Cold Blooded Bells

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I was awakened early this morning by a thumping noise coming from the basement followed by a faint sound that reminded me of the bell that teachers use to call kids in from recess.
There has been a little criminal activity in our part of town lately and my first thought was, “there’s a burglar in the basement. My second thought was “what am I going to do about it?” My third thought was, “where’s Linda?”
That’s when I realized that the Christmas season had officially arrived at our house.
She’s the one making all the noise as she drags out boxes full of decorations that have been stored in the closet under the stairs since last January 1st.
 
Now, I know what you’re thinking; why aren’t you down there helping her ya lazy lug?
Well, she doesn’t want my help., at least that’s what she says.
Linda really gets focused on the task at hand and it’s best to stay out of her way until I’m called in to give final approval to what she’s done.
“The front window looks great, Honey. Yes, I like the candle sticks on either side of the red bow and tiny twinkling tree.” No, Honey, I can’t see the electrical cords that you’ve neatly camouflaged in green garland. You’ve really outdone yourself again, Honey.”
Occasionally I’ll hear an un-Christmas-like curse come from her sweet lips as she steps back to admire her handiwork and a suction cup holding one of the little wreaths lets go for lack of spit and comes crashing down.
Linda always says she’s not going to put as much stuff up this year..but, like lovin’ her man, once she gets started it’s awfully hard to stop. (It’s probably a good thing she doesn’t read these blogs)
I did try to help one year. 
Over her objections, I bought a string of bells that played a dozen Christmas songs. My plan was to string them around  the inside patio door and fill our house with the joyful sounds of the season.
It seemed easy enough until I discovered that most of the little electronically-operated clappers needed to be bent a bit so they’d strike the bell properly.
But the biggest problem was trying to keep the bells from touching the curtain which prevented them from having a peal.(sorry)
“We three kings of Orient (thunk).”
After doing much holiday cursing of my own, and to Linda’s great relief, I finally took the bells out to the garage and strung them up above my work bench where they could hang free.
Well, I thought. Our Christmas Eve guests will still be impressed when they arrive to the sound of familiar carols chiming away by the back door.
But what I didn’t realize is that the bell’s computer chip was never designed to operate in the cold and before long, “Silent Night” was being played at lightening speed with a lot of the important notes missing.
I figured out what might be wrong and went in to get something out of the house to fix it.
“What have you got in your hand?” Linda asked.
“Nothing.”
“Yes you do, what is it.”
“A hair dryer.”
“A hair dryer..what in the world do you need a hair dryer in the garage for?”
“Um, to warm up the bell controller.”
“Are you going to be running in and out of here all night shooting hot air onto those damn bells while your family is in here having Christmas?”
It was a rhetorical question..and I almost blurted out, “well, as hot as you are right now, maybe you could just stand out here and that would do the trick.”  But I didn’t.
 
Those Christmas bells are still hanging in the garage right where I strung them up years ago.
I sometimes plug them in on a 90 degree day in August just to get Linda’s attention.
They work great!

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