I hate Christmas……Lights
Growing up like all kids, I had my heroes. Batman, Superman and the Lone Ranger were my early role models. They were replaced by Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Later I wanted to be either Bo or Luke Duke. Doesn’t every 12 year old boy want Daisy to be their cousin? Then I saw that dumb Top Gun movie so I set out to be Mavrick.
Listen closely kids. Dreams are not reality!
In real life I became someone much more real and dorky; Clark Griswold. I had the good fortune to spend a large part of this week outside messing with Christmas Lights and they are the bane of my existence. Last year, I boxed up seventeen strands of lights with a plan. Monday was dedicated to bringing that plan to life. Monday was the perfect day to be out with the lights. Temperatures in the mid-50s, sun was shining and the kids were in school. The vision of a easy day was dancing in my head.
Before putting out the lights, I tested each strand and to my dismay eight of the seventeen strands did not work. I know that these lights were in a hot attic, bound loosely and made in China so I should not have expected more. My wife is a smart woman, following each major Holiday she buys bulk items at 50% off. Last year she bought several large rolls of lights and they saved us several dollars because I am Clark Griswold.
[after Clark fails at lighting all the exterior Christmas lights at the “lighting ceremony” in front of the entire family]
Frances: Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.
Audrey: He worked really hard, Grandma.
Art: So do washing machines.
So several hours later, there I am. The sun has long since set. It is 40 degrees and raining. My five year old son and I are outside trying finishing up the lights. My wife and daughter are at basketball practice and my dinner is sitting on the stove, for the third hour. I am a knucklehead!
I spent the rest of the week, adjusting, adding, changing and re-stringing all in a vain attempt to impress my neighbors. Most of my neighbors, don’t know me. Those who do know me really don’t like me and the feeling is mutual. The neighbor I most dislike right now is my little buddy Scotty L.
Scott is one of my best friends in the world. We served together in the Guard and he is currently the Commander of the 130th Air Lift Squadron. Eight C-130s and 120 men and women dedicated to deliever Freedom with Courage follow his orders. Scott and I were on the same crew in Iraq in 2003. He is the perfect mix of wild eye southern boy and wicked smart. He has a beautiful wife and three great kids. He is on the path to be a General one day and no one will be more proud than me.
Why do I dislike him so much? Monday morning, Scott put out all of his decorations by walking into his attic and grabbing a single box. Standing outside his house, he plugged in a lone, oversized Santa into the socket. Using four ropes, he secured this solitary Santa to the ground and finished the project by putting the empty box back into the attic. Twenty-seven minutes and a cop of coffee later, he drove off on his Harley. He is Tom Cruise and I am Clark Griswold.
So long Easy Rider…I have more lights to put out.