Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: Christmas

Environmental Enrichment Required

I seem to have a dearth of material now that I’m retired, unless Nick were to kidnap me and take me on some horrible Adventure, I suppose. After all, how often do you need to read my opinion of holiday decorations?

BUT YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR IT ANYWAY

‘Tis the season for gag-inducing cinnamon candles at the dollar store, the candle they would make me burn in Hell. Especially since they’ve had problems with the glass in their candles exploding when it gets hot. I bet all glass in Hell explodes when it gets hot.

OK, I guess candle-burning in Hell is an interesting topic.

HARKING BACK TO YE DAYS OF YORE WHEN I DID HAVE MATERIAL

On I guess March 21 2013 (I don’t know what time zone WordPress is in, but it sure ain’t mine, so all their dating is suspect), I reported a caller saying that someone needed to be “cemented” (they meant “committed”), and a caller saying, “There’s been a suicide….I’m the victim.”

HARKING BACK TO YON DAYS OF YORE EVEN FURTHER

Astrology for ’75:

Taurus woman/Cancer man: “He’ll lick your belly button when you’re not looking.” I don’t advise anyone to lick my belly button. Even if I am looking.

Taurus woman/Leo man: “Wear emotional sunglasses to avoid burns.” Where do you get those glasses?

Secret Wish for Aquarius: “Having a tall, silvery humanoid/astronaut go to the moon and back to prove his devotion to you, having him proclaim his love for you on network TV.”

ANOTHER DISSATISFIED CUSTOMER

The guy in front of me at McDonald’s was making a complaint. The manager said, “I’ll replace your entire order, sir.” He said, “I don’t want my order replaced!” (I’m thinking, Shut up, let them replace your order, and let us all get on with our lives and lunches.) Then he said, “Where’s the dude I talked to on the phone?” Ah, the Dude I Talked To On The Phone. I used to work with him.

McRib is back! Tastes like a weiner, shaped like a bone!

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True Confessions

{Note: There was originally a line here that I edited out, and I can’t figure out how to make the white space go away, so I substituted this line in its place. Carry on.} {Yeah, I know this is more than one line, but I care insufficiently to do anything about it. Proceed.}

“YOU’RE NOT AUTISTIC, YOU’RE JUST ECCENTRIC!”

On the Anonymously Autistic blog, where I’ve been loitering lately, I found the official diagnostic definition here. (<== Look! Did you see that? I made a link! My first ever! This Blog School is turning out to be worthwhile after all! Maybe I better restrain my enthusiasm until I publish this and see if it actually works.) Leaving aside the obsessive way in which I carefully checked off each of the listed attributes and rated them for level of severity, I think I can put your doubts to rest with two simple observations:

  1. I rock back and forth when I listen to music. They call this “self-soothing” behavior, which I originally took issue with, thinking, “How would I feel if I didn’t do it? Oh–nervous and twitchy. OK.”
  2. As I walk along {“I wonder what went wrong, with our love, the love that was so strong…” Sorry. Too much listening to music.}, I often recite sequential lists of dates. I will not bore you with how these dates are selected.
  3. OK, make that 3 observations: I have difficulty recognizing people’s faces if I encounter them outside of their accustomed settings–colleagues outside of work, parishioners outside of church, Nick pretty much everywhere, etc. (I worked with that poor thing IN THE SAME ROOM, ON THE SAME SHIFT, FOR A YEAR–or so he claims–and don’t remember it.) My husband is the only exception. So if you run into me at Walgreen’s, or follow me down the street in your vehicle hoping to give me a ride, expect a blank stare initially. The only way to avoid that is to live with me for years. No, I’m not inviting you to move in.

Where the “high-functioning” thing (or maybe just “maturity”) comes in is, I’ve learned to not display my weirder traits in public, and I’ve also mastered Life Skills 101 (although I’m not sure about Life Skills 201). For example, not knowing how to dress properly got me in trouble at 3 different jobs. Since there were no dress codes to tell me exactly how to proceed, I just wore what I did when I wasn’t working. Back then, that involved lots of see-through shirts, halter tops, and black goth-y stuff that hadn’t yet become fashionable. So one supervisor told me, “Just because there’s no dress code doesn’t mean you can wear whatever you want.” See, I’d thought that was exactly what it meant. The “obvious” alternative–looking around to see what other employees were wearing–simply never occurred to me. How did I eventually discover that tactic? I read it in an article. Combine that sort of thing with my belief that making sustained eye contact with anyone will turn me to stone, and you can see why employers used to edge me out as soon as they could figure a way that wouldn’t involve paying me unemployment benefits.

Along with Life Skills, a structured and/or familiar environment helps a great deal, so I know just what to expect. I also have various Rules, so I don’t take forever to make decisions like, Where should I sit on this bus? What color underwear should I put on today? (Although I actually make those particular decisions in the reverse order from the way I just listed them.) (You know, it JUST OCCURRED TO ME that I could solve that one problem by just buying all-white underwear. You learn something new every day!)

Also, here (again from Anonymously Autistic) is an example of how one can “build” small talk “from the ground up,” so to speak.

Well, that was somewhat embarrassing, but I’ll live. Enough about me and why I’m weird. I’ve already dawdled over this post for too long, afflicted with “but what if they don’t want to read about my problems?” Well, if you don’t want to read about my problems, YOU’RE IN THE WRONG PLACE.

WHAT OTHER PROBLEMS DO I HAVE?

I have scratchy glitter on me from carrying Christmas packages. This is not optimum.

BUT LEST YOU THINK ALL I DO IS COMPLAIN…

I’m happy because I discovered rose-scented Vaseline for my lips.

AND, IN THIS SAD AND DESPERATE WORLD, I NOW HAVE A HERO!

“Real-Life Grinch Caught On Video Stabbing Inflatable Snowman.” Yes, Yes, YES!!!

 

 

Day 11: The Holly and the Ivy & Stuff

The weather guy said it was “dreary” again. DIDN’T I JUST COVER THIS GROUND YESTERDAY? It’s like nobody listens to a thing I say.

I looked up the lyrics to the Christmas carol “The Holly and the Ivy,” because all I knew was that it was about holly and ivy, and something to do with the running of the deer. Turns out it’s all about holly, and how holly’s so cool because, Christmas. Not sure why the ivy is even in there. It’s not mentioned after the first line.

S.G.’S 11TH POST, 3/26/13: Holy Week: Moneychangers’ Monday

–I find ways to postpone doing my taxes, and get a ride home from some cop, who threatens not to let me out of the car.

 

Is There Anybody Out There?

…just nod if you can hear me…from somewhere far away, a voice can be heard–“Enough obscure Pink Floyd references!” If I write and no one reads, does this blog exist? “Oh sure, blame the victim, you slacker,” they say, a bit more loudly. Ahem.

SLIGHTLY INCONVENIENCED

Since I have spent most of the last several days blowing my nose, I call to  mind an ancient Egyptian imprecation:

“Begone, thou cold, son of a cold, fall out on the floor and stink, stink, stink!”

I have the feeling that lost something in translation. Or maybe it gained something. At any rate, I have what I consider a Grade 2 cold: bad enough that I considered getting out of bed and trying to sleep sitting up on the couch, to make breathing easier, but mild enough that I fell asleep again before I could implement that plan. Or maybe I just passed out from lack of oxygen.

AN EXERCISE IN SISYPHEAN FUTILITY

–Walgreen’s employees removing Valentine candy from the shelves and replacing it with identical items in Easter packaging. But, as Sartre said (or maybe it was Camus–I get those guys confused, having dropped out of philosophy class before the time came to actually read them), maybe Sisyphus actually enjoyed going back up that hill.

INSERT HOLIDAY HERE

Brought to us by the ever-observant Rom: It’s been much remarked-upon that the word “Christmas” has been replaced in advertising, etc., by “holiday” (they’ll add “winter holiday” if cornered). But now they’ve started saying that bunnies, eggs, etc., are in celebration of “spring,” not “Easter.” Soon summer and fall will start demanding acknowledgement.

SOMETHING I WILL NOT BE TRYING AT HARDEE’S

Bacon Velveeta wrap. Are they trying to make me sick?

ANOTHER OBSCURE REFERENCE

I am using as many italics as Cosmopolitan magazine did when Helen Gurley Brown was editor. And I’m not even sure Google will help you much here.

KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS

A little girl, about 3 or 4 years old, struck up a conversation with the McDonald’s employee mopping the floor near her. “My Nana peed in that bathroom!” Encouraged by the positive response, she added, “And I pooped in that bathroom!” Will wonders never cease.

Nick’s Christmas Special!

I heard a splintering crash, and looked out my front door to see Nick with a fully-decorated Christmas tree in his teeth, shaking it back and forth savagely.

“What are you doing?” I demanded. “And why?”

He dropped it, and stared at me with baleful green eyes. “Waging war on Christmas, obviously.”

“Where did you get that?”

“From my living room.”

“Does your owner know?”

“Obviously not. She’s at work. But She’ll be back soon. That’s why I flew over here.”

“You’ll be in trouble when She finds out.”

“I think not. She always runs out of switches by this time of year. Of course, Santa will bring more on Thursday. But I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it. Or I would, if you’d let me breathe fire.” He glared at me. “Why are you looking at me like that? Next you’ll be telling me Santa isn’t real.”

I decided not to tell him that the police department actually issues the annual supply of switches at the end of the year.

“I wish Santa would bring me lumps of coal instead. Those would be nice and crunchy.” His eyes narrowed. “I should go after Santa, too. But the North Pole is too far away to fly to. I’ll just have to wait..” He grabs hold of the Christmas tree trunk and clamps down, crunching the trunk as if it were, well, a chunk of coal.

“Would you mind telling me what this is all about?”

“Would I mind? Hmm, I’m not sure…”

“Just tell me.” (It always works better if I don’t give him options.)

He sat up. A strand of tinsel was dangling from his ear, making him look less solemn than he doubtless intended. “OK. She was at work, and I finally got tired of looking in the mirror, so I went to look at the TV–” {his owner leaves it on for him while she’s gone, so he’s less likely to get bored and shred the toilet paper, etc.} “–and there was this documentary on about how the Grinch stole Christmas.”

“I’m familiar with it, yes.”

“You are? Then why did you never warn me? You’re supposed to protect me!!” He was getting squeaky-voiced, as he does under stress.

“Well, I last saw it years ago, so you’ll have to tell me.”

He lays his ears back, causing the tinsel to slide off. “The dispatcher training budget leaves something to be desired.”

“As I said, you’ll have to tell me.”

“OK, OK. Now this Grinch had some good ideas. I’ll vote for him if he runs for office–unless Smaug decides to run, of course. But do you remember what they ended up doing in Whoville? What they had for Christmas dinner??” He was getting squeaky-voiced again. I knew better than to mention that beasts don’t have the right to vote.

“They had…”

“Roast beast!! A barbaric custom!! Don’t they know that we’re almost as smart as a human, and have feelings and stuff, and feel pain just like–”

“Shh, shh…” He was trembling violently. Against my better judgement, I reached out and gently ruffled his topknot–the fur was surprisingly fine and soft–and his eyes slowly closed.

“Let me think. I seem to remember someone else who tried roast beast–” he flinched at the very words–“and it didn’t work out well for them. Hmm..I remember! Have you ever heard of ‘Hotel California’?”

“Hm, I don’t think I’ve ever stayed there…Is it in flying distance?”

“No, but I thought you might have seen the documentary on YouTube.”

“No, She won’t let me watch YouTube without supervision.”

“Well, it said, ‘They stabbed it with their steely knives, but they could not kill the beast’! There! They couldn’t kill it! You have nothing to worry about!”

“That sounds good–but, but what about the steely knives?”

“No! You’re covered with scales! The knives would slide right off!”

“That’s true! Except…I had those loose scales last year at this time–” He curved his long neck around to look at his belly, down near–well, near the area that makes it obvious that this particular beast is a male. “No, it looks like they reattached those nice and snug.” He beams. “This is the best Christmas ever! You improved my morale!”

“Excellent. Now fly away home. She’ll be home from work soon.”

“OK. Oh–do you have a Christmas tree I could borrow? Mine is, you know…”

“Sorry, no. You’ll just have to take responsibility for your actions.”

“I’m so tired of hearing that. The next sentence is always something about actions having consequences. I don’t like consequences.”

“Well, I don’t know what to tell you there.”

“You’ll think of something.” He crouches down, springs into the air, and gracefully flies away. Leaving a shredded evergreen in my yard.

For Verily, This Post Be Long

St Romuald

St Romuald (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

Isn’t everyone wondering what I’ve been up to lately? (No, everyone’s wondering why you go on vacation and haven’t managed to post yet, they grumble.) Well, I’m wondering who’s the 1 person who just read 28 posts. Obviously a procrastinator. I hope you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to keep caught up.

CHRISTMAS EVE–I’M HOME AND I’M DEAF

–You people know who you are. And then they breed and it gets even worse.

Rom wore his festive fool’s cap (you know, what the Joker wears in a deck of cards), and then had to explain the historical origins of the fool’s cap to his father. One got a strong sense of “Romuald’s going to stand up and tell the class what’s so funny.”

MY SIREN SONG

–The sirens’ song led men to crash their ships on the rocks, you know.

On Christmas Eve Eve (I think it was; I lose track of time on vacation) (by the way, I got Rom one of those day-of-the-week clocks as a retirement gift, and it’s proven useful to us both), I was singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” (in Latin, no less) as I walked back to the bus stop from Thornton’s. I thought I was safe in doing so, since I was the only pedestrian for miles around, and the motorists all had their windows up. I sure was surprised when a guy came up from behind me and passed me on the sidewalk. I must have been singing too loudly to hear him. Well, I wasn’t going to chicken out at that point, so I kept on singing. When I turned the corner, I glanced back and saw that he was looking around, no doubt wondering, Where did that beautiful music go? Or maybe it was like the way you feel when you stop banging your head.

But what does this have to do with Christmas Eve? they ask. Do you lose your sense of chronological order on vacation as well? Well, SHUT UP AND I’LL TELL YOU! You people are so demanding.

There was caroling at the Christmas Eve gathering, as is customary. (Not door-to-door, at the thought of which one shudders.) Rom’s 2-year-old grandchildren have heard people singing before. But when I added my voice to the chorus, you would think they had not, in fact, heard people singing before. They stared at me with saucer-like eyes, as if they had never heard the like. I’ve never heard a recording of me singing, but I’m guessing I sound a lot like Lou Reed, so perhaps that was the problem.

Over the Expressway and past the woods, back to my house we went (Rom and his grandson both being cranky by then) (usually I’m the first one to start whining about wanting to go home). I ended up playing catch with The Granddaughter. This was apparently unthinkable enough not only to be photographed for Facebook (Look! They’re playing together! Don’t make any sound or the big one will go hide in the bedroom again!), but, again, the child herself appeared to grasp that the situation was unprecedented, and regarded me with delighted surprise–for the next 500 tossings of the ball. My cat is more easily bored. A lot more easily bored, in fact. Esmerelda is on a Grail-quest for the Perfect Cat Toy, which will hold her attention for more than 2 days.

“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BEST THING THAT’S HAPPENED ON YOUR VACATION SO FAR?” Nick, so help me, stop nagging–not to mention boasting–or I will kick you next time. I mean it.

I got Rom and myself a couple of scratch-off lottery tickets for Christmas, as is customary. His was a dud, but I won $50. Now, the spirit of Christmas would dictate that I say, “Here, Creech, take mine instead,” but I’m not that good a Christian. So I went to Thornton’s today to cash it.

I got out of the bathroom (first things first) and went to get a soft drink (second things second), when what to my wondering eyes should appear but Old St. Nick himself, in uniform at long last, fully fitted out with implements, looking all lean and mean and like he considered himself to be a Very Big Deal Indeed. (Of course, the seeming cockiness just serves to conceal the yawning abyss of self-doubt, but we won’t speak of that.)

Now, normally I am always aware of the possibility of running into this beast on days when such a possibility exists. It’s just self-preservation, after all. But apparently visions of $50 were dancing through my head, so I was caught quite off-guard. I concealed it well, though, because bluffing in the presence of police officers is a job skill I learned very early.

As if an order had been given–COMMENCE WHINING!–he said, “Why didn’t Rom bake me Christmas cookies? He knew I was an invalid.” Well, ya know, one’s life decisions come with consequences. Mr. Big Shot chose to leave Dispatch (or did we overpower him and drag him out the door?). You have to work at Dispatch to get Rom’s baked goods, which are the best in existence. That’s just the way it is. Although perhaps, for certain monetary considerations, I might speak to him….

“If you want to kick him, I won’t say anything,” Nick’s fellow officer offered. I seriously entertained the prospect. I mean seriously. The temptation was great. But it would have caused him to lose the respect of onlookers (assuming he had their respect to begin with), so I let him be.

“I can’t give you a ride home tonight. How does that feel?” he said cheerily, as if he wanted to be kicked. I turned my back on him (trusting his fellow officer to restrain him from springing), and started for the bus stop.

 

 

 

 

 

We Wish You a Merry Textmas, and a Drunken New Year

Overheard on the bus: “Well, just tell her the whole thing. Keep sending her text after text after text.”

“But the dumbass took the whole holiday week off.”

“But she’ll have all those messages waiting when she comes back.”

There’s the spirit–holiday harassment. “911? I just came back to work, and someone left me a bunch of threatening texts.”

Ad over the speaker at Walgreen’s: “Shop our selection of wine and beer! You’ll find something to make everybody happy.” Give me enough apple ale, and I’ll certainly be happy. Perhaps too happy.

Speaking of which, I was looking at an article about fashion for holiday parties (because, you know, I have such a hectic round of those), and I thought, as I always think–Sleeveless? Strapless? Backless? Don’t these people understand that Christmas and New Year’s are in winter? Maybe that’s where the beer and wine come in.

Today’s illustration was chosen for its caption–“A windmill of unknown origin and purpose.” Uh, isn’t the purpose of a windmill known and unvarying? Correct me if I’m wrong here. Go ahead, I dare you.

English: A "Windy Thing" With Van A ...

English: A “Windy Thing” With Van A windmill of unknown origin and purpose beside the A684 near Bainbridge. The phrase “Windy Thing” was overheard locally. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crises in Progress

English: Northern curly-tail lizard (Leiocepha...

English: Northern curly-tail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus armouri) in Morikami Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, not really. Someone just wanted to know what the plural of “crisis” is.

BRANDING MYSELF

No, not with a red-hot iron (sorry, Nick, maybe some other time). It’s just that I read that yet another celebrity is starting a “lifestyle brand.” Now, the rationale for the celebrity is obvious–sell as many products as possible. It’s the rationale of the consumer that gets me–“I want my clothes, furniture, everything, to look just like The Celebrity’s.” So you’re saying you have no taste. Not in the usually-taken sense of having bad taste, but having no taste at all. This is a chilling prospect. But I’m as willing to make money off a chilling prospect as the next person (at least I believe so–I don’t think the person sitting next to me has expressed an opinion on the subject). Therefore, I propose the SCRATCHY GLITTER {trademark, copyright, patent pending} brand, featuring, among other things yet-to-be-thought-up:

–rose-scented body wash

–home decor featuring strategic use of spiderwebs (by “strategic,” I mean “not within my reach”)

–glasses, whether you need them or not

–soft stretchy clothes

–a refreshing lack of trendiness.

More to come, as that’s what the Lifestyle concept is all about. But right now I have a pressing errand…

THE DESOLATION OF NICK

“We’re off to seek a lizard,

The horrible lizard named Nick,

Because, because, because, because, BECAUSE–

Because of the terrible things he does!”

….I’m actually by no means certain that Nick is a lizard, although the scaly tail and predilection for burrowing would lead one to think so.

I found him pacing, restless and glittery-eyed. I was armed with his vial of pain pills, which his owner had given me to assist in reasoning with him.

He whirled, his tail knocking several toys to the floor. Luckily, everything in his den is unbreakable, although most objects have been chewed on at one time or other.

“Accursed wretch who troubles my quiet, what is your will?”

“You can skip the ceremonial language. When are you coming back to work? You seem greatly improved.”

“Improved enough to pace my cage! My wings are cramping! I tried chasing my tail, but then I caught it, and the thrill was gone.” He came to a halt before me. “I wasn’t allowed to play in the snow,” he growled.  “The cubs got to do it, but I had to stand and watch.” The faceted eyes were brilliant–in fact, they seemed suspiciously wet.

“Beast, are you crying?”

“No,” he said coldly. “Your eyesight is faulty.” He crouched down. “I’ll take that pain pill now, if you please.”

I toyed with the idea of hand-feeding him, then decided that would be a good way to lose a hand. After all, he looked all too ready to spring. I tossed the pill to him, and he caught it with a snap of teeth. The eyes, normally gleaming with malevolent intelligence, became cloudy and dull as the drug took effect.

“Is everything OK in here?” his owner inquired brightly from the doorway. He stumbled over to her and collapsed at her feet. From this vantage point, I could see that his haunches are, indeed, lightly furred.

She crooned to him. “Don’t worry, I’ll release you soon. Very soon. Maybe for Christmas, how would you like that?”  Watching this tender scene made me wonder–could the best taming method possibly involve kindness and consideration? Surely not!

To be continued…inevitably.

REVENGE OF THE TERRORIST SOFT DRINKS

As I was getting my drink at Phillips yesterday, I leaned over to reach for a cup, and my arm hit the 7Up lever, getting 7Up all over my sleeve. Luckily, my coat is waterproof, and hence sodaproof, so I brushed the droplets off smugly. I became un-smug when I reached work. I set my cup down on the decorative Central Dispatch Wall in front of the building while I fumbled for my key. When I then grabbed for my cup, it almost tipped over. Ironically, while attempting to prevent this, I squeezed it a little too tightly, and my thumb went through the styrofoam {trademark of Sty-Ro-Foam Corporation} and ruptured the cup. Most of the 44oz landed on the ground (squirting like a ruptured artery), but a good shot of icy liquid went up my sleeve, on the inside, where it isn’t waterproof. I am a cup-crushing force to be feared!

Don’t Try This At Home. I Mean It.

Mike Mills (REM)

Mike Mills (REM) (Photo credit: Andrew_D_Hurley)

THE ADVENTURES OF MERCENARY MIKE!

You may remember M.M. because he was the operative (although not the mastermind) behind the Baby Corn Caper. Well, he’s done it again. Items were shoplifted from an area dollar store. The culprits got into their vehicle, and tried to run over the employee confronting them. (I always wonder what people are thinking when they do these things. “SHE’S KEEPING US FROM STEALING–SHE MUST DIE!!” ) But the intrepid, not to say foolhardy, M.M. witnessed this occurrence and phoned in valuable information so that we (by which I mean those who were actually working, Your Humble Narrator being out sick with a persistent headache) could update the officers! You know how we (and by this I mean myself as well this time) always tell people not to follow miscreants just because you have a cell phone? Well, Mike is a professional (and, um, my supervisor), and you’re not, so DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! Or away from home, either.

–911 call overheard from across the room: “Well, if you hit a dog, the dog couldn’t have insurance, and of course a deer wouldn’t either, so there’s no need for a police report.” Although if the deer were to insist, we’d have to send a car.

UNPAID COMMERCIAL ENDORSEMENT

What body wash do two out of–27? 30? just how short-staffed are we at the moment, anyway?–dispatchers use? P.J. and A.J. swear by Olay Age-Defying! We may be aging, but we’re definitely defiant! (In addition, I have an assortment of rose-scented body washes for special occasions, like my days off, which is about as special as my occasions get.) (How often do I have to tell you? You. Need. To. Know.)

Another reason we know that A.J. has exquisite taste is that she told me, “I don’t know if you’re an evil mastermind or a comedic genius.” YES, I’m fishing for compliments. Desperate, pathetic, etc.

HAVE A HOLLY, JOLLY, ETC., WHATEVER

I saw a (lengthy) list of Christmas TV specials. One feature was “Frosty Returns” (FROM THE GRAVE!). The list finished with “How to Survive Christmas,” on Dec. 26, at 2 a.m.

 

World Leader Pretend: That Time of Year

halloween

halloween (Photo credit: BEE FREE – PGrandicelli [the social bee])

Time for what I, as a child, considered the Holy Trinity of Holidays–Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Time, therefore, to review my rules for holiday decorations:

–Halloween: May be put up no earlier than Oct. 1. I admire creativity in this regard, and I appreciate creepiness in general, so knock yourselves out. Things that actually, if momentarily, scare me, or at least startle me, get extra credit points. Ideally, Halloween decorations should be taken down Nov. 1, but there is a 3-day grace period to allow for All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.

–Thanksgiving: I allow a lot of latitude here, because most Thanksgiving decorations are indistinguishable from generalized autumnal decor, which may be put up as early as September 1st, and left up until the first day of winter, if you insist. The one exception is actual turkey-themed items, which have to wait until after Halloween. Naturally, they must be taken down after Thanksgiving itself.

–Christmas: There are lots of abuses here, and therefore many rules. They must be put up AFTER THANKSGIVING, and may remain up until January 6 (12 Days of Christmas, remember?). All-white lights are boring, but tolerable. All-blue lights (my favorite color!) are SUPER-COOL, and to be encouraged. The usual multi-colored scheme, however, is perfectly fine. I prefer displays that are not flashingly frenetic, but I understand that I can’t always get what I want. The two most important rules, however, are:

NO inflatables, and

NO snowmen. Inflatable snowmen are, as I believe I stated last year, not even to be thought of.

I knew it was time to re-post these rules, since I saw my first Christmas items today, at Walgreen’s, jammed in with and crowded out by Halloween ones (“Animated Dancing Reaper!” “Animated Flashing Medusa!” I think I’ll go as Animated Flashing Medusa this year, even though Nick said I should be a wicked witch, in a tone which indicated this would reveal some inner truth about me. Although I think turning people to stone with my gaze is equally plausible. Now if only I could grow some snaky hair.).

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