The funny disease.

Friday, December 16, 2005

So, You Couldn't Think of Anything Better to Spend Your Money On.

I don’t know if I’m simply blocking the scads of over-decorated Christmas monstrosities in Illinois, but it seems to me that people in Arizona are more fanatical about turning their front yards into a playground for cavorting, drunken Elves. (Sober Elves would only celebrate on a tastefully decorated lawn.) There is an overabundance of people in the neighborhood who apparently made the familiar acquaintance of Johnny Walker and then decided it was a good idea to haul out the Christmas decorations.

Witness an 8 foot blow-up Frosty looming over a plastic, light-up manger scene, a herd of animated wire reindeer and--God help us—a four foot snow globe with a delightful scene of forced Christmas merriment contained therein, all on the same lawn! As if the motion sensing, life-sized, singing attack Santas weren’t enough to prove your love for Jesus, these same zealots are using more twinkle lights than the ones that illuminate the Christmas wet dreams of every electric utility executive, and covering every available square inch. I’m being generous by calling them twinkle lights, because it seems as if the people with the wildest yards have each string of lights set to a different blinking, flashing, pulsating, racing, zipping, zigging, zagging pattern, in order to achieve that special epileptic-fit inducing look. And it seems that if they had a particular color of lights in stock at the Walmart, it’s included in the palette of the design.

Why are Arizonians more prone to aesthetically impaired displays of unadulterated holiday enthusiasm? Does the desert attract the hopelessly tacky? I suppose the phenomena of flamboyantly crude holiday displays could simply have manifested because of the lack of snow. Not many people that live in Arizona seem to actually be from Arizona. I’m sure a lot of them miss trees that look like dead frozen twigs for seven months out of the year, or three feet of snow that doesn’t melt until April and by then has become an icy sludge by the side or the road that turns a fetching shade of coal black. The glorious 60 degree Arizona days of December certainly make it easier to go crazy with the lights. Decking the halls in the Phoenix valley area does not include the horrendous Midwestern traditions of freezing off one’s jingle bells or slipping off an icy roof. So tasteless wonders, if one assumes they are spread out evenly across the country, are also lazy. I suspect I would find the same amount of misguided Christmas fervor thrown up on the lawns of people living in other parts of the US that also have mild winters.

How to tell if your Christmas decorations are tacky:

Does your display lack focus, i.e., is the Nativity Scene sharing the lawn with a light-up train?
Did you use more than two colors of lights?
Did you use more than two types of lights?
Did someone from the local Fire Department stop by to personally offer holiday decoration safety tips, and make sure that your smoke detectors were in working condition?
Did you try to balance the display out, i.e. if you have two cacti wrapped in multi-colored lights and one in blue lights is the blue one in the middle?
Is there any rapid blinking in your display?
Did you spend more than a total of $300 on all of your outdoor Christmas decorations?

If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, then you may have Tacky Lawn Decoration Syndrome. Put down the Egg Nog immediately and take down at least half of your decorations. While there is no known cure for Tacky Lawn Decoration Syndrome, you can at least lessen the annoyance of your neighbors (the ones with the boring icicle lights), and let the neighborhood children get a good night’s sleep without forcing their parents invest in blackout curtains.

NOTE: Arizonians who are thinking about leaving their Christmas decorations up all year may think they can get away with it, because the lights aren’t going to be encased in ice from January through March. But make no mistake, the intense heat and sun of an Arizona summer can deteriorate the protective coating on the wires. Plugging in the lights when next Christmas rolls around may lead to your untimely death in a fiery blaze of your own sloth and stupidity. UL standards are for protecting consumers from inferior manufacturing, they are not meant to protect us if we decide we can rig the hair drier to blow dry our coifs while we sleep. (That’s the only scenario I can imagine for Conair to feel they needed to put “Do not operate while asleep,” on the verbose warning label on my hair dryer.) This has been a service announcement of the Council for Nosey Annoyed Neighbors, who don’t want their house to go up in smoke because the people that live next door are idiots.



Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

It'd be nice if they took that light money and sent it to the food bank. It is one thing to have some lights for your three year old and another to just be a Griswald and out do your neighbors. And how come there's no 10'inflatable Jesus? Were is Pat Robertson's Jesus Patrol when you need them??

12/17/2005 7:01 AM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

Why donate to charity when you can own an inflatable Homer Santa?

12/17/2005 7:49 PM


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