Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Throughout the year, a battalion of workmen toil on the house and land. A line of 30-foot spruces has been planted, and a gate erected either to keep the expensive cars in or other people out. The house has been painted twice in four years, and the driveway repaved with hexagonal tiles that I imagine must be very slippery when it rains.
Two weeks ago, this neighbor decided to beautify the neighborhood by illuminating his land and home with, oh, maybe a zillion blinking, flashing, blinding multi-colored lights, eight-foot candy canes, giant (and I would think empty) refrigerator-sized gift boxes wrapped in tinsel and bows, and a full complement of colored elves. The latter line the driveway and appear to be quarrelling over the candy canes, but I can’t be sure of that. The effect is that of a Wal-Mart on ecstasy and I believe the display has caused a road accident or two in the past week.
Two doors to my left, meanwhile, a new neighbor has also planted candy canes though these are more modest and aligned in a fashion remindful of a graveyard. In and of itself, that’s OK, but the effect is all the more macabre because of an inflatable Santa that has sprung a leak. Erect and proud in the evening, the bearded Saint Nick is a spread-eagled red and white corpse by morning. I don’t know if this is intended. In
Northern Virginia, some people have very strange senses of humor. Not good, strange.