Ten days after Thanksgiving, the entire town looked like a winter wonderland. Lights decorated almost every house in the city, some further enhanced with cheap, plastic nativity scenes or giant candy canes, Santa Clause, reindeer, and occasional elves. Still, long after Christmas lights had been turned off, providing people a visual reprieve, all too familiar thuds on random rooftops continued to assault everyone’s hearing.
A detective of sorts, I snuck out of the house to locate the source of aerial bombardment. To get a better view, I climb into my neighbor’s treehouse, got out my cell phone, and waited patiently for someone or something to film. After fighting off the ice-cold night air and the desire to cuddle in a warm feather bed, I eventually observed perpetrators of the audio annoyance.
Somehow, the Leman brothers had gotten ahold of the pumpkin chunkin catapult and were selectively tossing fruitcakes at homes whose residents had a reputation for regifting them year after year, rather than purchasing fresh, seasonal gifts for friends and loved ones. Oddly, I found their actions righteous and socially redeeming. (I hate fruitcake—as much as Lawrence Welk and his damn accordion music!). At best, fruitcakes make respectable door stops, but I still consider receiving one for the holidays a personal insult!
As I climbed down from the treehouse, I initially resolved to provide the Leman brothers with a new hit list of homes when I saw them come morning. That night, however, I began dreaming about caroling alone in the middle of a graveyard and concluded my deep sleep with a visitation from the Ghost of Christmas Mischief.
By the time I rolled out of bed, I had changed my mind. The hell with a hit list! I wanted to join the Leman brother’s crew the next evening—loading the launch bucket, pulling the wooden lever, and assailing neighborhood roofs with hard, stale, re-gifted fruitcakes.
Cheap thrills tend to be short lived. Oh, I did my part, and reveled in insulting stingy neighbors with aged fruit cake. Times change, of course, and come the New Year, so did we. Next Christmas, the Leman brothers and I intend to dress like three wise men, track December stars, and disperse fruitcake offerings at plastic nativity scenes.