When my son Jimmy was young, circa second or third grade, he shared with me that he was pondering – as children often do – some of the secrets of the universe. I recall the conversation going something like this:
“Mom, I have an idea about how we get into heaven.”
“Why are you thinking about that?”
“Don’t know. So, when we’re born we get 100 sins.”
“We get to make 100 mistakes. Anymore, and we don’t get into heaven.”
“How did you come up with this?”
“Don’t know. Thing is, you don’t know when you’ve reached 100. So, when you sin, it better be worth it. Don’t want to waste one of your 100 on something stupid.”
Yep, kids sure do say the darnedest things.
I have no idea where I am on my 100 sins lifetime total. I fear that I may have blown my wad, going over the top because of a stupid childhood prank I committed every December with my cohort in crime, JoJo.
JoJo and I did a lot of naughty kid stuff, but I’m not sure all would rise to the level of sin. We kicked over dozens of trash cans, rang most of the neighborhood door bells, and made quite a few crank phone calls. Hoping that most of those will not keep me out of heaven. However, there was this one thing…
Do you remember the old fashioned outdoor Christmas lights we all used in the 70s? The bulbs were big and screwed into large sockets. They looked like this:
Image provided courtesy of www.morguefile.com
Each year our neighbor, Mr. Johnson, would install miles of strands of these lights throughout the shrubs and bushes of his south Florida yard. It was a painstaking process that produced a beautiful, glowing wonderland throughout his plush green landscape. JoJo and I would sit perched in his home across the street from Mr. Johnson’s house and watch the transformation. And we would wait. I am not proud of what comes next.
Under the cover of darkness, JoJo and I would creep over into Mr. Johnson’s yard and we would unscrew – but not remove – just one of the bulbs. This caused the entire string of lights to go dark. We would repeat this process several times, pushing our luck. It is a bit of a miracle we were never caught.
The next day we would hide in JoJo’s yard and watch Mr. Johnson methodically check each bulb on each string of lights, unscrewing and then re-screwing each one until he found the source of the outage.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that little prank qualifies as a sin. And it very well could be the one that has put me over my 100 limit. I fully expect to arrive at the pearly gates and be greeted by St. Peter, who, looking down at his clipboard and then back at me, smiles and says,
Sorry my dear, but that little holiday stunt of yours put you over the top. Looks like you’ll be heading to warmer climates.
I don’t think he’ll be referring to sending me back to Florida.
If it’s not too late: I’m really sorry Mr. Johnson. Kids suck. Please forgive.
Speaking of Florida, here’s proof that putting up Christmas lights down in my home state can sometimes be a little tricky:
Image provided courtesy of http://lolzombie.com/
Do you have a holiday lights story?
Cheers and a very Merry Christmas to everyone,