Want to know how your guarantee yourself a shitty Christmas tree this season? Go shopping for one in three degree weather.
Julia chanted this forty or fifty times as we walked to catch up to Deb and Allie. They were ahead of us checking out the selection of $12 trees that this particular lot uses to lure in holiday bargain hunters. Occasionally, if you’re willing to look long and hard, you can find a decent tree here. Unfortunately three degrees means none of us were willing to sort through the freeze-dried, dyed-green, tumbleweeds.
The girls looked miserable. Deb’s nose was beyond rosy and Allie and Julia’s cheeks looked as if they had been rubbed raw then shellacked. “Isn’t this fun?” I asked. All three quickly replied, “No.”
As we got deeper into the lot Deb found a little frazier fir for $25. It was short and narrow. “How about this one?” she begged. As soon as she designated her choice Deb whined a little and fled with Julia into a building where they make wreaths and take your money.
I asked Allie if she liked the tree. She said she didn’t. “Well, let’s go look over here for a better one,” I said and started walking away from Deb’s choice.
“Daddy, I’m freezing.” Allie said.
“Come on, don’t be a baby.”
“I don’t want to look anymore.”
“Do you like this tree?”
“Then let’s go find a good one.”
I left Allie standing there and took about twenty steps away from her to look for another tree. It only took twenty steps to realize I no longer cared what tree we got as the three degree weather was frosting my nuts. So I walked back and grabbed the little tree without saying a word to Allie and she didn’t say a word to me.
While Deb paid $25 I threw the frozen fir into the trunk of the Mazda. I used bungee cords to secure the trunk lid. As I pulled one of the cords to attach it to the car’s bumper it snapped back and thunked me in the forehead. Fuckin’ cocksucker motherfucker! The other people in the lot looked my way as I held my forehead and grimaced at them. “I could’ve lost my damn eye,” I said out loud as I tried to reattach the cord. I really don’t think anyone who heard all this cared; but I thought they should know.
So Christmas has officially begun despite the fact our tree hasn’t made it to the living room yet. It’s in the garage. It might stay there for a while. At least until the bump on my forehead goes away.