Longtime veterans of marriage to women know that "today" is the proper answer to such a rhetorical question. What I said was, "Just as soon as I finish killing Herb."
Every neighborhood has a Herb. On my street, it's Herb Mote. Most of the year, Herb is a nice guy. Easy-going and soft-spoken, he loans me tools and helps me fix stuff. But every year, sometime around Thanksgiving, Herb turns into the Antichrist.
Herb is the first guy to put up Christmas lights. To his credit, he does a great job. What the rest of the men on the street can't figure out is why. Not only is Herb's wife much smaller than he is, none of us have ever seen her hit him with anything larger than a crock pot.
Herb dragging lights around on his roof is the first sure sign of Christmas in the Spring Hills subdivision. This wouldn't be a big deal if our wives didn't notice, but they do. Mainly because when he's finally done, Herb's house is so festive that you can see it from Alpha Centauri.
After that, it's nonstop spousal reminders like, "Today would be a good day to put up the lights, dear," and "Let's make Christmas really special this year." While these all sound harmless enough, men know that they are just different ways of saying, "Go up on the roof and hurt yourself."
I didn't always know this. When I was a kid, I believed my mom when she said that Christmas lights were designed to show Santa Claus where to land. After I got married, I believed my dad's shouts from the top of the house, "Lousy #@&*! lights!"
As a veteran Xmas-light guy, I offer this simple checklist as a way of making the job easier.
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© Copyright 1998, The Salt Lake Tribune <http://www.sltrib.com>
Submitted By: Thomas Harold
Dec 21, 1998 16:06