Well today was the day. The day most every dad dreads. The day when you become one with electricity. It happens once a year, every year. Of course we know it as Weihnachtslichts Tag… or Christmas light day. I actually began the process of turning my house into a Martian signal lamp days ago with the annual Weihnachtslicht Herausholen…or retrieval of said Christmas lights from the attic. It takes a couple of days to get ones self together for the arduous climb to the roof. Like the great Everest, a man must be prepared both mentally and physically. Todays final assault began when I got up at the crack of ten A.M. after the family cleared out and went off to wherever family’s go during weekdays. After some coffee and an egg sandwich it was time to hit the local Lowes for some ammunition. Extension cords, zip ties, Band Aids. One must be prepared for anything. I thought about hiring some illegal Mexicans that always seem to be hanging around our beloved strip malls. I thought an extra Sherpa wouldn’t hurt, or maybe someone to just call an ambulance if I fell off the roof. But I eventually decided to go it alone upping the manliness factor. Thats me… a Lone Wolf. Anyway I began slowly, methodically. Laying out the extension cords exactly right. Unlike in years past when I just couldn’t seem to get the stretches the way I wanted them. This year it’s going to be different I thought. Next came those infernal little plastic clips. I decided to take the steel mesh gutter guards off this time. All they do is get in my way and slow me down. Besides the gutters were full of crap anyway. I was halfway done when suddenly the box of clips started to slide. I resisted the instinctive impulse to lunge for it. All I could do was sit there helplessly and watch the box slide off the edge and wait for the sound of two hundred little clips exploding all over the ground. Marvelous. Luckily I have two more boxes. After the clips are up it’s crunch time. Time to string the lights. After every season I usually hit the stores and pick up some left over boxes of lights for next year. So I break out some brand new lights and get to work. When I’m about halfway through I am horrified to notice that half of the string I just put up went dark. SH*T! I scurry down from the roof to grab a replacement string. I start testing the remaining strings only to find out why I buy replacements at the end of the season. All the leftovers have dead spots. SH*T! I’m out and I’m forty feet short. SH*T! SH*T! SH*T! There is only one thing to do. Hop in the truck and hit the CVS for some height of the season, over priced replacement lights. What the hell on the way I’ll score myself a Dunkin Doughnuts coffee I thought. The rest of the afternoon was a caffeine induced blur of lights, dizzying height and electric shock. When I was done I climbed down from the roof only to notice Wyatt had already finished his house. I have to tell you when he puts his mind to home improvement, there is no keeping up with the Jones’. Show off!
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These are my personal writings and opinions. They are in no way representative of official Philadelphia Fire Department policy and should in no way be viewed as such. For entertainment purposes, reflection, scorn, loathing and amusement only. Place yer bets!
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