finally feeling all xmaslike and put up the tree with my wife. it’s wonderfully color coordinated. i’m proud.
the washington post recently reported about virginia passing some new fire codes to enforce safety and serve as a crackdown on all the hazards that make xmas notorious as a season of death and misery. i think it might just kill santa and bring back the real meaning of xmas.
here’s a list from that article, compiled over several hours of careful risk analysis, of all the things that must be banned immediately before someone gets hurt:
1. Eggnog. Hideously fattening; leads to coronary artery disease. When “spiked” it incites the drinker to turn to more dangerous holiday beverages, including mulled wine, hard cider and schnapps.
2. Decorations. Broken glass ornaments can lead to fatal bleeding in hemophiliacs. Strings of lights offer unusual electrocution opportunities. Extravagant outdoor lighting displays can cause automobile pileups on the street and/or blindness. Live animals in a manger might bite children.
3. Carols. Hypothermia risk. Certain high notes are hard to hit, causing embarrassment, stress and other harbingers of early death. Religious themes of carols could prove offensive to some listeners and inadvertently trigger a clash of civilizations.
4. Sledding. Involves a kinetic event that would more properly be described as skidding. Any close analysis will reveal that sleds not only have poor traction but are expressly designed to have minimal grip on a slick surface. Should be every bit as illegal as dangling a baby from a balcony.
5. Hearths. The ultimate fire hazard. People often use them to have open fires, complete with exploding embers that can land on furniture, on heavily gelled hair or even on a small furry pet that could suddenly go FOOF! and turn into the Yowling Fireball of Doom.
6. Menorahs. Still more open fire. Why not just pass around blowtorches and cans of gasoline?
7. Artificial Christmas trees. Fairfax County assistant fire marshal Mike Reilly, defending the ban on cut trees, said Tuesday: “I just put up my nine-foot artificial tree. I don’t think it’s a major inconvenience when you look at the risks.” Obviously, plastic Christmas trees are growing to enormous size these days, and anyone who stands under a nine-foot colossus runs the risk of being crushed.
8. Gifts. Small gifts are a choking hazard. Large gifts lead to hernias. Coal in the stocking of a person who has been bad poses a severe fire risk. CDs have wrapping that requires the use of knives and scissors in a manner that can lead to the loss of a finger. Shopping leads to excessive debt, anxiety and compensatory high-risk behaviors such as smoking, heavy drinking and attempted gift returns. Improper gift-buying, such as when a well-meaning male gives his sweetheart something unromantic, like a Dustbuster, or a 52-piece socket wrench set, or a jumbo can of Dr. Scholl’s Foot Deodorant Spray, can lead to domestic violence.
9. Mistletoe. The number of unwanted pregnancies resulting from the placement of mistletoe on the ceiling and over doorways has never been properly calculated, but is surely astronomical. Tongues are a choking hazard.
10. Shopping mall Santas. A strange man wearing a disguise who asks small children to sit in his lap. You make the call .
11. Reindeer. Lyme disease vectors.
12. Elves. Ideology and political allegiance unknown. Terror risk?