Ok, so i went under there and did it. it was a PITA but i did it. the pedal was ALL the way up against the switch and it was still only turning off the top stop light. so i pulled the old one out (with much gusto required), and installed and adjusted and guess what. IT WORKS. It was the switch, no short, its all good.
hah, i thought it was funny that EVERYTHING under there is dated 11/29/88. So I guess my car was manufactured on Nov 28, 1988!
So, hah, i guess my car isn't 18 years old, I guess its 19 years old! JEES.
Thanks for the help guys. Jees, what would i do without this club?