Several years ago, My Captain’s parents used to put two giant candy canes out in front of their porch steps at Christmastime. One on either side, these babies were hip-height, and lit up in brilliant red and white stripes…they were gorgeous. Like they’d jumped right out of CandyLand.
Critter, who was extremely young at the time, tried his best, but these awesome candy canes were too much for his barely-out-of-toddlerhood self-discipline and somehow or another, one of them, well, let’s just say it ‘didn’t make it.’
I was mortified. And of course I ran right out to buy Goggy and Papa a new hip-height candy cane to replace the, er…….newly-defective one.
But apparently the manufacturers of Christmas Paraphenalia didn’t make those anymore, and the only thing I could find were rather obnoxious strands of 2 foot candy canes, about 12 canes long.
So I bought a strand and put it up in their yard when they weren’t looking.
My Captain’s father, Jay, (aka Papa) took it in stride. He chuckled, said we didn’t have to do that, and politely and patiently waited the appropriate amount of time after Christmas to take it down. Understand this, Jay prefers above all else not to stand out. Ever the quiet gentleman, he is the last person you would expect to see sporting a dozen light-up candy canes in his front yard.
The following year I looked again for the hip-height canes, to no avail. But CVS was carrying the 12 cane strands again.
So I bought two dozen more.
And planted them with the previous year’s strand out in the front of Jay’s house.
When he wasn’t looking.
In the spirit of Christmas, of course.
He chuckled again. Waited the prescribed polite time after Christmas, and promptly put them away and out of sight.
Several years went by. I assumed he had thrown them out.
And then this year, on a particularly dark and rainy evening, when we were arriving home from a weekend visit to Hershey Park, we pulled into the driveway to our little cottage in the woods and found this:
My Captain and the kids chuckled, but I BURST out laughing. I mean, we are talking this would totally have been an appropriate use of the word “Gufaw,” and that is not a word that can be put to use accurately, often.
I loved that Jay did this. I mean, I totally loved it. The sheer Navy-Seal-like discipline. The stealth patience it had to take to wait for so many years. The evil genius to put it up when we were out-of-town.
I have a newfound respect for that man.
The weirdest thing had been happening, though. Since the canes were put up, I kept finding the corner one knocked over like this:
And every time I’d see that, I’d fix it on my way inside the house. My Captain checked the stake to make sure it wasn’t broken. It was not broken. It was the weirdest thing. It happened so regularly, it got to the point that every day I’d come home, and out of habit, would just bend down and fix that corner candy cane as I went inside.
And then it hit me. Or, rather, I realized that I hit it. That is the exact spot I stop when I’m backing the ol’ Equinox up to leave. That is the essential point in my two point back up turn. I’ve been running over that particular candy cane every stinkin day, sometimes several times a day, since Jay put them up.
That just strikes my funny bone. I think that is HILARIOUS.
That really is all there is to this story. I realize it’s anti-climactic, unless you are like me and find running over the same darn-tootin’ candy cane day in and day out — figuring the problem was the candy cane all along…is classic.
…..And it does explain why I was never allowed to drive the Medic Unit at the fire station.
Those candy canes sure have given a heck of a lot of joy for the ten bucks they cost. Who knew plastic light up candy canes could get so much good-humor mileage?
I can’t wait until next year.