FURTHERMORE GETS LIT FOR THE HOLIDAYS
To celebrate the arrival of this joyous season of the year, my neighbor, we'll call him Charlie (because that's his real name, you know?), has declared war on the neighborhood. Or, at least on all the men therein. Brother Furthermore Raven concurs.
Heres the deal:
For nearly 20 years, the men on the street have had a gentlemen's agreement when it comes to holiday lighting. We all dutifully dig out a couple of simple strands of white lights, suspend them from the front eaves of the house during halftime and then go pour a beer. None of those light shows that require a month to set up and a special permit from Arizona Public Service and the FAA, thank you very much. You know the ones. You've probably got at least one on your block. Actually, you can't have just one. That’s because if one guy does it, then some other fruitcake on the block has to take up the challenge and the whole thing escalates, just like that Cold War and nuclear bombs, and you know where that got us.
I envy my Brother Herb. Herb is Jewish. He doesn’t have to worry about long strands of lights. He has one box in his garage with a seven-branched candlestick in it. I have 17 boxes of Christmas stuff, including a box of outdoor lights.
But I digress.
Enter Charlie, who is clearly not a brother.
Charlie strings up the required two or three strands of white lights. So I take the hint and do the same. The guy across the street does the same thing, although he adds a touch of color with green and red lights in the porch lights. This is better than last year, when he only used red lights and we had a lot of unusual traffic in the neighborhood for days.
So far, so good.
Then I come home from work and there are large candy canes on Charlie’s front wall. And balls of COLORED lights. This is not good. I have a bad feeling about this already.
The next night, I come home and there are two lighted deer, complete with moveable parts! And more colored lights. And his front retaining wall has been wrapped in wide red ribbon like a package.
THEN he adds lights to the package outline! AND Santa and those weird reindeer appear on his porch roof!!
Clearly, things are out of hand.
I go to Charlie and plead on behalf of the men in the neighborhood. He is steadfast. This isn’t helped any by the applause of my wife in the background, and her very audible suggestion that Charlie add SOUND to the whole thing.
So I’m thinking what next? Do I retaliate with more lights than Coors can bottle in a month? Or do I ignore this display of electrical testosterone and maintain the calm dignity of my graceful strings of traditional white lights? Or do I just surrender and take my lights down and move on with the important issues of my life?
This is not an easy call, as any man or bird will tell you.
In the end, Furthermore recommended I leave my traditional lights in place. I did, however, add three very special candle flicker bulbs in the carriage lamps in front of my house. These are very classy and make the lamp look like its lit with gas or a candle. This took less than 10 minutes and didn’t cost me a cent (I already had the candle bulbs from a failed lighting experiment in the back yard last summer. We don’t want to talk about it. Thank you for not asking.).
I surveyed my handiwork after dark and retired to the kitchen where I poured a beer to celebrate my quick wittedness and declare myself the de facto winner. And, for the record, it was NOT a light beer.
From our light-hearted brother, Furthermore Raven, and Brother Skip, Happy holidays, no matter how you get lit!