Chicken Wire Light Balls Attack Elderly Women, Film at 11

We have a neighborhood here in Greensboro that has developed a Christmas light tradition to end all neighborhood traditions...Okay, well, maybe not to end all but at least to give all other neighborhoods a run for their money. Being a southern city, we're not going to forget where we came from. Any good tradition must include at least one southern necessity...Like Sunday Supper always includes Sweet Tea-the Sunset Hills Light Ball Display brings new sophistication to Chicken Wire.

Now, I'm not saying the South has cornered the market on chicken wire, I'm just saying we've elevated it to an art form. We form the chicken wire into large balls, cover them with Christmas lights and then hang them from high atop our trees. I tried to take pictures, so you'd have a feel for it, but I am a lousy photographer and didn't at all do Sunset Hills justice. But when you turn into the neighborhood, this is a tiny bit what it looks like:

And from the end of Ridgeway Drive, as far as the eye can see, huge colored balls hang suspended in midair to form a wonderland that is not to be believed.

So me and Mertis got the bright idea to make light balls last year. We got a bit carried away with it all and made a few too many but it worked out as I gave them away as gifts. I used child labor and called it a Family Christmas Activity, but they weren't fooled:

This was further proved this year when I attempted to get the Unnamed Ones to use the Youngest Unnamed One's Potato Rocket Launcher to shoot the ropes high up into our trees in the front yard and then attach the balls. As you may recall, it resulted in a fist fight and an impressive indoor display of profanity.

Which left the true work, as always, to the womenfolk. The boys are gone for the weekend and I am determined to hang those damned balls. So I called Old Mertis over to fling the double tennis ball dog toy, attached to twine, up as high as she could...hopefully landing over a branch somewhere higher than six feet off the ground.

Mertis must've played slow pitch in a former life 'cause the woman flung those dog balls way up high in the trees.

After an hour or so of trying to sort out extention cords and triple taps and assorted electrical and logistical issues, I began to understand how it was my boys came to blows.

I also impressed Mertis with my vocabulary of four letter words.

You see, while the Greensboro News and Record did indeed print a detailed article on the manufacture of said balls, they neglected to tell me how they got their balls so high up there, and further, how they attached all those extension cords and still had power left to run their indoor lights!

But just as good triumphs over evil, estrogen trumps balls any day of the week and we hung 'em high by dark-thirty...just in time to ride over to Sunset Hills and admire the real display.

I invited Mertis to indulge in a liquid refreshment when we returned back to my neck of the woods, but it was not enough to keep the inevitable Karma from catching up with us once again. You see, when we were able to string up the lights as the Unnamed Teenagers had failed to do, we crowed about it. We danced around the front yard talking about how women can do anything and even high-fiving each other.

So...like all who climb up above their raisin's, we were due for a fall.

As I poured the two glasses of wine, Mertis reached out for her's and stopped, her arm half-lifted, a pained expression on her face.

"What's wrong, Mert?" I asked.

"I think I tore somethin'," she winced. "I can't lift my arm any higher than this."

There was no liquid powerful enough to diminish Mertis's pain and return her to her former self. I am afraid we stared down the barrel of our own mortality this evening.

Mertis and I are...dare I say it?


And even our balls are looking puny:

Oh well, maybe we can pay them young'uns to shoot up the rest of the display and then drive Mert over to the Urgent Care for a cortisone shot or something!

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