“Here you go, these will work just perfectly!” Tommy Target chirped at my wife, as he stuffed the strange looking box into her arms.
“Are you sure…this um… this doesn’t look right,” Jen answered. Jen is a retail executive and has a pretty good radar for “retailer trying to get you to buy something you don’t want or need.” “Why is there a bush on the box?” Jen wondered aloud.
Tommy Target hesitated for a second before answering in a distinct, “I work here and you don’t, so I know what’s up with what and you don’t” tone, “oh, that’s just the picture they use on the box, they’re just Christmas lights, they’ll work just fine on your tree!”
Jen’s a little to savvy for that load of retail-speak, and as she started to open the box to see just what was up with what, Tommy Target looked on with a whimpering look on his face, as if he was watching someone take a poop in his cereal.
Jen dumped the contents of the box on the floor, to see, if in fact, the “Christmas lights that would work on our tree just perfectly” would, and if so, why in the hell did the picture on the box have them on a bush? Jen, though filled with plenty of Christmas knowledge, couldn’t remember anything about the sacred tradition of the Christmas bush. She remembered daydreaming a lot (about rollerskating– a post for another day, trust me) back in 1st and 2nd grade, but she was pretty sure none of her teachers had slipped that one by her. None of the back recesses of her mind could conjure up:
“And lo, since the settlers and apostles, although happy with the birth of the baby Jesus and all, took pause over concern with the environment, and coupled with Judas’ constant bitching about “going more green” and “needing to head off this global warming thing before it gets too bad”. Though it’s widely known that Judas was always whining about something (most notably Jesus’ popularity, which Judas scoffed at as being due to his “cheap parlor trick of turning water into wine,” but Judas was also into global warming, like, big time. Later bible stories tend to prove Judas wrong, both about Jesus and the environment. In fact a little research shows several accounts of one of the wise-men saying he was, quote, “fucking freezing.” Anyway, we digress from our tale, where was I… Lo, concern for the environment had swelled to the point that chopping down trees had become frowned upon all over Jerusalem, so the settlers and apostles and general gadabouts gathered around, and celebrated the hipster, eco-friendly, Christmas Bush.”
No, though my beautiful wife is constantly mumbling about how her second grade teacher was, “full of shit, and a lying whore to boot” she is almost one hundred percent sure she never tried to slip the legend of the Christmas Bush past her.
Tommy Target and Jen both stared at the tangled mess of netting with scattershot lights attached and tired resignation washed over both of their faces: the cereal had definitely been pooped in.
Jen pulled up the netting, which coincidentally looked like it might just fit perfectly over a bush in the yard, and held it up for Tommy Target’s inspection. She’d come looking for lights to hang on our Christmas Tree and instead been offered some sort of hideous parka that Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs” might wear to a Christmas party.
Jen stared daggers at Tommy Target and tried to clarify the situation, “This is a net you throw over a bush in your yard. You told me they were lights I could hang on a Christmas Tree.”
Tommy Target seethed daggers back at Jen and let out a triumphant, “I’ve been paged” as he walked away, trying to hold his dignity like one of those buck-toothed hillbillies that gets dismissed by Simon Cowell.
No Christmas lights at Target. On December 10th. Over to Menards. Sold out there too. On December 10th. Jen’s a retail planner, so she gets that adding more product is a little more complicated than going back to the loading dock and digging through the magic, “Shit We’re Out of Box.” But seriously? No more Christmas lights on December 10th? Who plans this stock, Jen’s second grade teacher? Who’s got all the G** D*** Christmas lights? Al-Qaeda? The Occupiers? Wall Street? Have all the Christmas lights been sucked into Tim Tebow’s living room because that’s the only place that they’ll truly be happy? We can’t buy Christmas lights on December 10th??? What the hell? We went to bed in America and woke up in Namibia.
At any rate, after another Target and a couple of stabs at a big hardware store and a little hardware store, Jen arrived home with two boxes of Christmas lights to hang on our tree.
They’re the fat, bulbous, many-colored kind that went out of vogue at some point in the early 70’s. And you know what? They’re awesome. The moment we had them hung up and plugged in, we both wanted to pour a lowball and sexually harass our secretaries. We poured our drinks of Holiday cheer, turned off all the lights other than our mod-70’s bulbathons and watched “Holiday Inn” as the neighborhood twinkled and buzzed with the sounds of a Christmas party that we weren’t invited to.
And lo, all was well. Judas can suck it.