The Grinch again

What is wrong with you people???

Mrs. Grinch conned me into watching “Invasion of the Christmas Lights” on some cable channel last weekend. What is wrong with you people? So much stress and drama! I get the impression you think about decorating year-round, start putting stuff on the house in September and then can’t get it all done by your lights-on ceremony in December. Good gosh. The one year I decorated for Christmas involved putting a Bah-Humbug sign in the front window and it took me maybe a minute. Jesh.
I’m quite proud of my fellow Grinches out there, though. We have a gathering every September in (information redacted) behind a bombproof door in a well hidden underground bunker to discuss the latest techniques in denying the Christmas spirit to as many people as possible. We affectionately call it the A-PLUS. The Anti-PlanetChristmas Lights Up Symposium.

Contrary to popular belief, we are a fun-loving group. We call what we do “Grinching” and find it incredibly satisfying to turn happy smiles into sad frowns. It isn’t easy. Practice, practice, practice is required for success. We spend the entire A-PLUS event improving our techniques of spreading doom and gloom. What a rush to be surrounded by so many like-minded people!

There’s a three hour session of attack methods on the over-the-top decorators. You guys/gals sure make it easy. The equivalent of Chinese water torture seems to work best. We simply call the police and complain about… ANYTHING. Say traffic backs up in front of our house. Call the police. Cars stop longer than say… three seconds? Call the police. People wish us a Merry Christmas? Call the police. We have 911 programmed into speed dial on our phones. Emergency dispatches know us by our first names.

We have another class about getting elected to home owners associations and the art of adding anti-decorating rules to the charter. It’s a multi-year process of establishing more and more restrictions so eventually all decorations are prohibited. A neighborhood where all homes look identical every day of the year is pretty close to heaven on earth for us Grinches. Did you leave your garden hose unrolled in the yard last night? That will be a $75 fine. Is that a nativity scene in the window? Unacceptable. $500 please. That sure looks like an eight foot Santa inflatable in the front yard. Major infraction!

Suspension of pool privileges and $2,500 payable immediately. Few people realize Grinching can also be profitable.

My favorite class is called “Traffic Obstruction” and I get to teach it. Say you live next door to one of those over-the-top decorated homes. Since you’re on a public street people have the right to park in front of your house to watch the stupid Christmas lights. One year I tried pouring roofing nails on the pavement in front of my house. Six flat tires that night. I was so pleased! Unfortunately, every car seemed to be a member of AAA and each was serviced by a wrecker with a zillion flashing strobe lights brighter than the house next door. Lesson learned. I tried the orange highway cones and barrels in front of the house. People would just move them out of the way. The trick is to use logs painted the same color as the pavement. People don’t see them, run over them, get mad as hornets and drive off. They end up having to go to the repair shop to get their steering realigned. It’s my special way of stimulating the economy. Grinching. I love it!

The most popular Grinch session at A-PLUS is how to deal with the media. The trick is to stay out of sight until the TV cameras show up to film those over-the-top displays. There will always be a reporter out in the crowd with a microphone talking to people gushing over how fantastic all the lights are and what a great feeling it gives everyone. We learn to cleverly emerge, blend in with the people while at the same time maneuvering to get in front of the camera. Once that lens is focused on us we launch into a well rehearsed tirade about wasting energy, traffic jams and freedom of speech. Our 15 seconds of fame is assured! Thank you super-decorators!

Unfortunately, things aren’t totally rosy in the Grinching world. Christmas seems to be the only time of year when people go out of their way to actually try and be nice to us. Kill ‘em with kindness bugs the heck out of Grinches. No matter how logical our arguments might be on shutting down those ugly Christmas displays, more and more people just stare, wish us a Merry Christmas and walk away with a smiles on their faces. It’s like we’re being ignored. We HATE being ignored. It’s so much easier to tear people down than build them up.

Come join the “dark” side. We need you now more than ever. The next A-PLUS gathering will be (information redacted.) See you then and remember we’re never done so keep up the Grinching!


This article was included in the December 2009 issue of PlanetChristmas Magazine.

By Fred Garvin

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