What I've learned in my 61 years is that if you spend too much time in the past, you get trapped there, especially if the past is all you have to get you through the day. I am as much a historian as anything I may be. But the past is the past. And while I admire those who plan well for their futures, I am also smart enough to know that a significant number of them aren't going to get there anyway; so I suggest they, we, all try doing more to make the present a better place to be. Make each day more livable for ourselves and more livable for those with whom we share the planet.
What has got me so philosophical today is that I have to hang the fucking Christmas lights, and dammit, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet!
I didn't have to hang the fuckers last year. I was supposed to die before Christmas! In fact, I didn't think I'd ever have to hang Christmas lights again in this lifetime.
I hate hanging Christmas lights. Granted, they are pretty shining off the new fallen snow. But why should I have to hang the fuckers?
Well, that's simple: I have trolls for sisters who insist on a Clark Griswold lighting feud with the British guy next door!
And he is also the reason I am spending the day before Thanksgiving with three old friends who dropped by to help me hang the fucking Christmas lights: Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo, and an Irish guy named John Jameson.
Without their encouragement, and their spirits, I couldn't begin this Christmas lighting chore.
The first guy to show up today was Jack Daniels. After an hour-long greeting, he and I attempted to find the running end of the mass of knotted Christmas light strings, but we couldn't, not on a bet. So we stopped for a refreshment break that lasted another hour or so and were in deep discussions about who the son of a bitch was that stored the lights last Christmas for my sisters-and tied the fuckers into a Gordian knot.
Our suspicions immediately fell upon Jerry, the British guy! Why him? Because he had 5000 lights up and tested before we even found an end to one of the masses of knotted strings, and he smirked at us in that ever insulting British way.
We were just about to the point of hacking the knotted electrical cords with an axe, when we heard the rumble of our good friend Jose Cuervo's low riding 67 Chevy Impala coming up our street. Jose Cuervo is a Mexican friend of long standing who shows up most everywhere I go to have a good time.
He got out of his car and joined me and Jack Daniels on the porch. We showed him the mess of lights and Jose Cuervo said we should have some refreshments (which he'd thoughtfully brought with him) before we got too involved in the lighting project. So, we did have a few refreshments over the next hour-and-a-half.
But we still couldn't figure out which end was which on the lights; so we decided discretion was the better part of valor, and waited for our last friend to show up, the Irish guy, John Jameson.
Well, he took his goddamned time getting here, so while we waited, we exchanged pleasantries, had a more filling liquid lunch, and sat on the porch swing, doing nothing more than admiring Jerry's Christmas decorations (and his very, very, hot British wife).
Finally, John Jameson showed up, drunker than shit, as usual, with some lame excuse for why he was so late arriving, which we, Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo and I knew to be utter bullshit; but we were feeling more or less sociable anyway, so we exchanged a few more pleasantries and refreshments before we got down to the business at hand, hanging the goddamned Christmas lights.
I don't remember exactly who it was who started the singing, but it really doesn't matter. My oldest sister, the Head Troll, came out on the porch and told us "to shut up and get the lights hung, before dark, because the pastor and his wife were coming over for dinner," and, of course, the obligatory first lighting of our Yule lights.
I think it was Jack Daniels talking, but it could have been Jose Cuervo, or maybe even James Jameson who told her that "the fucking preacher could hang the fucking lights for all (he) cared!" I know it wasn't me because I am scared shitless of the old woman, and normally go way out of my way to avoid pissing her off. But one of them said it, and it made her start crying on the porch.
The next thing me and the boys knew, that British prick, Jerry, was standing there with his arm around the Head Troll, and telling her he'd get the lights up "just like last year."
And the fucker did too, in about 20 minutes. Then, with a satisfied smirk on his limey face, he left the porch and walked across the road just as the pastor and his wife drove into our driveway.
The preacher stood there in the waning sunlight (how long had I been out there anyway?) and complimented me on the beautiful decorations. He asked me if I'd hung all of the lights myself. I lied through my teeth and told him I had.
He smiled and asked me if I would be interested in hanging the lights at the church. I told him I'd be tickled pink to do the job if I could bring my friends Jack, Jose, and James along to help me.
He said I could.