December 28, 2003

Anti-Social Grinch

Went out for a ride the other day and stopped over to visit a friend for an unannounced visit. I find those are usually the best kind, as the target of my social call doesn't have a chance to leave or hide. The weather was incredible for December, the roads were clear and dry even though the snow was mounded high, I hadn't been on two wheels for a bit, and I had some shiny new chrome I wanted to show off. Nobody home. Walking back to the bike from the door, I couldn't help but admiring the gigantic 20 foot tall light up Grinch in Santa drag in the front yard. At that point, some evil power possessed me, and it occurred to me that turning the Grinch around to face the house would be much more visible than my usual calling card.

Seemed simple enough - pop the elastic cords off four ground stakes, pick it up and rotate, right? Well, got the cords off, and that allowed the big guy to bend a bit and reveal the series of ground stakes embedded around his inflated heinie ho ho. Got those out, but somewhere in the process, the Grinch started to deflate and collapse around me.

At this point, that leaves me encased in several layers of Grinch, wondering just how much breathable air was trapped there with me, how flammable the fabric was, and just how hot the light bulbs inside the body that gave him his cheery glow in fact were. Finally popping out from under his plastic posterior, I noticed the lights were out. My eye now spyed a large fan in the base, which lit a dim bulb in my head. No fan, no big bouncy body - no lights + no fan = no power? Diving into the sagging sacks of Santa once more to look for a power switch proved fruitless.

Tracing the cord back across the lawn, I came across a connection that when wiggled produced a subdued fart from the general direction of the Grinch, and looking back, I was pleased to see him begin to rise majestically from the ashes and stand erect once more. Another wiggle of the cord, and he once again lost vitality and pooped his precious air. Yet another wiggle, and a jolt of electricity up my arm revealed an issue with grounding in the extension cord. Once feeling returned to my hand, I bravely disconnected the cord, tracked the problem back to a loose plug in the wall socket, reconnected the cord firmly, and one last wiggle and a bit of black tape from my tool kit met with success. Big G was once again able to get it up, and yes, even keep it up!

It was then I found the ground had frozen a lot harder than I had previously thought. Ever try to push light gauge metal spikes into ice? The solution was to heat the spikes with my trusty heirloom lighter as I pushed them in, which allowed me to once again affix Santa Grinch to the ground with only slight burns to my fingers and the surrounding fabric.

I had originally thought leaving the spikes for the elastic cords that held him upright in the ground to be a good idea. Assuming my little practical joke would not become quite so involved when I embarked on my adventure, it hadn't occurred to me just how difficult it would be to locate the teenie tiny rings at the end of the spikes protruding from trampled snow when the light is failing due to the fast approaching dusk. That left me on my hands and knees, presenting my best side to the world, feeling around for the little loops. It was about then I heard a cough from the street - apparently at some point I had attracted the neighborhood's attention and gathered quite the crowd, maybe drawn to the event by their curiosity to see who would win, me or the Grinch. The couple across the street were the exception - they resolutely guarded THEIR inflatable Santa in case it was my next target. In for an ounce, in for a pound, and I groped around until I finally found all the spikes and attached all the cords, completing my little project.

That left just one thing ... took a little bow to a smattering of subdued applause, waved to the couple across the street bravely brandishing their snow shovels as weapons to fend me off if necessary, saddled up, and rode off. A glance in the rear view mirrors seemed to suggest Santa Grinch was a bit shorter as I got to the end of the driveway. At that point, I convinced myself I had imagined the whole thing and resolutely decided to ignore my mirrors until I had turned another corner and my visit was just another memory.

Posted by NIFAIRIOUS at December 28, 2003 09:19 PM