Rich Galen

  • Christmas lights costs about ten cents per million running feet. Given the loving care with which the Christmas lights in our house are treated, you might think they were the ones which lit the actual manger in Bethlehem.
    "What are you doing?"

    "I'm rolling up the lights."

    "You are not rolling them up. You're bunching them up. They'll get tangled."

    "What difference does it make? We'll buy new ones next year."

    "That's a waste of money."

    "We'll buy them now when they're half off."

    "They'll get lost by next year."

    "Why won't THESE get lost by next year?"

  • This is known, as the "Rite of the MD of S&P Standing With Arms Akimbo" and always ends with the same six words: "Never mind. I'll do it myself."

  • About Christmas day, when the tree was well beyond "fresh," the needles had the tendency fall off any time you got within three feet, creating any zephyr of air flow around it.

  • During the final week of the regular NFL season a sideways glace caused a blizzard of tiny green spikes to fly through the air and land exactly where someone might have placed their forearm on the arm of the sofa.

  • By this weekend, a dog barking anywhere in the neighborhood causes the needles to leap off the tree burying themselves in the carpet, in the furniture and, as it was being carried it through the entire length of the house to the back deck for its heroic swan dive to the driveway below, into every cell of unprotected skin.

  • The branches always stick out a little farther than you think and so they tend to scratch the paint in the doorways which leads to the annual "Why Didn't You Let Me Help You?" ritual, as if two of us struggling with the unwieldy thing would have made the branches fold back nicely against the trunk, thus avoiding the annual "Knocking Over the Topiary on the Kitchen Counter" procedure.

  • Today, the decorations are back in their boxes, the boxes are back in the closet, the tree will removed by the people who remove trees, and I'll have those lights untangled by … Memorial Day. Easy.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Another license plate Mullfoto and a "Separated at Birth" Catchy Caption of the Day.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at