Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Padre Mickey's Dance Party: Reaching New Heights in Boredom: Happy Holidays Edition

It's true that I pander to my audience; how else can one explain Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging? If I run late and don't post before 7:00 p.m. I start receiving grumpy emails from people going through "shriek" withdrawls. But I also like to test my audience, writing long posts about saints and throwing in the occasional rude comment about a character in the story just to see if anyone actually reads the entire post (Aghaveagh ALWAYS reads the entire post and comments on the little nasties! Quit whining, I know you do, too). Today we will really test you with the Fake Christmas Tree Assembly Post.

When we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, well, when we lived in the South Bay, we always went on the Family Christmas Tree Hunt, which is quite similar to the Family Pumpkin hunt which I described in October, illustrated with photos of the World's Most Beautiful Granchile™. All my siblings and my nieces and nephews and the Lovely Mona and Tara and Anne and I and my folks would all pile into station wagons and head for the Santa Cruz mountains, where we would visit the Christmas Tree Farm on Black Mountain Road. My mother was a member of the Flower Guild, so she was assigned to find two trees for their church, in addition to the tree for mom and dad. The rest of us were hunting for our own trees. Just as with Pumpkin Hunting, no weapons are necessary, as tree are even less inclined to run away than are pumpkins. The process is simple: hike all over the dang farm, looking at trees and hollering at the little ones. If you find a tree you like, assign a child to stand there, while you go and look for something better. Once all the children are lost, go looking for them and finally settle on one of those trees. Pull out the saw, attempt to saw down the tree while everyone advises you and you return the favor when it's their turn. Drag the trees to the cars, complaining that the best trees are always seventy miles from the parking lot. Tie the trees to the cars and head back down the hills into the valley. Spend your time at home pondering the mysteries of Pine Sap and how you will ever get it off of your hands. When we lived in Berkeley we drove to the Tree Lot and paid way too much for a tree.

One may purchase Christmas Trees here in Panamá, usually at El Rey, the supermarket, as illustrated at Tía Sue’s Blog. The trees come from Canada, and I think that they are way too dry (Tía Sue and I disagree on this point and discuss it every year. That's how it is with family), and when we lived in Paraíso on the edge of the Tropical Forest, I just couldn't bring myself to drag a dying tree into the house. So, I bought an artificial tree at the Do-it Center. No fresh pine scent, but no sticky pine sap, either! It can't be too bad a tree; when Oonie and Kenny were staying with us their kitties would sit in the tree. Yeah, I know, we could have a Living Tree and move it back outside, but the Lovely Mona is a vegetarian, and plants don't do well in the houses of vegetarians, probably because they are afraid they will be eaten. Plus, I don't wanna have a live tree in the house, so there! I likes it the fake tree 'cuz I haven't had to buy a tree in ages. Of course, it will stay here if and when we return to the U.S., but for right now it works fine. And now, a Photo Essay on the Assembly of The Artificial Christmas Tree. Remember, this is taking place in the Tropics, so the floor fan is a very important aspect of the entire operation.

Fake branches strewn across the floor. As you can see, this is a delicate operation, and that is why Señorita Chompita Wiggletail is supervising.

We start with the Pole and first layer of "branches"

The Second layer of "branches"

The Third and Fourth Layers have been attached

We're almost there!

Finished! A completed tree and its biggest fan

Throw the lights on it! Chompita (seen in the background) and I have done our part; now the Lovely Mona must adorn the tree with our Delightful Christmas Ornaments

Oooo, Christmasy! But not all of the lights work. Oh well, I guess we'll wait for a Christmas Miracle

Here Endeth The Boring Post
Thanks be to God!


MadPriest said...

Any chance on a feature on putting up the Christmas cards? There's still a part of my brain that isn't completely numb. Shriek!

Padre Mickey said...

Tomorrow we're going to build the nacimiento, or creche, and I'll put up photos of each step in the process. That should put you into a stupor.

Paul said...

There is a very simple solution to pine sap. Butter. Apply butter to dissolve the pitch. Apply soap to remove the butter. Works like a charm.

Being part Swedish I use only real butter. Substitutes are not allowed in my home. I therefore cannot testify to the effectiveness of any other substance.

Hope this little tip makes somebody's Christmas easier.

Hmm, now that we have come to my late mother's birthday (she would have been 97 today), I guess I can begin to assemble my nacimiento.

June Butler said...

Enthralling, Padre. Was there a little nasty in this post? If so, I must have dozed off at that point.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean IF you return to the USA?

Fran said...

Compelling reading, as always.

You make that tree look pretty good. I have bad fake tree issues.

Aghaveagh said...

I don't understand. Boring??? Nay, rather, gripping, compelling reading. I read every word and thirsted for more.

And I'm not sucking up, either. Really.

But I do have to confess I consider fake Christmas trees an abomination unto the L.

As for your fears re: the Lovely Mona's proclivities, I am reminded of an old commercial in which Euel Gibbons asked, "Ever eat a pine tree? Many parts are edible!"

Anonymous said...

I loved the story too...there ain't such a thing as a bad Padre Mickey "yarn"...I also liked the artificial tree selection you made...if one is going artificial, I think it counts to "go good"...when I was growing up there was a Los Angeles fad (which my family participated in...probably at my nuddging and as a result of my pre-gay-stress-disorder) of BIG aluminum Christmas trees flocked white and yes, a color of your choice (right before ones ojos)...we went with a bold pink as it was the color of our house (I don't think our house color made me Gay just because we lived in a white house when I was born white)...anyway, the glittering/sparkling white/pink christmas tree (with spotlights) was a SMASH when perched in our living room picture was the heighth of my childhood glittery Christmas extravaganzas and over-the-top decor...afterall, we *were* nearly in Hollywood (where I met/knew various Stars at various times after my post-closet-traumatic stress disorders had set in).

Alguness Victralivis Poindexter-Elias Rosario

Anonymous said...

BTW...on a further note, my mother had fabulous taste (I don't know how that tree made it through the metal detector)...on another note I attended the "Preview of Gidget Goes Hawaiian" during the same era...beat that!

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