1. Dress unusually whiny children to go get Christmas tree.
2. Watch nubile high school girls put tree on car roof. Feel old when they say "sir."
3. Try to get tree off of minivan roof. Turn ankle and fall, causing rebar stand to leave two-foot scratch across hood of minivan. Wife's minivan.
4. Open wallet, look at cash, contemplate how far away could get on that much cash.
5. Haul tree into house. Move tree approximately three billion times until it is as precisely positioned as a NASA satellite dish.
6. While wife and kids drink hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music and decorate tree, go outside to put up lights.
7. Be reminded of defect in ladder by ladder falling. Hang from eaves for several seconds. Drop into unforgiving hedge.
8. Sit, pull leaves out of pants. Curse.
9. Put up lights. Trick is to make lines of lights going in two directions on roof and three directions on hedges have plugs all come to central point. Recognize reason for being a lawyer and not electrician.
10. Clean up. Take children to Travel Town in Griffith Park for Train to North Pole.
11. Wait in ticket line with antsy children.
12. Wait in get-into-park line with manic children.
13. Wait in line onto train with children now moving so fast that they appear to be in two places at once, like Picard maneuver or displacer beast.
14. Cram self into train designed for anorexic halflings. Heart races when seem to come under heavy fire; somewhat relieved to determine that is only sound of knees popping.
15. Train starts. Attempt to breathe as terrified daughter clings to neck. Pressure on jugular causes lightheadedness and temporary euphoria.
16. Arrive (about 75 yards away) at extremely vulgar North Pole. Get in line of kids being Bataan-death-marched to sit on Santa's lap. Learn to walk with terrified kids clinging to me like living leg warmers.
17. Take pictures of screaming children in Santa's lap. Pay careful attention to focus, proportion, and framing, as want work to look good when used as exhibit in eventual court proceedings.
18. Unwrap candy canes for children, watch children commence to make entire world sticky.
19. Take train back. More knee-popping live fire. More neck-clutching. Rather peaceful this time.
20. Take children to restaurant. Have discussion with screaming child about whether she is allowed to pick her nose and eat it in restaurant. (No.) Eat South Beach approved dinner while wife has lobster fettucine, children have succulent fried shrimp and french fries, and guy at next table has 3 cold, fosty pints of what looked like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Bah freaking humbug.
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