Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Likes Earned: 31
Likes Given: 5
Christmas Lights. Pretty to look at, a pain to put up, particularly if you live in a colder climate. I guess I could be one of those who puts up the lights in September and leaves them up until May, but that just smacks of moral turpitude and sloth. Our one concession to comfort is to pick a reasonably warm day in November to string them up, even if we don’t turn them on until December.
Today was the day. The missus dragged the lights out of storage and I selected an appropriate wardrobe for the event. The temperature was hovering around the freezing point, but there was no wind. I decided on some light layers, and fleece over all. The one drawback was that my fleece sweat pants had lost their drawstring and I had to stick all my upper wear into them to keep them from falling down. Over all I put on a down vest and surveyed myself in the mirror: Fit and ready for action!
We’ve gotten the setup of the lights down to a science. The strings are all numbered and instructions are written in tape on each end. It takes about an hour and a half from start to finish to string them along the front eaves trough, along the eaves of the entrance way and in the planters by the side of the door.
I’m not that good with heights, I really do prefer having a 3-point contact with terra firma or a reasonable facsimile. Unfortunately our eaves stick out quite far from the house, and stringing the lights means that I am exposed, a couple of steps shy of the top of the ladder, but hanging out there in outer space. I take my time and I usually have the missus to steady the ladder and pass me the lights. The lights have clips on them and they tend to get tangled as they dangle behind me to the ground.
Things seemed to progress rather well today, no real snags to speak of, and I was gloating at how we’d perfected the art of this. If things continued this way I’d manage to get in the last quarter of the football game. Then the phone rang.
“Are you okay?”, the missus asked. I assured her that I was fine and that I’d be coming down anyway in just a moment. I leaned over and finished positioning the last couple of lights that I could reach, and then started down the ladder. About three steps down I felt a tug, and reached behind me to unsnag myself from the string of lights. One of the clips had caught on my vest, but I couldn’t seem to reach them to free myself. I climbed up one step, two steps and reached again, but even with the slack I couldn’t quite make it.
So I started to take off the vest, shrugging off my left shoulder and pulling the vest up and over my head to remove it from my right. It was awkward, but I was on a ladder and I wanted to keep one arm on the ladder at all times. As the vest went over my head the fleece hoody that I was wearing was pulled out of my pants, it too was somewhat snagged in the lights. I leaned forward to see if I could get free of the lights and the vest. As the vest dropped to the ground the string of lights wrapped around my right leg.
Taking hold of the ladder with both hands I lifted my right leg and twirled it a bit to free it from the lights. While doing the Macarena on the ladder the lights came free from my leg. Unfortunately that’s also the moment, while I’m clutching the ladder with both hands, that my pants fell.
“Steven, what in **** are you doing?”, it was my next door neighbour. I nearly fell over from fright and embarrassment, I had no idea that he was behind me. I grabbed for the pants and tried to steady myself as the string of lights and my vest swung by.
“Hanging the wash.” I said.
"Under the full moon...", he said.
I’m scarred for life.
Purveyor of Awesome since 1958.