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Or the Saga of the Crippled Finger and the Unbalanced Butt.

Whichever you prefer.

But I get ahead of myself.

Oh, one second.


The Lord said:

Sherry, your reward shall be great in heaven.”

I trust in the Lord.

Okay, so here’s how this all started.

Late in the day of the day following the Turkey gorge, “there arose such a clatter than we sprang from our chairs to see what was the matter.” We did this since our street is normally a quiet place, a place so untraveled that on occasion the children string a net across the street to play volley ball and can be assured of a full game with no interruptions  by vehicles coming or going.

“When what to our pondering eyes should appear,” or words to that effect, “but neighbors abounding on ladders and so forth, pounding and plucking, and stretching and stringing.”

Yes, here in the fair environs of Las Cruces, it appears a requirement that thou shalt put forth the Christmas decorations before the Thanksgiving weekend is over. So thus were many of our neighbors engaged. We looked upon in wonder as the yard next to ours was encircled by a row of candy canes all alit. Up the driveway careened a line of lollipops. The large window was awash with a cascade of white lights, while in front, a fully blow-up version of the nativity waved gently in the breeze. Upon the sweet face of Mary I saw some alarm as next to her, overseeing the manger was a very large and corpulent Frosty the Snowman.

The state motto might well be changed from Land of Enchantment to Land of Mixed Metaphor. But I digress.

Across the way we saw a more fashionable display of red and green light fixtures unencumbered by elves, sleighs or other paraphernalia. The garage night lights were alternately green and red. I do question the massive red light directly over the front door. In some parts of town one might expect a line of slightly aging men to be apparent, but of course not here.

At the corner, our neighbor Tim had a nicely lit blue tree, a row of red ducks with ribboned necks, and a host of santas lining the sidewalk while snowflakes dotted the gravel in the front, all overseen by a sleigh and a deer, empty sadly of either the jolly man himself or any presents.

So it was clear we must SHOP soon!

On yesterday, called Monday by most, but by me, the hell day, we gathered ourselves together for a trek to K-Mart and Lowe’s in the hopes of finding a tree and ornaments, but of course now the need was obvious–we needs make our own neighborly statement. We must show our solidarity with Christmas. We must plaster our yard with gaud and bauble. We must most of all, not be last to decorate.

So, as I said, we were on the way.

Before we rode out of sight, I heard him exclaim:

“For what earthly reason would anyone do this? I mean can it really be cheaper? A small piece of material like that? I ask you?”

“What on New Mexico’s brown desert are you talking about, DEAR?” I mewed.

“The makers of these damn pants,” he exclaimed.

“What’s wrong with your pants, dear?” I mused. (I use the term dear a good deal as it calms things down at a time like this.)

“There is no LEFT back pocket!” he shouts with consternation. “I didn’t realize it until we got in the car. This is a total mess.”

“Is there a RIGHT back pocket, dear?” I queried.

“Yes, but that is worthless! Why would they do this?” It was now a whimper.

“You have a pocket, in fact you have many pockets. Two in your hoodie if I’m not mistaken. Plus three in your pants. That gives you five to choose from if my math is still good.” I sighed, and then looked forth upon the land to see if I was still firmly planted on Planet Earth.

“But it needs to be on the left side. I ALWAYS put my wallet in my left back pocket. My butt is uneven now, and my back is killing me. I’m unbalanced!” he groaned.

“Many would agree with you there, dear.” I smiled softly, but to myself.  “I suppose I could put a pea on the floor under the bed, and you would tell me about it the next morning too.”

“Pea? Why would you put a pea under the bed? But you could be more careful with the dust bunnies under there. The lumps are getting a bit hard to take.” he proffered.

I sighed.

We shopped.

At Lowe’s he called me on my cell phone.

“Where are you?”

“Back in the bathroom fixtures area looking for those non-skid stickers for the tub,” I said.


“Okay, I’ll meet you at the front.” he said.

“Okay, I’ll be there in a second,” I promised.

A few minutes later, the cashier asks, “did you find everything you were looking for sir?”

“Everything but my wife,” he chortled.

The clerk laughed. I hit him over the head with a roll of wrapping paper.

Back in the car we are headed to Burger Time to pick up dinner.

We order and the lady says, “that will be $19.45, sir.”

He reaches, and digs and digs, and digs.

“Oh good God, do you see how hard this is to get my wallet from my RIGHT back pocket–I”m forced to use my right hand, with my crippled finger! Oh, and my back, the pain has traveled clear up my spine. I’m in agony.”

The lady looks a bit frightened and backs slightly away.

“Oh good grief, pay the woman!”

“Y0u have no idea the pain I’m in. I’ve had more than 50 years of my left butt cheek slightly elevated from the right. To turn it upside down at my age, well, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, or YOU. Thanks for your sympathy, me and my crippled finger that had the tendon sliced nearly 35 years ago, or maybe even more. Never healed properly, still pains me at night. Women don’t have a sympathetic bone in their bodies I tell ya.”

We got home.

We ate.

We now have two grazing lighted deer, and a twig tree and a wreath and a window covered in lights.

We are no longer the pariah of the neighborhood. We have seen the light.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.