Christmas lights are dangerous and want to kill you – Part 2

It was a cold, damp evening. Thick fog poured from deep woods and out of culvert pipes to cover yards and driveways in our subdivision, mailboxes transformed into mute sentries along the sides of the road. For the first week of December, the scene was more reminiscent of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow than It’s a Wonderful Life, but weather in the Ohio Valley is like Russian roullette with a Gatling gun. Tornadoes or ice storms. I’d just be happy with a good 4-6 inches of snow and strains of Belavia on the news at 11:00 while they scroll the list of school closings.

Anyway, it was a dark and foggy night, and our neighbor clanged up and down an aluminum extension ladder, a miniature lighthouse unto himself lit by the many strands of lights draped around his neck. He was in the process of wiring a 30′ Christmas tree. More accurately, he was hanging long strands of C9 lights from the chimney in the shape of a tree. C9 bulbs are those great big lights that look great on a house, but are the most evil of all Christmas light types.

The C9 bulb is uniquely designed to explode upon the slightest impact with any other object, but most often with each other. You’ll need leather gloves and a pair of pliers to remove the electrified, jagged glass blossom left behind. These things will go out just to trick you into tightening the bulb. That’s when you’re most likely to end up with a handful of colorful broken glass.

He was too far away and high up to notice me as I ambled past, a shadowy wake cutting through the mist, intent on getting its lap around the subdivision in before The Simpsons came on at 7:00. So he didn’t know he was being scrutinzed. All the hallmarks of a holiday tragedy were in play. Slippery, wet, electrically conductive ladder – check. Darkness – check. Christmas light noose – check.

I kept going. God help me, but I just kept going. If the Christmas lights were going to attack, they would have done it by the time I came strolling by, so everything turned out fine in the long run.

However, I think that the pact, whatever it was, into which he and those C9s had entered has ended. Or relations are strained. Last night as I hurried past his house (and I do mean hurried because the coyotes were on the prowl and despite the confidence lent by hefting a not inconsequential Maglite, I wasn’t at all convinced that they wouldn’t come down off the ridge and feast on me at any moment, 17 pound flashlight in hand or not), I noticed that a handful of lights up at the very apex of his tree were out.

This was an outright invitation to destruction, but would he take the bait? We’ll have to wait and see.

One Response to “Christmas lights are dangerous and want to kill you – Part 2”

  1. ah, yes, C9s. evil, evil lights if ever there were any. (were there ever any?) i gave up on the C9s long ago. C7s too. it’s all minis for me these days. although someday i hope to be able to afford using all LEDs like these:
    LED Christmas Lights