Most action-packed, dangerous time of the year
Burt's Eye View
Christmas is the most action-packed time of the year.
December is the only month that I’m permitted to handle real tools. True, the tool is only a handsaw. Even at Christmastime, I am forbidden power tools. My sweetie fears she’d lose too much decorating time driving me to the emergency room. Or reattaching the living room to the rest of the house.
That’s a joke, of course. It took only eight hours tops to make repairs after my last, uh, incident.
Some people warm themselves by rereading Christmas cards from years past. I give myself chills rereading emergency room reports, like from the year I cut myself on candy.
Hey, it was sharp-edged rock candy. Christmas candy needs to come with warning labels. A Snickers bar never gave me cause for stitches.
“Whoever heard of someone stabbing themselves with lemon candy?” I muttered while my hand was wrapped.
“Exactly,” my sympathetic family replied. “By the way, no power tools again this year.”
I bought my once-a-year saw about 30 winters ago. Its only purpose is to trim the trunk of the Christmas tree before we plant it inside the house.
Then I string the lights. This is my job because of my special qualifications — I am the tallest. I am the one who can reach the whole tree (except for that year I kept trimming the trunk until we ended up with a table ornament. It’s the only chance I get all year to practice sawing and I did not intend to waste the opportunity).
My motto is there’s always room for one more string of lights. I want to be able to read the fine print on the extension cord warning labels by the glow of my tree — with sunglasses on.
Still, nothing that I’ve juiced beats the year of the smoky angel tree-topper. The golden-haired figure held two candles, one with a blue bulb, the other, green. Both dark. So I dropped white replacement bulbs into plastic candles so that the angel could blaze with light.
“What a realistic effect that curling smoke is. Do we have any hot dogs or marshmallows?”
“Unplug it! Unplug it!”
Kids, volts matter.
Then there was the Christmas mid-morning that I shuffled through wrapping paper in sock feet and stepped on the business end of an action figure accessory.
“Yeow!” I danced on one foot — right onto the same sharp toy.
As I hopped from one foot to the other, the dog scampered figure eights around me, zipping beneath whichever foot happened to be in the air at the moment. Then I tried to hop on the same foot twice. I landed on the dog, who was swirling at roughly 500 mph. This left me doing a perfect impersonation of the Tasmanian devil spin.
I caught the Christmas tree on the fly-by and rode it to the ground in an explosion of lights, smoke and puffs of ornament balls.
It was then that my little girl came rushing into the room. “Daddy! You found Princess Barbie’s tiara! Thanks, Daddy! Bye!”
As she dashed from the room, I groaned, “Tell your mother I took the tree down for her.”
This is why January is the most wonderful, restful and recuperative time of the year.
— Send get-well cards to Cole to firstname.lastname@example.org, on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook, @BurtonWCole on Twitter or in care of the local hospital.