Vacation Reruns: SayUncle v. The Light Nazi
I have a few pet names for my lovely wife, such as sweetie and honey. I also refer to her, at least weekly, as the light nazi. My wife has this superpower to detect wasted electricity almost instantaneously. For example, if I leave a light on and exit the room, she immediately hones in on the room using her bizarre extrasensory capabilities (seriously, the Department of Homeland Security could probably use her to detect unusual electrical fluctuations). Upon her discovery that I am heating the neighborhood or letting the flies out, Im in for a quick reminder to turn out lights and shut doors.
One problem I have with her ability is the fanatical zeal in which she enforces her duties as the sworn protector of home electrical efficiency. Another example: when I am in our office and have the lights on then decide Id like a refreshing beverage, by the time I return from the kitchen the lights are off in the office. Also, in her zeal, she has turned lights off on me while Im still in the room reading. She seems so obsessed with saving that quarter that she occasionally fails to notice that someone is actually benefiting from the use of the electricity in question.
My wife apparently has been saving up all this electricity usage for the holidays. Every year, me and the wife also get into an argument over Christmas decorations. The argument stems from the fact she wants to put the decorations up right after Labor Day. Whereas, I prefer them to be put up about the second week of December. This past weekend, satisfied that she had saved up enough electricity to warrant decorating for the holidays, yours truly wound up doing a lot of work in preparation for the upcoming holidays. Until this past week, the wife and I were the only ones living in our subdivision. We just got a new neighbor so I suppose the new neighbor was the cause of the tackiness that is holiday decorations. Since, other than us, hell be the only one to see them. Unless of course people start driving down a new subdivision to look at houses in the dark.
On Saturday, the wife and I pulled all the holiday knickknacks out of the attic and started decorating the house. I argued about it less this year than ever. I basically said honey, its not even Thanksgiving yet? and she replied with but Thanksgiving is late this year. I shrugged and said Oh. Learned helplessness has finally set in. I can just agree and do it quicker than I can disagree, argue, and wind up doing it anyway. Ah, the holiday spirit.
We put out our Frosty the Snowman salt and pepper shakers, put up our Christmas tree, put a Nativity scene on the mantle, and put out all the other stuff from the eight boxes that were in our attic labeled Christmas. This took up half our day.
Sunday rolls around, and I find out the wife had bought about nine boxes of icicle lights. Yours truly was then taken to task to take said nine boxes of lights (at 300 lights per box) and trim the house with them. A friend came by to help. Fortunately for me, my friend had done this before. I hadnt.
Your average SayUncle is about six feet, one inch tall and weighs about 170 pounds. Your average SayUncle is also lethargic on the weekends. And your average SayUncles natural habitat is some primitive, oblong, leather bedding (commonly referred to as a couch) where the SayUncle stalks its prey, the elusive Sam Adams and the only slightly less-elusive rum and Coke. Your average SayUncle is also poorly equipped for climbing steep inclines, which is a required skill when hanging 2,700 icicle lights. The reason the average SayUncle is so poorly equipped for climbing is because the largely sedentary SayUncle often catches several Sam Adams or rum and Cokes per day on the weekends, in between naps of course. Mind you, the only known SayUncle in existence hasnt lived in its natural habitat since it wed the SayAuntie, who is hell bent on destroying the SayUncles natural habitat.
The friend shows up. We put the ladder up to the house and he climbs up. Then I climb up. I realize in about five seconds that my boots are poorly equipped for walking on the roof. You need something that allows you to bend your ankles. It was also at this point that I realized Id never really used a ladder to climb on a roof before. And that I didnt really know how to get from the roof to the ladder, and subsequently to the ground, safely. After my friends instruction, I figured the whole ladder thing out, climbed down, and put on some sneakers. Then its back up the ladder to discover my friend had already placed one box of lights. Then, I cut myself on the gutters. I refuse to climb down and am content to finish the job while bleeding on the hangers. We then develop a system in which I place the hangers and my friend inserts the icicle lights into the hangers. About three hours later (when its dark, but were working with lights so . . ) were done.
I call the wife. The friend calls his wife. And we all stand around outside looking out over our icicle lights and the lighted garland on the porch. My wife looks me lovingly in the eyes and smiles, shes happy. I look at her and smile. The whole time thinking that we will waste more electricity on these Christmas lights this year than I will waste by leaving lights on for the rest of my life. Also, I hope our only neighbor appreciates the holiday display because I dont think anyone else is going to be driving by our subdivision to look at our lights. I put my arm around my wife and smile again because I know that I’m bleeding on her holiday sweater.
With the light nazi appeased, the SayUncle was allowed briefly to return to his natural habitat before bedtime.