my garland is fucked

A couple years ago, before we moved into the place we live now, I had this garland I used as part of my extremely low-impact holiday decorating scheme (the entirety of the scheme is: decorate a tree, hang up any cards we get in the mail, hang the garland. That’s it. It can all be cleaned up and put away in less than an hour. Life is short and I don’t want to waste any more of it cleaning than I have to). The garland was kind of fake-pine looking and it was pre-lit with a string of twinkle lights. It looked nice draped (artfully, I liked to tell myself) across the tops of our bookcases, or hung up swag-like between some little hooks on the wall. Every year when I was done with it, I’d stuff it all back into the box it came in and chuck it in the hall closet. No muss, no fuss.

Until the mice got into it.

Our old apartment was a frigging mouse superhighway, and the hall closet was their on/off ramp. Over the course of the several years we lived there, I tried everything from snap-traps, to those sonic deterrent things, to attempting to train the dog to catch them (no dice. He made it clear very early on that Maltese are not a working breed. Unless you count barking at everything that moves as work. He’s got that shit on lock), to stuffing any holes I could find with steel wool (surprisingly effective, but only if you can locate every single hole ever. Otherwise those sneaky little fuckers will always find another way in). The only thing I didn’t try was poison, because while I apparently don’t have a problem with a spring-loaded metal bar snapping a mouse’s neck once they’ve been lured in by the smell of a delicious snack, I can’t stand the thought of them eating poison and then getting a bit of a poorly tum before dying.

Whatever. I contain multitudes.

ANYWAY.

So those little bastard mice got into my garland box, chewed all the wires, built a nest, and had a shit-and-piss-athon the likes of which I have never seen before (and hope to never see again). Needless to say, that garland ended up in the dumpster when we packed up to move to our current, blessedly mouse-free abode. Last year I meant to buy a replacement garland but I got distracted with…who fucking knows, probably BREATHING, knowing me…and never got around to it.

This year when I pulled out the holiday decorations I remembered the garland again, and I wrote it down on a LIST. If something makes it onto a list, I have about a 40% higher chance of actually remembering it. That still only bumps the total chance up to about 47%, but still. So it was on the list and when we went to Walmart on Monday night (which is another story in and of itself, oh my fucking word), we found a replacement garland. Happy happy, joy joy! I set it off to the side in the living room when we got home, intending to hang it up the next day. Which didn’t happen of course, because “hang up garland” wasn’t written on a list anywhere and I fucking forgot. WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

Wednesday afternoon I finally remembered I had bought the garland and decided to hang it up. The plan was to string it around the opening between our living room and kitchen. I call it an opening rather than a doorway because a) there are no doors and b) if there WERE doors, it would take like 3 doors to fill the opening. Tangent: is there an actual word for that? When there’s a hole in the wall that is clearly a transition from one room to the next but isn’t a doorway? It’s not a hallway or a passage because it’s not, like, its own space…it’s just a much-wider-than-a-door-shaped hole in the wall. Jesus, I’m making it sound like it has sheetrock and wires hanging out of it and shit, which it totally doesn’t. It’s finished and painted and whatever.

Sorry, back to the story.

So, Wednesday afternoon I went to hang up the garland. Now, before I go on, I want you to look very closely at this picture and come up with a good solid  mental picture of what you would expect to come out of this box:

img_20161214_171836098

Spoiler: this box is full of lies.

You would expect an 18 foot length of fake pine garland with a string of  clear twinkle lights incorporated into it, just like the picture shows, would you not? Granted, the picture only shows a couple feet of garland, but you would expect there to be roughly 18 continuous feet of fake greenery with lights in / on it. And probably a cord hanging off one or even both ends. That would be a completely reasonable expectation for this product.

Unfortunately, it would also be completely wrong.

The garland definitely did have lights incorporated. I’ll give it that. And it WAS green. And the lights WERE clear. But, as I unwound the garland from the cardboard it came wrapped around, something was amiss. Instead of 18 continuous feet of garland, what I ended up with was about three feet of cord with a plug at the end (reasonable), maaaaybe six feet of lighted garland, four more feet of bare green cord with a plug and socket (like the normal two-sided kind that comes on twinkle lights) in the middle, then another maaaaybe six feet of lighted garland, and three more feet of cord with another plug (which is the only other reasonable part of the whole bloody thing).

So I thought I was buying an 18 foot garland but REALLY what I got was two six foot garlands strung together with a GIANT FRIGGING BLANK SPOT IN THE MIDDLE. If the blank spot had been at either end, I could have just ucked the extra bare cord in behind something and been ok with it…but in the MIDDLE? Come the fuck on. I ended up kind of half-assed doubling the garland over on itself so that it would stretch across the top of the opening (seriously, tell me if there’s a real word for that, it’s really bothering me) and hang down a little on each side while disguising the NEAR ENTIRE THIRD of it that’s just bare green cord.

It looks exactly as weird as you’re imagining. Possibly worse. It was embarrassing enough that I didn’t take a picture of it, so that should tell you something.

The morale of this story, I think we can all agree, is to not buy garland at Walmart.

Or, if you’re going to buy garland at Walmart, open the box and check that it is what it says it is.

Or, just eschew garland of any kind.

And don’t let stupid incontinent mice get into your stuff because they’ll ruin everything. EVERYTHING.

AND…there should be a word for a doorway that contains no doors. The doorway, I mean. Not the word. The word can have door in it, but I don’t really see how that could work unless it was like…non-doorway…and that’s really not any better of a word for what I’m trying to explain.

Ok, I gave myself a headache. I gotta go.

11 thoughts on “my garland is fucked

    • Yeah, cased opening was brought up on Facebook as well. I looked it up and that’s what we have, but ours doesn’t have trim. Which I do realize is basically just me being a fucking pedant at this point, for the record…;)

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  1. That sounds so weird, I had to go to the Walmart website to find it: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Holiday-Time-18-Pre-Lit-Garland/19341432?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=2138&adid=22222222227028186702&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=46972558712&wl4=pla-91976521712&wl5=9002913&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=19341432&wl13=2138&veh=sem

    One of the reviewers says you can separate it into 2 nine-foot sections. Can you do that with yours? Still. Advertising 18 feet when you’re really only getting 2 six-foot lengths of lit pine is whack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’s two nine-foot sections, but that’s like the total length of each section including cord on both ends, so you only end up with 6ish feet of garland on each section. Maybe it’s more than 6 feet, I didn’t get the tape measure out. It’s still totally fucking weird and NOT what it says on the box, though.

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  2. Mice are such little terrors. How dare anything that destructive be so cute? We had a problem with them a while back (now that I’ve all but wallpapered the apartment in steel wool it seems to have stopped, knock wood) and I looked over from my computer one evening and one of the little cheeky buggers was sitting right out in the middle of our living room carpet calmly eating a stolen Cheerio like he owned the fucking place.

    My condolences on your garland.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That little bastard. I hope you at least threw something at him.

      In my very first apartment (which was actually a converted barn with a fieldstone foundation, so you can imagine the rodent wonderland THAT was), most of the place was one big room, with an exposed stairway that went up along one wall of the main room and ended in a balcony that led to my bedroom. One night I was sitting there reading and I heard this weird ‘plop..scuttle…plop…scuttle’. I looked over to see a mouse going right down the middle of my stairs in a very business-like manner: plop from one tread down to the next, scuttle across the tread, peek over the edge for a second, then plop down to the next. It was so cute that I couldn’t be mad about it. The little assholes eventually built a nest inside the back of my range, though. We weren’t friends after that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hahaha…I have to admit that’s an adorable mental image.

        I didn’t get a chance to throw anything at my little jerk. The second I even thought about making a move, he disappeared. Have mice figured out the secret to faster-than-light travel? Because I always hope I’ll be able to track them to where they got in, but damned if they don’t just vanish into thin air once they realize they’ve been spotted.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Opening. Or possibly entrance. I have the same in my place; I’ll comment on Twitter with a photo.

    Had field mice in first house; felt really bad about the sticky trap that caught one – poor thing was crying! Made hubby put it in a paper bag and take it outside to smash its head with a hammer (rather than allow it to starve to death, which is the point of sticky traps). We did not set any more traps & called a truce.

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