#1:Microwave Lightbulb Envy

The light comes on. It illuminates a silhouette. Ping. Then sounds of plastic wrap and things being moved around. A burp. Then the microwave door closes. Another night-time raid is successful…. The digital clock works but the light has failed. It died some time ago and we couldn’t work out how to get to it to change it. So it remains dead. I used someone else’s microwave this week to reheat a cup of coffee and noticed that their clock display didn’t work but the interior light did. Until then I hadn’t missed the interior lightbulb in our microwave.


First World Problems.

The term has been around for at least a decade, although Google searches on the term only really kicked in around 2011. Typically used as a tongue-in-cheek comedic device to make light of trivial frustrations and complaints that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries, I can understand where the term ‘white whine’ came from, although there is also a whole series of categories for women, nerds and even cats in the meme-o-sphere.

The Urban Dictionary has a couple of definitions: “problems from living in a wealthy, industrialised nation that third worlders would probably roll their eyes at”; “problems that only happen to people who reside in the first world”; and “a term used to mock issues specific to first western democracies that seem insignificant when contrasted to the social, political, and economic struggles of third world societies.”

My observation is that they are often ironic, hash-tagged responses to someone’s griping whinge about something inane and trivial.

According to Don at, the earliest known reference to “first world problems” were in the lyrics of Canadian alternative rock band Matthew Good Band’s 1995 song titled “Omissions of the Omen,” a bonus track on their full-length debut album Last of the Ghetto Astronauts: “And somewhere around the world / Someone would love to have my first world problems / Kill the moon and turn out the sun / Lock your door and load your gun / Free at last now the time has come to choose.”

So this is my first of my ‘top-ten list’ of first world problems…. with a twist – because I have given them the ‘drabble’ (100-word-format) treatment.

What is your (I hesitate to use the term ‘favourite’) #firstworldproblem?

Maybe it will inspire another entry in my top-ten list?

Then again, maybe you’ll get halfway through writing a comment and never post it because you realise how little you really care.

P.S. If you get stuck there re some cracker ones like that one on Reddit.


 #1:Microwave Lightbulb Envy

  1. This is very clever. A tad embarrassing when ypi give it any thought but still very clever indeed. I am having problems leaving a like on your posts. It I’d probably because I am using my mobile. X


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