Mr Grumpy: Christmas misery
“We need fairy lights and lots of them,” said my wife Marion, with a note of urgency in her voice. “Can you measure the covered deck and calculate the required length.”To untangle a ball of fairy lights you need infinite patience, a quietly logical mind, the eyesight of an eagle and deft fingers. I have none of those qualities.
We purchased what I would describe as an industrial box of fairy lights. They were 100 metres long with 2000 LED lights that can be operated in eight different modes the more extreme of which can trigger an epileptic fit.
The lights came in a plastic container that reminded me of a fish bin. Workers in a Chinese factory had tangled the lights into a large, solid ball. They probably laughed like drains as they forced the lid on the box. There were no instructions on how to untangle the ball.
To untangle a ball of fairy lights you need infinite patience, a quietly logical mind, the eyesight of an eagle and deft fingers. I have none of those qualities. We worked for three hours pausing every few minutes while Marion cautioned me for using inappropriate language. By that time we had exposed around 10-metres of fairy lights. My Apple Watch indicated dangerously high blood pressure.
In desperation, we sought the help of Donna next door. Amazingly Donna had unpacked a nearly identical bin of fairy lights in less than a week. She knew what to do. With her help, it only took another three hours to untangle and hang the lights.
“Now,” said Marion, “I’d like you to assemble the Christmas tree.”