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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Once, When I Was A Younger Man- The Christmas Lights Story..


As I alluded to in an earlier post, electricity and I are not on the best of terms. A number of years (and electrical shocks!) ago, I was a proud, young homeowner. I cared about the appearance of my yard, and the exterior of my house- more than I do today! That meant after Thanksgiving, I would begin to plot what I could add to my growing collection of outdoor Christmas decorations and lights, making my house stand out like a beacon for Santa flying over at 20,000 ft... I had decorated the Living Christmas Tree(still quite small back then), done all the bushes along the walkway leading up to the front door and in front of my house in small,white twinkle lights. I had the garage door frame, service door, and front door outlined by the old fashioned, multi-colored juice suckers that screwed into sockets. I had a 3ft. lit "Merry Christmas" sign hung on the front of the house that went from the front door to the windows that could blink or just glow, depending how you set it. I needed more! If I was going to have more illuminations of holiday cheer than anyone else on our street, I needed more... Got it! I will outline the bottom edge of the garage and house roof with more of the big bulb lights! This was before I had the house vinyl sided, aluminum trimmed, and all outside doors and windows replaced(That's another post in itself, believe me!). I got the bright idea to STAPLE the light cords up-to the bottom of the board below the rain gutters! This was going really well, light cord was fitting through the staples' opening perfectly, not stapling through the electrical cords, making good progress quickly. Until I got to the side of the house... I have a "walkout" ranch style house, and the hill on the side slopes downward sharply, making a secure ladder difficult-no level ground! Dug holes, blocked wood, as the ladder extension kept having to be lengthened. This is probably a good time to confide in you guys- I don't like heights so hot... I am at the last bit of light cord, and at the highest point from Terra Firma on a not-so-stable ladder, when it occurs to me I'll have to run an extension cord UP to the lights. My wife at this time has come out and is watching me climb back up the ladder and plug in the lights. Viola! Everything comes on, just like in the script! However, the wind was blowing the hanging cord around, and I thought "In a real winter storm, this won't work for long".... I grabbed my trusty staple gun and was going to give the cord (now plugged in, remember!) one last staple to secure it... To my wifes' credit, she yells up to me "Do you want me to unplug the extension cord first?" What an insult! 40 staples and not one through the light cord- have you no faith, woman?!! The ensuing shock that coursed through my body as my metal staple met live current was to say the least, unpleasant... I would have fallen off the top of the ladder, if I only could have let go of it! Aluminum ladders apparently conduct electricity quite well also. I'm yelling down to her "Tuuurrrnnn offfff the powwwwer!!!!!" as I vibrate quite convincingly. She is looking at me with the look I have come to know well after many years of marriage- The "He's-screwing-around-trying-to-be-funny again" look... "Noooooreallly turrrn ittt offfff!!! I don't know if I was smoking yet, but something told her " The as*hole's not kidding this time".. She unplugs the cord, releasing me to involunarily throw my staple gun halfway across the yard, and ooze down the ladder to a sitting position. "Are you okay?" "Oh yeah, great, how about you?" She then says "I asked you if..." Twenty seconds after near death, and she's getting in the first of many "I- told-you-so's"....
The picture is of what I do nowdays for decorations. Sign goes on two nails, plugged in- 5 minutes tops! I've got boxes of old lights you can have for your next garage sale!

18 comments:

Maddy said...

Ooo dear. I'm afraid we're a bit challenged too. I can't count the number of boxes of unusable lights we have hanging around - but they're so cheap out here, what are we supposed to do with all those bargains!
Cheers

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

Mel said...

How funny!! Like Clark Griswald :)

Queenie said...

Oh Buff I know I shouldn't laugh but, hehehahaha. Should I mention Global Warming at this point??????

Dana said...

This must be why my husband refuses to put any lights on the house ... now it all makes sense!

Roger said...

Hahahaha theres nothing like being paralyzed to your ladder while 110 is coursing threw you! Do you have curly hair now?

Real Live Lesbian said...

Damn that was funny! I always just bat my eyes and somebody puts up the lights for me. Of course, you know I put out for that sort of thing. ;0

Great story!

pinknest said...

insane!! i would be too freaked to attempt any of the things you did. the idea of staple guns even gives me the heebie jeebies.

buffalodickdy said...

maddy- The brand new sign in the picture didn't work when I got it home- needed a fuse before it would light up!
mel- Clark Griswold was a fictional character- modeled after me....
queenie- The idea was to get you to laugh- Lord knows I did... eventually...
dana- When I was putting up tons of lights, I thought it was a big deal- and I was wrong!
roger- I remember feeling like I'd run about 10 miles after the jolt- really tired...
R.L.L.- You can flap your eye lids until you achieve take-off- I'm not putting them up! :)
Pink- Where was your good advice when I needed it that day?

Paul Champagne said...

I have discovered the joy of inflatable Christmas decorations. Just stake them in and plug in. No more trying to find the bad bulb in a string of 500.

Paul Champagne said...

Oh ... and no more falling off the roof (not once or twice ... but three times)

Akelamalu said...

I know I shouldn't (snigger) but I (snigger)can't help (snigger) LMAO.

Did your hair stand on end??? :)

buffalodickdy said...

Paul- If I were your neighbor, everytime you got out a ladder, I would hold up a score card like in the Olympic diving competitions!
Ake- Kind of a long winded story, but funny- and true! I was sorta busy being electrocuted, and didn't notice my hairs' response!

Jeff B said...

OK I'm not going to laught at you....like hell I'm not Bwahahaha...hehe...haha...hoho...

I feel much better now. Thank you!

Odat said...

LMAO...sorry....that is something you should have videoed and sent to America's Funniest Videos!!
(sorry, but was funny from my side)...
Peace

Casdok said...

:) !!!

Mona said...

OMG! That sure was such a dangerous shocking experience! I am glad you are still here with us!!

(((HUGS)))

buffalodickdy said...

jeff- The neighbors don't walk by my house, they cross the street first...
odat- For all the laughs you've given me, glad I could return one!
casdok- !!!- ???
Mona- Now you know why I warned you about electric eels and aluminum ladders! Read your last post, couldn't comment- I really hope everything is all right with you. Happy Holidays to you and yours...

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this post...sorry I'm laughing at your plight. ;)

I was especially chuckling because I used a staple gun on some lights on the back porch - though I never did staple into the electric cord... Those lights fried when hubby decided plugging in a shop vac at the end was a brilliant idea. I didn't have staples for my staple gun when I replaced the lights, so I switched over to cable ties instead. Which works wonders when it gets really windy. And I haven't gotten shocked or electrocuted. ;)