Monday, December 17, 2007

O Fir Tree Plastic

This is the first year I've had a big-girl Christmas tree of my very own that does not involve batteries or for-illegal-drugs-only fiberoptic shifting, so it was important to find the correct one.

By which I mean "made in China." Real trees terrify me; the responsibility is horrific. Last month I dreamed that I had a baby, which I kept in a dresser drawer and never remembered to feed. I woke up deeply concerned that one of my special occasion bras had been pooped in. A live tree, my people, is little more than a twelve-day albatross.

So Josh The Pilot and I, as my German ancestors did, made a traditional Christmas journey to claim a pole of green plastic from a hardware store. Home Depot may have bestowed this terror upon the world, but it also had seven-foot trees for under a hundred bucks. I will forgive any number of outdoor decor crimes if it means more money for merlot.

We made the attempt on a Sunday, directly after church, no stops at the Jesus doughnuts, for we had to return home before the Vice President arrived from the Beltway in our little town. He wasn't coming to see us, which was good, because I hadn't cleaned, but close enough so that his motorcade would clog our hideously quaint one-way streets for miles. When you're racing the Vice President, there's no room for error. He has a helicopter, and guns.

Once the tree was located, I left Josh behind to close the deal while I gathered other Home Depot-related items and ran to the grocery store next door, because if the Vice President swung by anyway, I wanted to at least have crackers. When I left Josh, he was standing at the Customer Service desk holding a credit card. By the time I returned with a paint chip from what passes for the lady aisle in Home Depot, he was alone and sad by the tree display.

"They don't have any more," he said.

"So get the display."

"The guy won't sell me the display."

"Why display it if they don't have any to sell?"

"He said it would throw off the look of the department."

"There's a FOUR-FOOT INFLATABLE SNOWMAN DANGLING OUT OF A TONY STEWART CAR over there, and he comes with a pit crew. A missing tree isn't the issue here."

I went to the grocery.

When I returned, Josh was seated forlornly in his suit and tie on an empty dolly. "It's in stock," he said, "they just have to get to it."

"Is it... still in China?"

"The guy said it was in a warehouse."

"Is he getting it?"

"He needs to find a ladder."

"We're in Home Depot!"

"I said that, and he laughed at me."

I returned to the grocery for merlot.

When I came back, Josh had added a plastic-wrapped ladder to the dolly. "There is now a manager involved."

"Why do you have a ladder?"

"Because I went to the ladder aisle to show the guy that he could just grab one of these, and I remembered that we don't have a ladder either." He pointed to the price tag. "See? Forty percent off."

When the tree at last arrived, as all fine evergreens do, in a cardboard box with a plastic handle, we wheeled it into the parking lot and moved aside all the wine to make way. This involved folding down the back seat as I climbed over it in my skirt and heels to provide counterweight. See, I can be useful.

We were shoving the box into the car when we heard a loud whirring noise from above. We paused.

"What's that?"

I turned around to see, as all Americans dream of seeing, Marine 2 and a military escort bearing down on the Home Depot. "It's Cheney!"

"They're closing the streets! Get the trunk closed!"

I don't live a hugely exciting life, but every now and then it's fun to rum-rush a boxed Christmas tree across an intersection with the Vice President of the United States at the other end of the street.

Tannenbauming at:


Red Pill Junkie said...

The tree is gorgeous you guys, congrats.

I even see it's got a lightsaber-wielding Luke Skywalker, no doubt to fend off any possible attacks from the Grinch... or the Empire ;-)

Amy said...

The tree looks lovely. Happy First Christmas together, MB & JtP.

Daniel said...

Nice job with the tree. It's good to see you guys are getting well settled into our house. I hope we can make it your house soon. I know it will be hard, but I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas without me. And I hope you'll forgive the lack of presents under the tree from me this year and what you have to put the tree in is a big enough present.

P.S. - Watch the wine has a funny way of sneaking up on you...I learned the hard way.

Daniel said...

P.P.S - BTW nice job identifying the #20 car as Tony Stewart. I'm sure JTP is thrilled that you are learning the cars and their drivers.

WiserlemmingAZ said...

Beautiful tree, MB and JTP!!!!!

It's got SNOOPY ornaments!!!!!! I think I even saw Lucy! This confirms what I've known all have exquisite taste!!!

Glad to hear that you were able to get home ahead of the V.P. This Christmas tree fits nicely into your home, as it comes with its very own "you-won't-believe-this" story of how it joined your family!

Ah, if only it could talk.....

LiteraryAlchemist said...

HILARIOUS, MB! Thank you for another great morning laugh.

I wonder, though, could JTB be coaxed into writing up his account of this story? I think they'd go great together ;)

'Til 2012 said...

Yet another reason why I don't dress up for church. My ND hoodie is good enough for God. =)

Tree looks great! Congrats!


Come to think of it, I don't have special occasion undies, either. Unless you count undershirts sans pit stains.

Ophelia said...

Is it sacreligious that one of my good friends tops his tree with Emperor Palpatine? You really have to see it to believe it.

Also, has awesome Star Wars figurine key chains.

Mike Marchand said...

I laughed until eggnog came out of my nose. This is fabulous.

My extended family owned a tree farm for years, but the state bought them out last year so they can expand a highway south of town. My paternal grandmother had a small artificial Christmas tree that very much reminded me of the Christmas stick used in "A Charlie Brown Christmas," but last year my scumbag ex-roommate stole it.

I'd like to have a tree that has meaning to it. This may mean I'm going to go several years without one.

Anonymous said...


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