Lo, and a Sears salesman said, "taketh this fake tree home and pluggeth the pre-attached lights in. Easy as 1-2-3. Would you like to open a Sears account for a seven percent discount?"
Talk about your false prophets. That salesman can shove his guarantee up the softer side of Sears.
Every holiday I struggle with this damn artificial tree. So, this year, I thought I'd include you all in the terror. Merrrrrry Christmas, everyone!
I'm blogging and egg-nogging live while I try to erect the accursed tree. (One glass of eggnog in and I think the word "erect" is funny. *Snicker*)
After the first year I put the tree up, the lights have never worked properly. I sorely regret when I tore off the pesky "A," "B," and "C" labels on the kazillion plugs and sockets when we first purchased it. What was I thinking? I'll tell you what I was thinking...I thought the stickers would be ugly. By corky, they're not as ugly as dead lights.
What a terrible invention, Christmas tree lights...
(Time for more alcohol.)
I'm back! Where was I?
So, what's up with Christmas tree lights? Every year, much to my wife and daughter's amusement, I lay out strings and strings of lights on the floor, then plug 'em in. And watch them do nothing. Zip. Deader than honorable presidential behavior. Like a yuletide Godzilla, I stomp across them, roaring, tearing down the spirit of Christmas, cursing like Bea Arthur on a four-day bender.
Christmas tree lights have the stupidest technological flaw, don't they? Clearly, when Michael Jackson sang "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl," he'd never, EVER put up his own Christmas tree. Had his crew do it for him. Red or whoever (or maybe that was Elvis.)
Let's hoist a drink to Elvis! And Michael! And all the late singers of Christmas past!
Anyway...(*burp*)...stupid lights. One goes out and the whole line is shot. My wife says these are the old-style lights. I've got too much invested in this old fake tree now (two hours, four drinks, and a bad back) to go out and buy new stuff.
Fine. I'll make do with other lights.
Crikey! I haven't even started the ormaments... ormandoes... ormummies... those dumb pretty balls yet.
Good Gawd! Mice have been defecating on top of the Christmas ornaments box! Is nothing sacred?
Man, I'm discovering lots and lots of forgotten ornaments. For some odd reason, tons of penguins. The Kansas City Chiefs. Barbie. Lion King. Bigfoot ("Bigfoot?" The hell?)
I ask my wife how I'm doing . She says the tree needs "schoosing." I need to schoose the branches.
"Schoosing," I slur. "What's that?"
"You know...schoosing." She lifts her hands continuously, some kind of lazy yoga move.
I schoose. I schoose like the wind. Those pesky wired branches don't schoose easily.
I'm winded. Tired. Discouraged. This calls for a shot of Christmas encouragement.
We're down to the dregs of ornaments now... Shards, beheaded angels, and like so many crappy, Christmas horror movies, sleds with only the legs of riders attached.
But I tire. Still never too tired for just one more holiday drink...
Crap. I just found one more tub of decoration stuff to spread around. This is friggin' endless!
Whew. Done. No presents yet. Wait...I gotta wrap now? Noooooooo!
Wrapping can wait awhile. I'm gonna admire my day's long handiwork first. Just sorta snuggle in beneath the tree. Admire the view...and...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....
For more Christmas cheer, why not check out Grinning Skull Press' new holiday horror anthology, The Shadow Over Deathlehem? I'm honored to have a story in it along with the many other talented authors. Even better, all proceeds go to The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Stuff some scares into that stocking!
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