Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Village of the Damned, Part 5

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So I race home in my car loaded down with the slightly illicit stash of goods from Lou’s Emporium of Budget Miniature Housing and Questionable Moral Values, in an overly giddy mood about the prospects of what I might do with my new children.

Since I am having to maneuver my vehicle through the transitional Dark Hell traffic where laid-back country folk are competing on the roads with angry big-city people in ginormous SUV’s that they don’t really need, this journey takes a bit longer than I would hope, and I have a few minutes to reflect on the current state of my Village addiction.

Let’s see.

As I have mentioned before in this current cycle of stories concerning me and my fondness for toy houses that light up, the fourth official season of the Christmas Village was the one wherein I lost all reason and objectivity. It was a spiral of shame that has repercussions to this day.

First, there was my infidelity. Yes, I had cheated on my beloved St. Nicholas Square collection from Kohl’s, stepping out a few times on the side with some Department 56 tramps. It was sordid and distasteful, but at least it had only been brief flings with single houses at a time.

Now I had purchased an entire harem of Department 56 sluts, and was in the process of dragging these trollops back to the house and parading them around in front of my betrothed, the St. Nicholas Square buildings, lovely porcelain beings who had done nothing but faithfully serve me over the years with their cuteness and electrical joy.

There was bound to be talk in the Village neighborhood, with the established residents quite perturbed and outraged, huddling in groups to gossip about the audaciousness of these new houses, with their flashy detailing and obvious snooty, moneyed background. A class war could easily erupt, with citizens spilling into the streets, waving hand-painted signs to express their dissatisfaction.

I had to proceed carefully. Yes, I had sinned and strayed, but the deed was done and we all just had to get along. I would have to go before the city planning commission to ensure that all needs were met. I really did not relish the possibility of having to declare martial law and lock down the city after curfew. That would be sordid and tacky.

So once I arrived home, I immediately went on a Public Relations offensive, taking careful steps to show that I was not playing favorites. All my children were equal. I marched into the Village Staging Area in the front room, where no urban development had yet taken place this year. We were still in the pre-deployment stage, with stacks of boxed houses all over the room. No furniture had yet been transformed into real estate.

As I entered the room, carefully transporting three of the new housing boxes, there was a collective gasp from the tenured stacks of housing. What is going ON? Why is he bringing THREE of those fancy things up in here? This be the hood. We ghetto village from Kohl’s. Why you frontin?

I ignored the cries of outrage and placed the boxes in one of the few clear spaces left on the floor, then proceeded to gather the other boxes from the car until all seven newbies were stacked in a little pile. The tension in the air was thick, and I had to make a move to prove gentle but firm dominance.

I took one of the white sheets I use for “fake snow ground” and covered the new arrivals, instantly dimming any haughty shimmer they might have, in a move meant to convey that I didn’t care for these new intruders any more than I did for my loving older offspring. All were equal.

At first, this seemed to placate the unruly crowd.

Then there was a very tiny voice from UNDER the white sheet.

“Oh no he DIDN’T! You don‘t cover ME!”

Uh oh. See, you bring in these pampered kids that have lived a life of luxury in fancy stores with high prices, and they just don’t know how to act in the real world, especially when that real world involves bargain miniature housing from discount stores. Was there going to be a riot after all?

Gratefully, there was an equally tiny smack as some level-headed occupant of the fancy houses under the sheet slapped the spoiled Muffy and shut her up. This slapper was a wise person. You might be made of the finest porcelain in the world, but the seven of you (okay, nine of you, if you count my two former indiscretions) don’t stand a chance against an angry mob of at least 65 houses built of cheaper but very bitter porcelain.

No more words came from the shrouded seven boxes.

And eventually, the rest of the room settled down.

We were okay for now. No impending genocide.

But did I learn anything from this incident? Of course not. I was on a bender that year. Some kind of fire had been lit, and I was running with it. I had an insatiable need for more housing. And sadly, there were a number of convenient outlets more than happy to satisfy my wicked, carnal desires.

The next fail point was when I discovered that the Michael’s chain, that distributor of irritating crafting products, with things like fake flowers and glue guns, also carried a line of Christmas housing. Normally, I would never consider venturing into a store that reeked of the desperation of bored people seeking out something insipid to do just to pass the time.

But there was a sale ad in the Sunday paper that caught my eye. A big ole display of little Christmas houses, looking cute as hell in that manipulated way that all sale circulars have, where something looks magnificent until you actually cast your eyes upon said objects in the store. I should have blown it off right then. This was a craft store. How could this possibly satisfy me?

But I didn’t blow it off. I headed to the nearest Michael’s. Low and behold, they had a huge selection of housing shooting out their ass. All kinds of interesting stuff. Now, this product line is not always top quality, by any means. (For those of you in the know about such things, the Michael’s line is manufactured by Lemax. Lemax is hit and miss. One house can be stunning, the next house is total crap. Whoever is in charge of production should be fired. Just sayin.)

And, it must be noted, the Lemax line is on a smaller scale than St. Nicholas Square or Department 56. Things are therefore out of proportion. You have to be very careful when mixing this line with the other two, or things just end up looking stupid and your village sucks.

This little proportion glitch didn’t stop me, of course. Who cares about minor things like that when you’re gay? We have genes that no other marketing segment has been blessed with. We can take crap and turn it into fine art within seconds. It’s just what we do.

I believe I only purchased five houses whilst breaking my virginity with Michael’s. Granted, I was cheating on St. Nicholas Square once again, but really, that barn door was already open. I had to let go of the guilt, and be free. It took about three seconds for me to do this.

A few days later, Terry and I are in Lowe’s, that bastion of home-improvement and do-it-yourself mania. I don’t know what we were looking for. In fact, I don’t know why we were even there together. We never agree on anything when we’re in that store. He wants track lighting, I want sconces. He wants a hot tub, I just want to make sure the toilets flush properly. You know how it goes.

Anyway, I grow bored with whatever item we might be arguing about, and I head out to their Christmas area. I’m used to this being a place of Christmas trees, decorations, and power cords. Then I turn a corner and I’m stunned.

Lowe’s now has a Christmas village line.

This one’s called Carole Towne. I guess the extra “E’s” were meant to convey classiness, don’t really know. I do know that they had some things I desperately wanted. Somebody was feeding me an enchanting supply of smack once again. And junkie that I am, I raced forward with my hand in the air.

And we left that establishment with yet another stack of village housing.

So we get all this crap home, and now there are piles of boxes all over the front room, otherwise known as the Village Room. Terry, trying to inject some sanity into my madness, calmly asks: “How are you going to make this happen? There’s only so much room.”

I just look at him. How can he doubt me? This is one thing I can do, and do it with astonishing skill and prowess. Don’t mess with me. I just as calmly advise him to go watch “Titanic” for the 300th time (did anybody mention obsessions?) and don’t expect to see me for a week.

Then I slam the door and get to work.

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