austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Nora's freezin' on the trolley

The holiday season officially began yesterday, when over fifty percent of households possessing Advent Calendars remembered they'd gone over two days without finding and lifting open the little windows. But just because the holiday is well seasoned (we have nutmeg) doesn't mean it's risk-free. The weeks before Christmas bring problems nobody would imagine without prompting. After the dangers are suggested they can crowd out all other thoughts until the thinker is a quivering mass of thoughts about perils, which is part of what makes the season so fun. I mean fun for others.

Consider the Christmas Tree. The season would be nearly unrecognizable without one, and a shocking number of states would lack melodies for Official State Songs, special music patriotically never played or sung, for good reason. Yet they can become menaces, for instance by attracting Druids. A couple gathering to worship in your foyer is pleasant at first, but when they make Flash Druid Mobs or get into chanting you're stuck, especially if they're tone-deaf. And try sneaking presents under the tree. You couldn't get past slipping the desktop calendar in just the spot to have the stand's water spill onto the wrapping before someone catches you at it. But a pack of Druids doesn't litter more frequently than any other group of the same size, so don't worry about that.

The simple way to handle that is to tell a friend, ``Boy, that was a fantastic ancient megalithic henge they opened by the Town Square Mall!'', and have the friend answer, ``Fantastic place, I haven't seen orthostats like that since the last time they opened one. Plus they serve peppermint tea.'' Add a rumor of free wireless and they'd disperse, solving your problem unless you're by the Town Square Mall. If you are send them to the Squankum City Park instead. Yet that carries further risks: what if you don't have a friend? You could deliver both parts of the dialogue, changing your voice. If you're no good at changing your voice? You should include a book on becoming a voice actor on your Christmas list --- but how do you get it under the tree, under the mob's gaze, or unwrap it before the appropriate gift-unwrapping time? This is why it's best to take up voice acting around holidays you don't decorate for, such as Arbor Day or Delaware Return Day. (Note: you do not need to have left Delaware to observe Delaware Return Day. Nor do you need the receipt, but the gift wrapping is nice.)

Whatever that exhausts it's not all the potential risks. One might put up strings of lights. What if they start blinking? What if a strange ionospheric myocardiogram causes the blinking be receiption of Morse Code messages from ships in distress? You might not know Morse Code. Yet Morse Code has not been sanctioned for maritime radio distress signals since 1999 so you are not legally at fault ignoring it. If you are getting someone's Morse Code through your Christmas lights they must be personal messages and if you are not reading them then you show the sort of discretion which makes it safe to let you eavesdrop on other people's conversations. If you want to do something anyway you're to be admired for your public-spiritness. Plus I don't think myocardiograms have anything to do with Christmas lights.

How about considering the risk of falling weights? That's enough considering. You want to handle falling weights instinctively, preferably by dodging. Or just don't let them fall. You can keep your weights from falling by putting some paper over them, which is why you see that so much. Oh, I know why I'm talking about that: if you use a weight to hold a stocking still, and someone tugs the stocking, it might fall, causing serious injury because it's almost impossible to get sympathy for a stocking injury. So instead of weights hold stockings in place using magnets or napping Druids. There's probably also advice for ladders, so if you find someone good with ladders (ask ``how are you with ladders?''; people who say ``yes'' are good or heard the question wrong), best to ask for it.

Trivia: A London fog, mixed with industrial smoke, lasting four days in December 1873 reduced visibility to a few feet, at one point stretched as far as fifty miles from the city, and resulted in the deaths of at least twenty people by drowning; statistical evidence suggests somewhere between 270 and 700 Londoners were killed in it. Source: Coal: A Human History, Barbara Freese.

Currently Reading: Opening Pitch: Professional Baseball's Inaugural Season, 1871, Warren N Wilbert. Bah. I want to read a good book about early baseball. Be better, book, be better! Don't be this sloppy disorganized mess!

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