Friday, December 22, 2006

The Air Up There

They say people go a little nuts around the holidays, and they--whoever they are--are right. In my little town in the middle of cornfield, USA, the criminals are even getting into the spirit of things. Our town has been inflicted with a rash of crimes perpetuated by a group of individuals known somewhat unoriginally as the "Blowup Santa Bandits." Their crimes are, as you might guess, making off with the neighborhood's blow-up santas.

Ordinarily, I would find this funny for the sheer absurdity of it. I'm fairly sure the bandits are high school kids and the banditry is simple prankery. It's more of a nuisance than anything else, especially because those damn santas ain't cheap. My neighbor has a plethora of blow up holiday items, all of whom have remained, like the stars, in their proper orbits around their yard.

Consequently, that places my neighbor under suspicion. And it falls to me, as the material witness (because this is Suburbia, and everybody spies on their neighbors), to confirm or deny the legitimate existence of said inflatables to a number of amateur detectives making the rounds of the neighborhood. Am I friends with said neighbor? Do I know how long said inflatables have resided in the house next door? Where does she keep them stored (a question I have myself, since they have a small garage, but hey--I get creative with the storage, too)? Does she covet inflatables?

I think that one year, I just might join the inflatable molestation crew. I think I might don a nice black Christmas Ninja outfit and strap a tank of helium onto my back, and sneak around, filling everyone's hot-air ho-ho-hos with helium and sawing through their cords so that there's barely a thread holding them down. And then I'll sit on my rooftop with a plastic santa set (because it's the kind of kitsch I can get behind) and a hot Kahlua, and watch as a good gust of wind liberates the blow-up population of my town and they all fly skyward, free to frolic with one another without the tethers placed upon them by their earthly masters, as nature intended.

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