Toxic Tree

It's 3 days after Thanksgiving, so of course it's time to kick the Turkey carcass and pumpkins to the curb and break out the Christmas decorations. I hate people who do this, but we have extenuating circumstances this year, so I found myself cutting down a Christmas tree on Black Friday while wearing a T-shirt and jeans. It's just not the same experience when you can still feel your extremities.

Anyway, we had friends in town and it was only opportunity we were going to have to do the whole tree thing, so we did it. I'm a little concerned, because we got some new lights for the tree this year and after I put them up, I read the side of the box and saw this:

So I'll probably be dead soon -- or at the very least, dead from the waist down -- since I didn't wash my hands and I was snacking throughout the entire process. Luckily, I didn't have to pee during the light stringing, so I avoided direct transfer of lead dust to my man junk.

I like how they don't even say "may expose you to lead." Nope, this shit is guaranteed. No question. You WILL have lead on your hands when you are done handling these things.

So when did stringing a set of lights on a Christmas tree become a life-threatening endeavor? At what point did the coating on the outside of the wires become more dangerous than the electricity on the inside?

I don't know. I think I'm just going back to those big-ass bulbs we had when I was a kid. So what if they actually raised the temperature of the room and got so hot tinsel melted to them? At least if you died in a fire, you'd die with your reproductive organs intact.


  1. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Sorry, I am too busy cracking up at the use of "man junk."

    We went with the prelit monstrosity this year. All I have to do is spray pine scented air freshener and I will have officially become my Grandmother.

    Only a matter of time before the bursitis acts up.

  2. Hey! I just posted about old lights. Yesterday at an antique store I had them plug in a set of Noma lights from the 1940's. Those bulbs were smoking hot in a matter of seconds. The lights from the 50's stay cool- I have some. As for the Prop warning, I discovered that a couple of years ago. I looked into it and it's not just Christmas lights but now most cords have that warning. The cords haven't changed; the warning is relatively new due to California's Proposition 65. Now, although those 40's Noma bulbs are smoking, they still had the cloth wrapped cords which are wicked cool.

  3. Ahh this post brought back memories of when my little brothers decorated their room with those huge bulbs and some packing tape. I awoke to the smell of something burning coming from their room.

    Upon inspection I found the room festively lit and my brothers favorite stuffed toy Lorax, tree still in hand, with a bulb burnt down through its stomach.

    I love that Prop 65 warning. I seen it on some fishing lures once while out on the lake. "Caution, wash hands after touching" WTF. "Dad, I told you we needed to bring the kitchen sink"

  4. Anonymous5:02 PM

    All you have to do to de-lead yourself is wash your hands? That's awesome.

  5. I remember those lights. We had a heck of a time breaking my mom of them. Those and the bubble lights, I hated the bubble lights.

    This post made me laugh.

  6. JV, I just saw this warning on Friday after handling all my lights and then rubbing my eyes. I was 99% sure I was going to go blind. So far, so good, but we'll see. Lead poisoning seems like something that would take a while to take effect.

    P.S. Um...please do mutton chops for my birthday and send me a picture. Thanks.

  7. Anonymous11:32 AM

    I noticed this warning AFTER I already hung all the Christmas lights, at 8 months pregnant!

    Of course I freaked.

    Then I figured that the bun was already fully cooked, so no harm done.

    P.S. Other than the family trait of insanity, she is now a completely normal 5 year old.

  8. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Hey JV, thanks for the tip. If I ever need to bump off the wife, all I have to do is coil some of these up under her side of the bed and sit back and wait for the insurance check to come. Sweeet.

  9. Anonymous4:15 PM

    Living in California as I do, I see this warning posted up all over the place. My favorite part is that it's "known to the state of California." All you other ignorant states just haven't figured it out yet. When it's known to a vast majority of scientists, I'll start to pay heed.