Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," live from Snobville, New Jersey! I'm Anne, a fine lady of a certain age. And with age comes wisdom ... if not money. I'm poor, but I'm smart.
The thing about wisdom is that every experience adds to it. It accrues, if you aren't a forgetful moron.
Tonight I accrued some new wisdom and recalled some old wisdom, and it all boils down to this: Don't go looking for those brightly-colored Christmas houses two weeks after the Christmas season ends.
Remember this. You heard it here, so don't do it.
Earlier this evening, the Vo Tech had its annual talent show. My daughter The Heir is about to go back to college this weekend, and I didn't want to spend another long evening at school without her. So I asked her to come over and be with me in the after-school hours (I'm co-leader of a club) and then go with me to the talent show.
Heir's dad dropped her off at 4:00, and we attended the talent show at 6:00. It ended at 7:30, and we started driving back toward Snobville. When we got to Snobville, the whole place was lit up like Christmas never ended (We've had a few snowstorms here, and the wealthy residents don't care about their electric bills).
Heir and I, not wishing to call it a day, decided to go into the neighboring borough and scope out one of our all-time favorite Crazy Christmas houses, just in the off chance that it was still lit up. We drove to the neighborhood, and slowly drove around looking for the house. Found it -- cruised by -- it not only wasn't lit, but it also looked forlorn, because not all of the decorations had been put away yet. So I slowly eased toward the main thoroughfare again ... and suddenly there was a cop car behind me, lights flashing.
I pulled over, wondering what the Sam Hill could possibly be wrong. I sure wasn't exceeding the speed limit, and I'd recently had my car in the Vo-Tech shop, so I knew no bulbs were burnt out or anything. But here came the cop with his flashlight, asking me for my license and registration.
He said, "You were driving slowly and making frequent stops."
I said, "Yes, we were looking for that crazy Christmas house. You know, the one all lit up."
He said, "That's four miles from here." (Were do they get these men? Heir and I were one block from a house that has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer.)
I said, "Well, I know this is silly, because it's way after Christmas, but I was hoping the lights were still on."
He said, "There's been a lot of drug activity in this neighborhood, so we are pulling over anyone who's acting suspicious."
(New Jersey and you ... perfect together.)
The cop bid me farewell, and Heir and I tooled off toward Snobville.
I was reminded of a time when my mother was getting elderly and she was out driving at night. A policeman stopped her and made her walk the white line because she was driving too slowly. He thought she was lit. She chewed him out because it was cold, and she was old -- and he made her late for her bridge game.
Annie's free advice for the night: Drive fast. And don't look for Christmas lights on January 13. If you can't get the Christmas house thing done by the time Santa plops down his last sack of coal, bag it.
Can you think of anything more embarrassing than being pulled over by a cop for driving too slow, and then your registration has expired?
Yeah, I'm Annie the Cailleach. Learn from me.