IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS
It was 10:00, the Saturday night after Thanksgiving and by some freak of scheduling, I only had to work until 11. Just enough time to make one more run, do my side work and head home. I printed out my delivery ticket, loaded my pizza bag and checked the map to confirm the delivery location. I had been in this area before but not down that particular road. I climbed into the whitish and left the bright lights of civilization. I drove to the extreme outer edges of our store's territory and then hung a right down a dirt road. I knew where to turn because there was a short, jagged piece of 2 by 4 nailed to a palm tree. The board featured red hand painted lettering that said, TURN HERE. I did and the dirt road was overgrown, even by Central Florida standards. I drove through the darkness until the road ended, turned around by backing into some bushes and tried again. On my third pass, I noticed some red numbers, hand painted on a telephone pole. They said 2413 which happend to be the number of the house I was looking for. The pole also happened to be next to a dirt road, that I had not seen before, so I turned. The driveway was long but after about 50 yards, opened up to become the front yard of a normal looking ranch style house. The front of the house had no lights what so ever but the back of the house was absolutely glowing orange, creating an almost eclipse-corona type effect. I continued following the dirt road and as I turned the corner of the house, I could immediately see the entire backyard area was illuminated with pole mounted quartz halogen lights. There was a large, two story, open ended garage-type shed that contained a number of 4WD "pick em up trucks". It also contained two teenage males, on separate 8 foot ladders artfully draping Christmas lights over the top of a trailer mounted airboat. Each of the teenagers was wearing camo pants and hats, black tees and jump boots.With my passenger window(remember, the driver's side window doesn't work on the whitish)open, I had begun to hear sounds, maybe music, wafting its way towards me as I turned down the driveway. Now, as I cleared the back corner of the house, I clearly heard Burl Ives singing, It's a Holly Jolly Christmas as it blasted from tree-mounted loud speakers. As I came to a halt, an average looking woman emerged from the house to whack the two yelping pit bulls with a large rod. She handed me the cash, took the pizzas and drawled for the teenagers to come and eat. As I got back in the car and headed out of the compound, I could see that they had plugged in the lights on the airboat. In a strange way, it was kind of pretty. As the branches scraped on the sides of the car and the mosquitoes swirled around the windshield, I heard Michael Jackson's Frosty The Snowman echo through the air. I headed down the road and back to the store with Spanish Moss hanging from my antenna.