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SayUncle v. The Light Nazi

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2002 when the blog was a pup and I had about three readers, two of which were me. So, in anticipation of the upcoming holidays, I post it again. Blogging over Thanksgiving will be light. I have about 7,000 people coming by and some food to prepare.

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,’ I’m 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 I’d 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 I’m 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, he’ll 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, it’s 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 then 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 hadn’t.

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 SayUncle’s 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 hasn’t lived in its natural habitat since it wed the SayAuntie, who is hell bent on destroying the SayUncle’s 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 I’d never really used a ladder to climb on a roof before. And that I didn’t really know how to get from the roof to the ladder, and subsequently to the ground, safely. After my friend’s instruction, I figured the whole ladder thing out, climbed down, and put on some sneakers. Then it’s 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 it’s dark, but we’re working with lights so . . ) we’re 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, she’s 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 don’t 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.

Happy holidays!

11 Responses to “SayUncle v. The Light Nazi”

  1. Guav Says:

    That was great!

  2. nk Says:

    Heh! One more Heh! Heck, this deserves three Hehs.

  3. Jennifer Says:

    Yeah, not so much for all the Christmas tackiness around our house. It’s all I can do to get a tree up. If the kiddo didn’t insist, I wouldn’t do it.

  4. nk Says:

    BTW, Uncle, do you like Louisiana blues? If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy. (Safe for work unless you work for your wife.)

  5. NatefromOgden Says:


    I’ll be removing the Thanksgiving holiday decorations from the front yard this weekend and putting up the blue rope Christmas lights that go on the front of the house. I’ll probably get the 10 ft section of antenna mast with a 3 ft star on top bolted to the swamp cooler on the top of the roof installed while I’m up there. The nativity scene, complete with manger won’t go out into the yard until December actually gets here.

    I’m already tired, just thinking about it.

  6. Magus Says:

    This story always brings to mind a question.

    Never married.
    No kids.
    Own two houses, bought and paid for.
    Own two pickup trucks and two motorcycles, bought and paid for.
    If I wanted a bass boat I’d go out and buy one and pay in full, no credit required.

    Nearly every woman I know is always trying to fix me up with someone, themselves or a friend. I’m 44 and my mother is still trying to set me up with blind dates.

    My question:

    Why is it that women hate to see a man who’s happy?

  7. Laughingdog Says:

    “Why is it that women hate to see a man who’s happy?”

    Because, in their eyes, it’s an empty life. They think that, because they’re happier being married, the same applies to the man in the equation.

  8. Les Jones Says:

    Magus, married people are like vampires. We’re damned for eternity so when we see fresh meat we infect them with the vampire curse so they will join us.

    At least, that’s the theory I espoused before I became happily betrothed.

    one of us one of us one of us

  9. dave Says:

    Maybe you should update the post and change “light nazi” to “photon czar” (how cool does that sound?) or “illumination administrator.”

    Here’s to you and yours 🙂

  10. 209 Says:

    I call my wife the thermostat Nazi. She just can’t let the house be warm.

    She’s a light Nazi too.

  11. Wanda Says:

    I love the story! It’s really well-written. Thanks for reposting it.