I’m trying to figure out how to do some sort of Xorph special, since Tuesday (ie Newcomicday) is also, um, Christmas.It’s going to be difficult without the ability to draw anything. Maybe I should do it in ASCII art.

You can’t buy real Christmas lights anymore. You go to Wal-Mart, you find the seasonal aisle in the back corner by the gardening supplies, you expect massive stacks of light boxes. Not so! You can, technically, still buy the traditional tiny-white-bulb strings–but that’s about it. No C9s or 7.5s, not even multicolored small bulbs. Instead we have–yes!–the stupid light extravanganza!

You have your net lights, which are a cheap and stupid way to get out of wading into the bushes. You have your rope lights, which are not only ugly but unwieldy. You have your bubble lights, which are fine, in limited qualities, indoors. And you have truckloads of curtain / icicle lights, which are–I firmly believe this–the will of Satan manifest on Earth.

All of this is meant, essentially, to explain the slightly odd configuration of this year’s Second House on the Left light display. We had a nice multi-colored theme going on, up until I ran out of working colored strings and still had three trees (the big ones, naturally) to go. The aforementioned trip to Wal-Mart produced the aforementioned results, and only by scavenging the clearance rack at Big Lots did we come up with five strings of C9s. Unfortunately, all of them were entirely white.

I got two of the big trees with said white lights, which at least makes for a symmetrical design. The problem was this: the enormously fat tree by the basketball goal (which I have privately nicknamed “Brendan’s Self-Image”) was mostly strung with colored lights already, and needed maybe one more string to top it off. A white string would have to be distributed evenly or look like whipped cream atop a cherry-and-lime jello mold.

This is why I sat on the driveway for twenty minutes today, unscrewing and switching bulbs between one white string and six colored ones.

Experts estimate that I have spent at least six months of my life doing menial, pointless work like that.

in through my veins
without brains