19.12.06

Caroline Area Man Saves Christmas!



This began as a meme bound email and grew into a blazing wild fire out of control so it must be allowed to spread further, like the plague and potato famine (just happier) to the internet.

Here is an indepth account of how Caroline Area Man saved Christmas.


***

So Father, being the bargain finder that he is, found a $10 fake tree last boxing day. So he scooped it up and no more would the family have to freeze their ears, noses and throats in pursuit of that one lonely tree that never looks as good in the house all maimed and mangled as it did with it's brother's and sister's in its home. Phew. But this tree was in a box, and in pieces, many of them. Now, Mother and Caroline Area Man had never assembled a tree before. Not even once. So this was quite the arduous task. There were a lot of pieces and a lot of Caroline Area Man complaining incessantly about how much it sucked all the way around all the way through. Needless to say, after they trudged through the harrowing assembly, attached to how dubious as they were at the outset, they were not impressed with the final product. Rather than allowing a few minutes for cooler heads to prevail and such, it was decided that this tree simply would not do in the face of age old tradition of sweeping up needles and having a progressively browner and brittler tree to play defence for road hockey until late April. So a call was made and Father delivered a real live (once upon a time) store parking lot bought tree. Christmas was saved!

Saved until the real tree was unraveled to reveal some gawd awful sort of thing that might pass mustard in the bald headed prairies where so much as a branch can fetch a pretty penny. But this ain't the prairies. Sure it might look flat if you hold your head the right way (east), but there are always mountains looking over your shoulder and trees blocking your view of good forests out here. Caroline Area Man and his family are backwoods forest people of the foothills of west-central Alberta. A misshapen mangled mess in the corner of the living room with no boughs below the middle and what appears to be cancerous growths here and there simply will not do. Not at all! Christmas was ruined, or on the verge of it, once again. But, alas, that fake tree that simply didn't pass mustard a few hours earlier was sure looking better and better all the time.

So Mother and Father fled the scene to go and find solace in office Christmas parties and such, so something needed to be done. Something drastic. My friends, Christmas needed to be saved. Nothing more, nothing less. As the song says, all we need(ed) (was) a miracle. Well, Caroline Area Man to the rescue!

What is better than one fake looking fake tree (think Garfield-esque) and one real ugly real tree (think Charlie Brown)? Well one fake looking fake tree and one real ugly real tree in the same room! That's right! TWO TREES! SAME ROOM! GASP!

The fake looking fake tree became the Boy's Tree. Behing that he is a boy, Caroline Area Man paid special heed to it. He gave it all the tender loving care that he could muster. And boy did he muster. Amidst the confusion, 300 lights were found. That is 3 33ft strings of little blue lights. That is enough lights to cover 6 trees at least. That is enough lights to reach the top of the Calgary Tower (assuming you start in the revolving restaurant). That is an awful lot of lights for one rather small fake looking fake tree. But darnit, Christmas needed saving! And what do people like more than lights? More lights! More lights than is reasonable, or safe even. So Caroline Area Man plastered that fake looking fake tree with so many lights it didn't even know what hit it. (It is a fake tree so it wouldn't have known regardless. But that is neither here nor there).

Lights alone cannot save Christmas, and since it is the Boy's Tree it needed some characteristic boys touches. Sure the over abundance of lights immediately shouts TESTOSTERONE, but where was the masculine subtlety? You know, those small touches that you need to crane your eyes and squint your neck to notice, but are really the defining characteristic of all that is maleness. Male essence, so to speak. (I bet you $1 that you are thinking about B.O. and dirty fingernails, and swearing every-other fucking sentence, and dirty laundry strewn accross the floor, and grunting at the sight of hockey fights, and all of that, but those aren't the sort of subtleties I had in mind, honest.) What does man love more than candy and hockey? Women of course. But this is a kid's show, and a kid's tree, so Caroline Area Man went for the other 2 favourites. If that tree was surprised when it was smacked with 300 lights, it was likely floored when it was smashed with 4 dozen candy canes. That is right. Old ones, new ones, broken ones, mint ones, blue ones, white ones, candy canes found amongst the mouse shit and discarded, disgraced, and forgotten decorations fashioned with white glue and popsicle sticks in elementary school by a young Caroline Area Man--more candy canes than you could shake a stick at. Were you one to shake sticks at candy canes that is.

The Boy's Tree was nearly perfect. Nearly, but not quite. It was missing those final touches that would take it from sweet and adorable, or even "cute" (shudder) to fucking awesome! The answer was simple. It simply needed more hockey! So to the rescue came a fist full (50 or so) shimmering holographic MacDonalds hockey cards from the 1999 edition. Wayne Gretzky at the top, others below. It was magnificent. The blue lights shone all shiney and shimmery off the glowing silver of the cards. It was almost as beautiful as watching the Great One deke out the goalie. Yes, I will say it, it was that brilliant!

But, it could still be better. It needed an angel. A star. it needed a topper to top it all off like a sundae needs its cherry and a sandwich needs its dill pickle. Caroline Area Man attempted, and failed, to fix a special edition 2002 Owen Nolan team Canada bobble-head to the top of the fake looking fake tree. But this tree is faker than Santa Claus and folded under the pressure. It simply could not support a hefty Owen Nolan bobble-head scotch-taped to a toilet paper tube. It was just too much for the fake looking fake tree to bear. So Caroline Area Man's plan was reconsidered. Back to the drawing board, as that one Stooges cartoon on that one Stooges tape he got that one Christmas tells you. And what he came up with was sooo inspired, soooo breathtaking, soooo brilliant, it was simply breath-takingly brilliantly inspirational.

MacDonalds, at one point in its history, sold mini jerseys of various NHL players. And Caroline Area Man's father, as he has the propensity to do, bought them all, at once, to the odd looks of he 16 year old working the drive through. So Caroline Area Man dug though his closest and found an assortment. Mats Sudin of the Leafs, Jerome Iginla of the Flames, Steve Yzerman of the Wings, Daniel Alferdsson of the Sens. But none of these were right. They all lacked a certain "je ne sais quoi". But then, there it was, as though placed there by the hand of God himself (or a 17 year-old Caroline Area Man 5 years earlier), Ryan Smith of the Oilers. THE OILERS! It was perfect. The blue. The bronze. The gold. It was tidings. It was joy. IT WAS TIDINGS OF JOY! He carefully placed the tiny jersey over the toilet paper tube that had previously found itself affixed with scotch tape to Owen Nolan's backside. He carefully pulled a lone blue light out the neck hole. And now, atop the most magnificent tree you have ever seen there is a headless hockey jersey with a lone blue light. If you look at it right, and allow the whole scene to take your breath away, as it will, it looks like Gretzky himself crowned the tree perfect. That's what it is. Perfect.

But it didn't stop there, oh no!

There was still that real ugly real Girl's Tree in the opposite corner of the ever shrinking room. It was real ugly. Far worse than Cinderella could ever imagine. It looked like the ugly step sisters beat the crap our of one another with lead pipes and two-by-fours and then morphed into one hideous being to try and seduce the prince, only to make him puke and renounce his name and become the Prince formerly known as Prince and go by this funky symbol that looked like the dog's breakfast with a side of hashbrowns. Yes, it was that bad.

But the magical fairy god mother sat on a chair and barked orders at her noble servant boy (Caroline Area Man) to put this chunk of this there and that chunk of that here and so-on-and-so-forth. There were pink lights (obviously!). Silver bells. Silver balls. Silver hearts. Silver swirly thingys. Silver tinsle. And anything else silver that could be found. When all was said and done, there was enough crap strewn about that tree to rightfully cover three trees (at least). But this was not in the macho-manly-randy-savagely way that the Boy's Tree was decked out with too many lights, and too many candy canes, and too many hockey cards, and too much perfection. All the silver bells, and silver balls, and silver hearts, and silver swirlly thingys, and silver tinsel were a vane attempt to cover up the tumour-like appearance of the real ugly real tree.

There came to be so much silver the real ugly real tree became mirror-like. Like Snow White's magic mirror. Were the Magic Mirror a gargantuan green glob of grotesque acid rain induced forest abortion plastered in more plastic silver than you would find at a Seigfreid and Roy show, with adorable pink lights (only 50 of them) as accents.

I am sure there is some morale to some Fairy Tale buried in this story of the real ugly real Girl's Tree. There likely is. But I fear that it is probably not as uplifting as Cinderella (you can't hide hot), or Snow White (something freaky about a girl living with 7 dwarves), or Little Red Riding Hood (dogs are bad), or even the Ugly Duckling (ducks are bad). I fear that the morale is something along the lines of you can't hide ugly, or girls are bad, or something like that. I just pray that the little children who see it remain little enough through this Christmas season not to notice the pink and silver travesty that is the Girl's Tree.

Our tale of Christmas magic wrought by Caroline Area Man does not stop at the Two Tree Room. Oh no!

There was a cold dark night when Caroline Area Man and his family were returning from an outing to this place or that. Upon dropping Baby and Baby's Mother off at their abode it was noted that there were no colourful Christmas lights to be seen in the yard, on the house, in the window, or anywhere! (There was a tree in the house, decorated beautifully (not boy beautiful mind you), had been there for weeks). So Father and uncle Caroline Area Man quickly found a string of a few lights, and fixed them on the fence, and they shone like colourful stars in heaven, if stars in heaven were colourful and not just shiney. Santa needed landing lights you see, otherwise Baby might miss out on all the joy that creepy old man brings down the chimney with him.

These lights delighted Baby and Baby's Mother and Baby's Father very much. They longed for more. If there were only more. MORE!!!

The next day Caroline Area Man trudged out to one of the many sheds and found all the old, broken, burnt out, deemed unsafe by the CSA, recalled, banned, condemned, and whatnot lights that he could. He hauled two giant boxes, both weighing more than he (he is VERY STRONG!), to his truck and hauled them over to Baby's house.

Upon knocking thrice upon the door, Caroline Area Man discovered that no one was home at Baby's. Who was he to share the gift of light with? More importantly, who was going to tell him where precisely they wanted each light placed in order to look the most magnificent? In order to look most like the Boy's Tree?

Well, no one was home, that was too bad for them, Caroline Area Man decided to freestyle.

He plastered the fence with lights. It was no longer a fence, it was just lights. Then, when that wasn't enough, he hastily ('twas cold you see) threw lights on the lone tree in the drive way, it looked like hell but shone like heaven, so it would do. Not to mention that he couldn't get them down again.

There were still lights left over. Many. So Caroline Area Man looked at the deck. A marvellous place for lights. Well, perhaps not marvellous as much as logical, or even sane. But NO! Caroline Area Man was there to save Christmas! And darnit, a few lights on a deck just wasn't going to do it. He was stuck. Christmas began to slowly circle as it began to wash down the drain to sucksville. BUT WAIT! What was that that should appear in the corner of the yard, out for the whole world to see? Well what is that other than a gross rusty green grain wagon! Now that WAS marvellous. Caroline Area Man put as many lights as the gross rusty green grain wagon could bear from top to trough. It shone like a jewel! Or like a rusty piece of shitty farm junk with a few broken christmas lights on it. You say "rusty piece of shit farm junk with a few broken christmas lights on it", I say "jewel." Potato, pototo.

Was that enough to save Christmas? LORD NO! There needed to be more. MORE! How would Santa know where to land his sleigh? HOW WOULD HE KNOW?!? Caroline Area Man returned to one of the sheds. This shed was gaurded by several evil horses and mountains of their refuse, if you know what I mean (I mean poo). Caroline Area Man sneaked past the evil horses and scaled the shit mountains to find his way into a shed that was full to the brim with homeless couches and old washing machines and buckets of bolts, nuts, odds, and ends. There was hardly enough room for a mouse, let alone a big and strong hero such as Caroline Area Man.

But Caroline Area Man fought, and clawed, and scratched and fought his way through the mess of washers and couches and nuts and bolts to find what it was he was looking for. There he was! Rejected, disused, forgotten. There he was! Santa Claus! Or, more accurately, a life sized plywood cut out of a 1940s era coca-cola Santa Claus (sans coca-cola). He was faded. He was wrinkled. He hadn't seen the light of day since 1976. He hadn't made a child smile since well before then. His time had passed. He was beautiful. He was glorious. HE COULD SAVE CHRISTMAS!

Caroline Area Man had to battle tooth and nail with an old dryer, two microwave ovens, a bed frame, and a box full of plates to free Santa. After much swearing, scowling, punching, kicking, screaming, crying, and throwing of shit all about the shed, Caroline Area Man finally released Santa. On top of which, Santa only suffered one broken toe, nothing that an air nailer and about 50 nails wouldn't make as good as new.

It was not long before Caroline Area Man had loaded Santa on to the roof of his truck and had driven him to his temporary home (until his is returned to the evil horse shed) in Baby's magical light kingdom.

But, Caroline Area Man was puzzled. Where does Santa belong? Where should Santa stand to show the way? The Christmas way. The wrong placement could ruin Christmas, so this decision was critical. In the end there was no great ordeal after all. With several extra feet of extension cord that was left over from lighting up the hunk-o-junk farm crap in the corner of the yard Caroline Area Man lashed Santa to the tree that had several strings of light thrown willy-nilly upon it (as though the dog barked up some lights along with his breakfast). Now Santa was a grinning, jolly, rosey-cheeked Christmas hostage, tied to the tree in the front yard. No matter what might come. Theives, hurricanes, worse, Santa wasn't going anywhere. And to be sure he was noticed by all, Caroline Area Man found a bright spot light to shine right in his eyes. It was perfect. It was magic. It was Christmas Magic, and then some!

The evidence:

LtoR: Boy's Tree by day; Boy's Tree by night; Girl's Abomination by day; Girl's Tree by night.


***

Addendum: Sometime later, under the cover of darkness, and due to a gate left gaping brother-in-law found himslef standing bedecked in only his drawers standing outdoors in a puddle of melted snow. Between the thousands of unsafe old lights and the nearly-naked grounding between the man who married my sister and the sidewalk I helped construct, there occurred minor electocution.
Caroline Area Man will take responsibility for the hilarity of the image in your mind at the moment, but not, under any circumstances, will Caroline Area Man take any responsibility for nearly naked near deaths caused by the holiday cheer in luminous light form strewn about page wire fences with little foresight, insight, hindsight, only volts, amperes, and watts. Apologies for unintended consequences of any of the past, present, or futuristic heroic forays into anything imaginable or otherwise by Caroline Area Man. Happy New Year! (01.01.07)

2 comments:

Tam319 said...

Now its time for Baby's Mama's side of the story.

Yes, I am afraid that it is all true. Every word of it. And the Boy's Tree IS spectacular. There is no denying it. Sorry Mom, but I've got to side with Morgy on this one. You just can't beat an Oilers sweater on a tp role with a bunchh of silver Ikea junk and a misshapen tree that has the physique of Dr. Phil in a Moo Moo. Yes, that "real" tree is quite hideous.

Now on to the wintery fairyland that hath become my yard. Baby and I were out and about last week. We didn't make it home til dark. As we pulled off of the highway onto the gravel I noticed a bright glow to the southeast. "Hmmmmmm," methinks, "The new neighbours musta jazzed up their shitbox trailer". Please note that I was approx. 3 miles away at the time. Imagine my horror and disbelief as I drive closer and realize that the gawdy glow is MY house. What the hell!! There are lights EVERYWHERE. You can no longer see the fence, nor anything behind it for the garish weave of multicoloured lights. And for some reason only one small 10 foot panel of the 100 odd feet of lights is blinking. The tree has a few lights spewed haphazardly on the bottom branches in an abstract and highly artistic fashion. Santa...poor Santa. There he is lashed to the tree via multiple wraps of extension cord around the ankles and hands. He is tilted at a jaunty ankles with a massive floodlight blaring him straight in the retinas. It looks like the scene of an interrogation. Alas!! The piece de resistance!! The junky old crap heap of a grain wagon is beaming with enough lights to send signals to outer space. Von Hollen's BE DAMNED. I was really pissed to find that Father and Husband had relocated this ancient green rusting relic, freshly filled with pig feed, into our yard. Are we competing with the new neighbours in the field of gaudiness and ultimate junk-heap-creation? I was a wee bit grumpy about that ugly piece o' shite taking up the Camaro's recent vacant spot (Oh Lord, we are rednecks)...but when I saw it covered in festive lights that was the last straw. I felt a gutteral laughing building within. You know the kind. The Grampa Gordo tongue-stuck-out-like-a-lizard-with-a-seizure-whole-body-guffaw. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I could not catch my breath, see straight or steer. I am rounding the corner into our yard and laughing so hard I cannot function. So yes, while Caroline Area Man may have saved Christmas he almost did Baby and I in when we were veering haphazardly around on the road trying not to hyperventilate in fits of hearty chuckles at the sight of the ultimate tribute and everlasting symbol of Ravenwood Ranch pride. Well done, well done. Next time, however, please think SAFETY FIRST.

Love,
Baby's Mama
Today's Adventure:
"Socks away, socks away, socks away in the basket please".
"You paid $118 for THAT?"

Tricia said...

Sweet Jesus, did it take you three hours to type The Story of the Hideous Trees and Hellish Lights? Anyway, Boys' Tree looks sexy. Good job.