Monday, December 08, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a LOT Like

The Christmas Season and everything that it encompasses is commencing. The TV specials, the shopping, even the tree out front are all progressing to the culmination of the top commercial event of the fiscal year.

The stupid Rudolph special was on the other night. I have hated that show for over 40 years. I hate the voices, I hate the characters, I hate the sound effects, I hate the animation, I even hate the lighting.

The Grinch, the Jim Carrey version, was on this past week as well. I can take that one, but prefer the ancient Chuck Jones presentation with Boris Karloff as the narrator. That one is coming on soon, too. I feel it. There was some sort of Charlie Brown special on tonight, and Home Alone will be running on the UPN station probably 35 times between now and New Year’s Day. Frosty the Snowman, too (I’m rolling my eyes right now).

The biggest evidence that Yuletide is nearing is that I went to the local shopping maul. I spelled it that way on purpose, thankyouverymuch. The traffic reminded me of the last hurricane evacuation that we participated in, except for that time there were no red bows or wreaths or antlers on the front of the minivans.

The mall was exactly what I expected, from the last time I was there, about this time last year. There were a lot of baggy-pants-ed kids, along with various and sundry other temporary residents of this particular piece of real estate.

The masses were out en masse, so to speak…I was enjoying the tableau of humanity parading, shuffling, prancing and eventually dragging by on stone feet. I saw a guy that looked like Al Gore eating an apparently yummy cookie, which was so big that it had its own carbon footprint. There were young white guys with shaved heads looking like convicts with their faux-surly expressions. There was even a guy in the food court who was so cool! He had long, bushy blonde hair, a really full beard, and dark, dark Wayfarer sunglasses on inside the mall. He looked like a throwback to the 1970’s. A cool guy surfer or dissident or something.

The boys all had pants that were several sizes too big, and dumb gimme caps with the flat bill twisted to the side. If they only had a clue as to what the pants-falling-off fashion statement said about the wearer in prison, they’d likely wear a cumberbund or suspenders or something.

The young girls all had their pants too tight, with too much makeup. Of course there were the older women with too much makeup as well. There were two varieties of those. First, the ones looking like they were out on a day-pass from the Golden Acres Retirement home wearing their blouses with the tiny leopard print accented by the oversized amber beads.

The other variety was the group that acts like the ink on their birth certificate is still wet. The prime example of this one for Saturday was the lady who was 55 if she was a day, although her over-dyed, straightened, and styled hair, with the bangs cut off absolutely level with her eyebrows, belied the fact that she was trying WAY too hard to be young. The eyebrows looked drawn-on, too.

The one bright spot that I observed was a girl about twelve or thirteen, dressed conservatively, walking with her mom, holding lovingly onto her arm. She didn’t look fearful, or like a pitiful little momma’s girl. Nor did she appear to have any mental or emotional problems. It just seemed that she was enjoying a day at the mall with her mom, whom she loves. A ray of normal family interaction in a cloudy, turbulent storm of shoppers.

I had all of the holiday frenzy I could stand, and so headed home. The lights needed to be put up so our neighbors wouldn’t feel so ostentatious. We have several strings of big C-7 lights strung with matching colorful icicle lights. These go in the crepe myrtle tree in the front. The boxwoods would host the net lights, as they did last year.

I entered the garage with an expectant spring to my step, and strolled over to the shelf where the lights awaited. Except, apparently, the net lights had gotten impatient with the eleven months of waiting and had skipped to Mexico or something.

I “danged” my way out back to retrieve the ladder so I could put up the lights that I DID have. After planting the rickety ladder in the front flower bed under the crepe myrtle, I took a step on the first rung. It groaned. As I balanced a wad of lights in my left hand, my right hand clutched the graying wood. On the second step, I felt a give and heard a crack. That was it. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I quickly did the math; 250 pounds, over three feet of boxwoods , carry the four, plus thirty-two feet per second squared from half the height of a six-foot ladder, equals a big pain in my shoulder (at least) and several crushed plants and a string of broken lights.

My alternative was to get a long piece of PVC pipe with a notch in the end. I had my smallest daughter hold the lights and I pushed them skyward to the branches. That did the trick.

So we now have a sparse showing of lights, not easing the neighbors’ feelings of superiority, and a glimmer of the Christmas spirit. I guess this coming weekend, I’ll get to the “hustle and muscle” of trimming the tree.

Wish me luck. And some anti-inflammatory meds…


Anonymous said...

Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.
Johnny Carson

Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard of SCROOGE? Chin up Buddy! It will all be over soon.

Big Toe...