Monday, December 3, 2018

ROBBLOG #755- I'm Ready For My Lights Mr. DeMille

Beware pre-lit Holiday Trees.

The warning is not unlike that placed before Caesar centuries ago.
Beware the Ides of March.

Don't speed up the Island Highway either but mostly beware the Ides.
Here in the Holiday Season in the year of the Big Guy 2018- who may or may not be real based on whether you do or do not believe in fairy tales, I now say to you "Beware of items of Christmas that are decorated with strings of pre-lit lights."

It all started a few years back when I bought an outdoor artificial tree in a pot and in a box from Costco. Pre-lit with 200 lights and stuck in a decorative pot. Computer says "What's not to like?
It looked quite pretty and just a simple plug-in installation for instant gratification.
It was reasonably priced. 
It would save time so-
I took it home.
I removed the tree from the box. Plugged it in and voila- instant light.

That lasted for a few weeks until one evening 100 lights went dark. I tried everything.
I replaced a bulb or two. I jiggled strings- and I swore.
Nothing worked.
I swore again- Cheese and Crackers!!

Finally, in desperation, I removed all the lights. A mighty big job. The strings must have been wound round the branches by a machine somewhere in mainland China where the tree was made.
They were tightly wrapped and it took longer to unwind and remove the blinking lights than the entire process of buying the tree, removing it from its cardboard container and plugging it in- combined!

A few years later, I was cursed with the same problem.
Geeze and Ice!
I had plugged in a wire reindeer lit with clear LED lights and half of the bulbs didn't work. I jiggled a cord and replaced a bulb and the string finally sparked to life.
Holiday luck!

Then, another dark, unlit cloud appeared.
The following year, I bought two Canada Geese from Wal*Mart. They were constructed of white wire and each was wrapped in a hundred LED mini-lights. I just had to take them from the box and plug them in.
How delightful!
One goose was fine but the gander- designed with wings spread wide as if it's about to take flight, not so much. The body was well-lit but the wings were dark. 
*;*^%$ !!!
Before we moved to the Island in 2017 I gave the geese to a happy neighbour.
I can hear them cursing all the way out here on the Island.

Move forward a year or two...
I decided to set up one of a half dozen artificial spruce trees I had in storage. This particular tree was bought well after Boxing Day a few years ago. I bought it for 10 bucks. It was pre-lit with 400 lights and I had only used it twice if memory serves.
I dragged it into the house from the garage, took the bottom portion from the storage box and carefully folded the branches down.
I plugged it in.
It worked.

Next, I took the middle section out of the big, brown tree box.
Repeated the process and there was light!
Finally the top of the tree.
I folded down the branches and "fluffed" them. By the way, that's the term one uses when setting up a fake tree and pulling down the branches.
One "fluffs" the branches so the tree looks alive and life-like. 
The same technique is used in the porn industry when the young men can't ~ahem~ rise to the occasion. Do NOT ask me how I know that is called fluffing but I do know a large peacock feather is used. You know, the kind once stuck into those Robin Hood type hats they sold at the Exhibition back in the early 1960's.

OK. It's not a peacock feather but you get the idea!
Fluffing completed, I plugged it in.
I jiggled some lights.
Dark on top, yet the bottom two thirds of the tree sparkled away.
I was ready to spit! No amount of fluffing would have made this stiff little problem go away.

With a minimum of swearing and a maximum of deep breaths, I took the tree apart.
Placed it in it's box.
Taped it closed and put it in the "Take to Goodwill pile".

Now, one would think all my bad light-luck was behind me.
Well, one would be wrong.
I brought in a slender slim-line tree next. 
200 lights. 
I plugged it in.
Mother Fudrucker's Farm!!
One set is dark.
I can't %;%$$%# believe it!

Calmly, I walked to the kitchen.
I opened the junk drawer and took out a pair of needle-nosed pliers.
I returned to the tree and cut the string of offending lights in 3 or 4 places.
I RIPPED them from the branches and threw the pile of wire and mis-firing lights into the garbage.
Now that felt good!
I smiled a sneer-like Grinchy smile.
Jim Carry would be proud.

Off I went upstairs and dug deep in my special Christmas cupboard.
I took out a new box of 100 mini lights and returned to wrap the tree. 
Easy as mincemeat pie!
I plugged them in and there was light!
Miracle of Miracles!
Santa- I believe!

Dear Readers, there is indeed a morale to this story.
Oh, nothing poetic just a caution when one purchases a pre-lit anything:

"Darkness lurks amid the presence of light."


  1. We left the old Lights on and wrapped new ones around the Tree and voila it worked. This was on our old Tree. The new one this Year seem to work well...good Luck Boys

  2. Murphy's Law................Buy cheap unlit trees and cheap strings of lights and plan on buying more lights after Xmas, to have as handy replacements; for the next year. LOL Love you all. xx