Welcome to the first day of December! Time rushes wildly on. I was solemnly considering a closetful of carefully stored Christmas decorations yesterday when I was startled by a sudden knock on the door.
Of course it was our local public service alarmist – Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty.
BSOR: At ease, civilian!
Me: I was at ease before you showed up. Now I’m worried. What’s wrong?
BSOR: I’m simply doing a house-by-house intervention in your neighborhood, reminding people that December is quite hazardous because it is a high gravity month. During a high gravity month, it’s best to stay away from ladders and keep your arms below your head at all times!
Me: I beg your pardon? High gravity? Isn’t gravity the same all the year through?
BSOR: Technically yes! But December combines normal amounts of gravity with high levels of friction loss, high ground hardness and high hanging decorations, inside and out. That’s a potentially lethal combination!
Me: Ah. OK, thanks. I’ll keep it in mind while I’m putting up the tree.
BSOR: Bringing a tree into your house is very, very foolish. There’s a reason trees live outside! All trees fall over eventually. Critters live in them. Trees can catch fire, and they are hit by lightning with surprising regularity! If a strange person had all these qualities, and you discovered he had been living in the forest for most of his life, you would not invite him into your house! And you certainly wouldn’t string lights around him and pile expensive things at his feet. For safety’s sake, do not open your home to a wild tree, and especially not during a high gravity month!
Me: These are cherished traditions and I don’t think we’re going to change anything to please you. Of course it’s always smart to be careful, but I’m going to go ahead practice all my usual December customs in spite of your nervous hovering.
BSOR: Hovering is inherently unstable. I never hover!
Me: Whatever you’re doing, it’s not going to work. Tree trimming, candle lighting and decoration hanging are going to continue around here, all the way down to putting up the holly and the mistletoe.
BSOR: Mistletoe? Mistletoe is one of the most dangerous seasonal health threats! Not only does it promote random, unfettered kissing among certain reckless individuals, but sensible people who are trying to avoid being caught under the mistletoe often wind up in the emergency room with sprained ankles and twisted backs! You might as well hang a loaded gun from the your door frame!
This conversation went on for far too long, and though it got a bit heated at times I felt a definite chill. It might have been the cold efficiency of the safety scolding I was getting from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty, or it might have been the fact that we were standing there with the door wide open on a day with a high in the mid-30′s.
I think I might be coming down with something!
What holiday tradition are you ready to drop, for safety’s sake?