I have struggled with this for years now, and it has just now occurred to me to put it into axiom form.
Here is a true statement: “If you have boys in your house and if you have flashlights in your house, then every flashlight in your house will be loaded with dead batteries.”
Our axiom tells us:
1. If you load new batteries in a flashlight, the batteries will be dead the next time you have a need for a flashlight.
2. If you fall into the broad scope of this axiom, you should buy for your flashlights the cheapest batteries you can find. They are not going to last beyond a week anyway.
3. Someday you will find mismatched batteries in your flashlight; your batteries will have leaked and ruined your flashlight.
4. You should hide a flashlight for yourself in your underwear drawer or the glove box of your gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicle. It occurs to me that you should check for mismatched batteries first.
5. It may be wise to load batteries when you need the light, and afterwards unload the batteries for safekeeping.
In my cupboard at this moment sit four (4) flashlights, all of their batteries (2xAA, 2xAAA, 2xD, and 2xD) utterly dead.