Note From Jon


Monday, December 3, 2007

A Festivus for the rest of us

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?

Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!

Our house lost a tree this year. Thankfully it wasn’t the Connolly Tree, which now stands alone in the front yard, patiently awaiting the addition of this year’s strand of lights. The Connolly Tree did look rather lonely though and the right side of our lawn is just a bit empty now that the massive maple has been removed. So Darren and I came up with a plan: Where the maple once stood… we would erect a Festivus Pole! Although traditionally unadorned we decided it would look like a flagpole or unfinished construction project if we simply planted a pole there, so we decided to enhance our Festivus Pole with a friendly (though not so subtle) sign. In honor of Festivus, which falls before Christmas, we will give the pole a week in our front yard alone before the full onslaught of holiday lights and decorations are added next Sunday.

Notes to Jon:

  • While we nearly settled for the pole of a volleyball net or PVC pipe (spray painted chrome), our search led us to the electrical aisle in Home Depot where we discovered a Festivus pole that had been captured and was being sold as electrical conduit. We liberated the pole from a dreary existence shielding electrical cable in some commercial warehouse and brought it home. I believe it is 2” outer diameter, ¼” thick, and 10’ long, and while it isn’t aluminum, it does meet the Festivus requirement of having “a high strength to weight ratio”.

  • Three sections of four foot rebar hold the pole in place surprisingly well.

  • Painting the white letters on the black board is critical to being able to read the Happy Festivus sign. Just using the lights alone wouldn’t have been legible.

  • We drilled holes in the sign just big enough for each light’s base to slide through but not for the bulb itself. This was a plus because we didn’t have to glue the lights in place, but then again we did have to take out each bulb and reinsert it once we slid the base through the hole… and that can be a problem because: Although the lights say they stay lit when a bulb “burns out”… they don’t stay lit when a bulb isn’t seated properly in the first place. Turns out that made it a pain in the ass to figure out which bulb wasn’t reseated properly when I plugged the sign in and it didn’t light!


Jan Louis said...

Nice Pole! Now on to the Airing of Grievences!!!

Mare! said...

Can't wait to see the Feats of Strength. Jon AND Darren shall be pinned!

Candice said...