Six-Pack of Giant Spiders

If you were reading me over the holidays last year, you probably recall a friendly little competition with Kelly, the overzealous neighbor across the street. She took so much pleasure in taunting me with her holiday display I started referring to her as Christmas Light Kelly. Gauntlets were thrown as we each tried to out-illuminate the other. In the end, CLK emerged the victor.

I blame it on her easy-to-climb roof. Getting up on ours requires loads of faith and nerves of steel, neither of which I possess.

Fine, I decided. CLK can have Christmas. I shall rule the second best holiday for decorating: Arbor Day!!

Err…Halloween. I shall rule Halloween.

And, well…rule it I did. Or we did, as it was a Team MarTar effort, inside and out.

Between the giant spider web, fog machine, and creepy haunted house music playing over a hidden speaker, we owned All Hallows’ Eve. Ha! Take that, CLK!

I’ve always gone a little overboard around the holidays. Clark Griswold, remember? But years spent in apartments and townhouses dampened my spirit. It wasn’t until we bought our house two years ago that I was once again able to unleash my inner madman.

This year was a nice start, but I’m already planning out next year’s decorations. Hint: they will be BIGGER and BETTER. Oh, the plans I have! I’ve already made a few purchases. Amazon is delivering a six-pack of giant spiders this week.

And no, that is not a typo.

But the thing is, it doesn’t just bring me joy: without fail, every single trick-or-treater on our doorstep commented on how much they enjoyed our Halloween display.

Most impressive of all is my wife’s transformation. When I first met Tara, she wasn’t very enthusiastic about holidays. Any of them. Many years, she never even bothered putting up a Christmas tree…and carved her first pumpkin in literal decades two years ago. Now, she works on intricately detailed jack-o-lantern carvings while I just kind of wing it old school.

And she was every bit as excited Sunday night showing off our display. I love her newfound enthusiasm for holiday excess!

I do sometimes wonder what the neighbors think of us. They traded in a pleasant old lady who mostly kept to herself for these liberal newcomers from out of state who take delight in scaring neighborhood children, add Native American murals to their retaining wall, and fill their yard with plastic flamingos.

These thoughts crossed my mind as I found myself transferring half a cord of firewood from our front yard to our backyard this morning. We’d had it delivered before the sun even came up and, well, I’m headed out of town tomorrow. Couldn’t very well let it sit in a pile in the front yard, so Tara and I got to work. She was dressed for the frigid 21° weather but I wore a puffer jacket, shorts, and flip-flops. My fingers and toes were half-frozen by the time I hit the shower.

I mean, at least I wasn’t standing at the curb wearing a bathrobe and aviator hat, guzzling a beer while emptying sewage down the storm drain because the shitter was full.

But it’s not a big leap to get there from here…

34 thoughts on “Six-Pack of Giant Spiders

  1. I love a good holiday display! My grandson was in awe of one that we went to while trick-or-treating. He told the homeowner how much he liked it and she was tickled by him and gave him some extra candy.

    The fog machine is quite the extra touch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never had wassail. Hell, up until a month ago, Tara tells me I was pronouncing it wrong. I was like, what do you mean, it isn’t wah-sale??

      Would your spouse indulge you if you wanted to, say, add some festive touches to your home?


      1. Pretty sure it can be pronounced either “wah-sale” or “wah-sul.”

        Oh, Andy won’t stop me from decorating. But he will bitch about the cost, the storage space decorations take, etc. We compromise on interior decorations and a Christmas tree in the front window. Although Baby D is starting his annual demand for exterior lights. I have an ally!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hang on, let me call over the spouse…

        He says: “The base alcohol is Madeira and ale. You heat them up with apples, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, all spice and then beat up egg yolks and froth egg whites and kind of blend it. It is a traditional British drink.” (He insisted I add that last sentence because he’s a twerp.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool that Tara is into this with you now. How did CLK react to your display? Is she challenged? Love that you call her CLK like I had CMG. I think I’ve accidentally called her Kathy recently, haven’t I? Ah, well. Potato, potato. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was duly impressed and not afraid to let us know she really liked the display! Maybe that’s because we came back from Omaha with several six packs of hard cider for her??

      Kathy/Kelly/Kerry/Keisha…it’s all the same…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The fog “juice” is just water and a propylene glycol solution, which is safe and non-harmful as long as it’s used properly. Can’t imagine what “improper use” would constitute!


  3. Congrats on your victory. I used to love decorating and went all out for Halloween. Haven’t for the last few years and the neighbors let me know they miss it. Six pack of giant arachnids? I’m totally down with that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they are different. They look like the plastic pink ones except they are matte black. I don’t know where people buy them. Maybe they make them by spray painting them?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I wouldn’t worry about what your neighbors think. I can tell you guys are great neighbors. I’ve had bad neighbors before. Having bad neighbors stinks. If your neighbor gives you any grief, send him/her my way. I’ll educate them about what a bad neighbor looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our philosophy all along has been, who cares what the neighbors think! As much as I like to compete with CLK, it’s all in good fun…we really do get along well. But if somebody ever does want to rumble, I’m a-gonna send ’em your way!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are the best kind of Clark Griswold! I love what you did to your yard and the fact that you’ve recruited a team-member into the insanity of holiday decorating….hey, you could be a cult leader! GOALS.

    I know the neighborhood kids must love visiting your house. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

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