Saturday, October 13, 2012
As envious as I am of all these decorations, and I am envious, you may be sure, what really astounds me is where these people store all this stuff. I wasn't kidding about the Frankenstein Monster in the helicopter: the blades atop his cockpit slowly turn as if the Creature had just come in for a landing in preparation for his big night. This same family has a whole series of holiday-themed inflatable animatronic helicopters: Santa in a helicopter, the Easter Bunny in a helicopter, Cupid and St Patrick in helicopters, it goes on forever. The helicopters, however, are at least deflatable, as are the giant snowmen and the monster-sized Easter eggs, but the Styrofoam tombstones and plastic skeletons they set out at Halloween, the wicker deer for Christmas, the signs reading "this way to the Bunny Trail" for Easter are not. Surely their basement must be stacked to the rafters with holiday lawn art: inflatable Uncle Sams and Bulldogs (for football season) and George Washingtons and Columbuses and Turkeys and Pilgrims. This is in addition to miles of blinking lights that will encircle their windows, drape over boxwoods, and drip from the eaves around Christmastime.
As much as I enjoy the spectacle on their lawn, what I really want to get a look at is the inside of their house. With all this gimcrack and whimsey-doodle, where do they have room for the essentials of life: those stacks of New Yorkers and New York Times they've been meaning to get around to reading, the corduroy bell-bottoms they're hanging onto in case fashions change and they suddenly lose twenty or thirty pounds, the unused elliptical machine and treadmill? "What the freak?" one is tempted to ask, "What the freakin' freak?"
In the face of public scorn and neighborhood peer pressure, the Martins will put out their usual Halloween ornamentation: a pumpkin bought at the last minute from Kroger, with a jagged grin and triangle-eyes cut into its face with a butcher knife that is likely to gouge one or the other of us in the process, necessitating a trip to the emergency room for stitches.
As resistant as I am to owning elaborate lawn art, one item did catch my eye, something for April: an animatronic helicopter with a slowly turning blade; inside sat an inflatable man, slightly balding with a dark suit and skinny black tie. The inflatable briefcase at his side read "IRS Audit."
Now that's creepy.