Each year the weekend after Thanksgiving, I sense an innate urge to risk life, limb and public humiliation by festooning the exterior of our home with several hundred C9 incandescent lights. (I’m still resisting the whole LED craze – also known as “the Devil’s bulbs.”)
My mild-mannered next-door neighbor and I always engage in an unspoken competition to see who can get their Christmas lights up first, but since I have the holiday sleeping habits of an inebriated grizzly bear in mid-hibernation, he consistently wins – after which he undoubtedly enjoys shouting, “Let me know if you need any help up there,” as I cling desperately to the shingles while those little granules clatter in the aluminum rain gutters – portending my likely doom.
A couple of years ago, I actually considered hiring a landscaping company to install my lights for me – and even went so far as to have them come out to give me an estimate. Once I regained consciousness, and told them I’d have to sell my plasma and the plasma of my descendants to third and fourth generations to pay for it, I decided that hiring out the job would be cheating, anyway.
This year, I was determined to go for the upset and made the unprecedented play of installing my lights the Saturday before Thanksgiving. My neighbor had already made a pre-emptive move to take the lead by colorfully illuminating a front-yard tree. But we both know good and well (at least I do) that the only lights that really “count” are the house lights, and this year, I would strike first.
The actual installation was fairly uneventful as my wife, as usual, held the extension ladder steady and encouraged me not to cry – that everything would be ok. Probably.
Once our lights were up on that first night, they shone forth gloriously, mocking the pre-Thanksgiving darkness next door. But then, as so often happens when I’m gloating in the radiance of a self-righteous victory, disaster struck.
Copyright 2023 Jase Graves distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.