Friday, January 4, 2008
Since I am, when it comes right down to it, unemployed until the end of the month I have been given the duty of disassembling the family xmas tree before the whole thing shrivels into a tinderbox and spontaneously bursts into flames.
So I started on this project last night.
Now this photo above--mined from the internet--shows the proper way to hang a holiday bulb on a tree, in my humble opinion. If you look closely you can see the hook is well positioned and the hanger had enough confidence in the entire complex device to allow the needles of the tree to act as additional support so that the festive globe would not shift or, in the most devastating scenario, come crashing to the floor.
For those of you with experience disassembling a tree you probably know, like I do, that removing a well-positioned, properly hung bulb is not a complex maneuver. In fact, one can often breeze through the job in minutes by simply snatching gobs of these bulbs with your bare mitts.
However, this is not the case on our tree.
It seems, unknown to me at the time, that my wife schooled our children in a different bulb hanging technique, one that involves not just appropriate placement of the bulb on the tree but also employs the bizarre technique of crimping and twisting the wire hanger around and around and around the branch so as to secure the entire device--solid and unmoving--to the display.
By my rough estimation the removal of each bulb--a job that traditionally should take no more than about 3/4 of a second--now takes upwards of 15 seconds with the need for two hands combined with an awkward un-twisting technique to free each shiny ornament. And think about this: because the removal now requires two free hands one cannot use a weaker hand/arm/body to stockpile bulbs as one moves around the tree. Multiply this painstaking job by roughly 80 bulbs and add into the equation the thousands of stiff, dry, razor-sharp needles yearning to strike before dropping to the floor and you get some idea of my hell.