don't Get Left in the Dark

November 24, 1995|NANCY ROMMELMANN

During a recent camp-out, I almost pulled a muscle patting myself on the back for having brought along a tiny, battery-operated lantern.

I dispatched my boyfriend to stick four AA batteries into the contraption, which gave a beautiful glow . . . for about 30 minutes.

He laughed. "It's because you bought Happy Ready batteries or something."

"Did not," I protested. "They were Duracell."

"Yeah, but how old were they?"

OK, maybe I had packed the same batteries I'd used during the riots. How was I supposed to know how long they lasted?

Vowing never to be left in the dark again, I conducted a state-of-the-art electrical comparison: I stuck a small flashlight containing one AA battery in my pantry and left it on.

Each of the three major brands--Duracell, Energizer and Eveready--held a charge for about the same amount of time: five to six hours. The rechargeable clocked in at just under four hours.

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