Christmas Tree Missile

As I was writing the title of this post I had a flashback to the 3rd grade when I was in the school wide spelling bee. I had made it to round 4 and there were only ten of us left. I was wearing my lucky California Raisins sweatshirt and I started feeling a little cocky, which was somewhat merited considering I had outlasted every single one of the 4th grade participants, half of the 5th graders, and even two 6th graders (we had junior high: 7-9th grade, where I grew up) and had spelled the words “freight”, “education”, and “lateral” without much trouble (and also to astounding applause). As I stepped up to the mic to get my next word, I had visions of being the first 3rd grader ever to participate in the national spelling bee and change the world’s negative perception of my little suburban town, Auburn, Washington (which was mostly known for serial killers and a high teen pregnancy rate). One of the judges gave me the word and I remember arrogantly thinking “Oh. I got this thing in the bag! Look out America, the Alex Moore train is coming your way!”. But like every spelling bee pro knows, you first have to ask for the definition (it buys you enough time to build the suspense…spelling bees are all about the drama). The judge read aloud the definition, “The word is a noun and it’s definition: a rocket-propelled weapon that flies either in a fixed trajectory or in a trajectory that can be controlled during flight.” In my head, I thought, “Trajector-what? Dude, I’m in third grade. You could’ve just said gigantic weapon shaped like a hot dog that blows crap up!” I knew I had it in the bag so asking for the country of origin was pointless. I started saying the letters out loud (of course taking dramatic pauses for effect) “M…I…S…T…L…E…Mistle”. The room fell silent, “Where are the cheers?” I thought. The judge then chimed in, “I’m sorry that isn’t right. The correct spelling is M…I…S…S…I…L…E”. I left the stage dumbfounded, thinking, “Everyone knows that mistletoe is spelled with a T. Why would someone go out of their way to spell a word differently that is pronounced exactly the same?” Anyway, I don’t know why I just told that story, it really has no relevance to this post other than the word “missile”.

After our “Last day of radiation” celebration on Friday, Amy wanted to go shopping for a Christmas tree. She has wanted a tree since we first got married, but we haven’t seen the point of getting one up until now because we didn’t have the space, (for one) and we’re usually out of town for a majority of the holiday season. Although we liked the idea of getting a real tree, we decided to get a fake one instead. However, being so caught up in the excitement of getting a tree we didn’t think about the fact that it was (say the next phrase in the same voice you’d hear advertising a monster truck rally) BLACK FRIDAY!!! Our friends Tim, Amber, Richard as well as Amy’s dad, (his name is Michael Myers btw, but it’s not the guy who played Shrek or the guy with the white mask who carries a butcher knife and kills babysitters…at least I’m pretty sure it’s not the latter) and his friend Natalie, were still hanging out with us after the celebration, so we asked them to join us to get our tree. Amy’s dad, who we all affectionately call “Pops”, volunteered to drive us in his new Sprinter Van (that is decked to the nines with rotating seats, flatscreen, a bench seat that folds into a bed, and lots of storage). We made mochas and hot cocoa to bring with us and chose Target as our “target” for getting the tree. As we entered the store, we were bombarded with Christmas cheer, and were told that trees were on the second floor. We huddled our clan up the escalator and spent a long time deciding on the right tree (like any smart consumer should do). We finally decided on a tree that is 6 feet tall with lights already on it. Pops volunteered to carry it for us as we headed downstairs towards the check out. Richard, who had also picked out the same tree for himself, mentioned how surprisingly heavy it was. Pops found that to be true for him as well, so as we got on the escalator, he put it down for a second thinking it would stay to get a better grip on it and the next thing we knew, it was shooting down the escalator, on (Monster Truck voice) BLACK FRIDAY mind you, quickly gaining momentum and taking off like a missile (not mistle) towards a young couple that were nearing the bottom of the escalator (it reminded all of us of that scene in Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase greases up his slide and rockets down the snowy hill). Everything moved so fast that as the christmas tree missile continued it’s “trajectory”, none of us were able to warn the couple…all we could do was hold our breath. Fortunately, as the christmas tree (missile) hit the end of the escalator, the couple had already stepped off, but it did come within two inches of taking out the young woman. An eerie silence fell over Target (again, don’t forget that it was BLACK FRIDAY!!!) and all that could be heard was our laughter (mainly from the relief that it didn’t turn into something more disastrous). As we reached the bottom, we were pleased to find that the tree had survived the trauma, but a lot of the people surrounding the escalator weren’t as amused as us. One of them even shouted, “That’s not FUNNY!!” and without any hesitation, I responded, “Yes it was!” Still not amused, the woman came back with, “Someone could’ve gotten hurt!” Although I knew it came from a concerned place in her heart, her demeanor annoyed us, so I just shrugged my shoulders and told her, “Yeah, well…no one did get hurt, and it wasn’t done on purpose…so from our perspective it was very funny. Besides, I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now and I needed a good laugh.” I then smiled at her (which I couldn’t do, two months ago) and said, “Happy Holidays!”

When we got home, we all worked together to set up and decorate the tree using Amy’s childhood ornaments. I have to say, it was really touching for me to see the joy on Amy’s face as friends and family gathered around us to help decorate and bring in the holidays. It was also another reminder of how much we have to be thankful for this holiday season.

Much Love,



Amy and our tree

P.S. I am currently in the dog house as I write this. We continued the Myers family (Amy’s family) tradition of using an angel Amy made in kindergarten to put on the top of the tree and I made the mistake of saying it looked like (actually that’s not true…Richard said it, but I made the mistake of agreeing with him) the scary puppet from the “Saw” film franchise. You can see the puppet I’m referring to below, and the angel she made in the video below that.

billy the puppet.jpg

The creepy puppet from Saw

This is a video montage of our tree decoration celebration, I put it to the music of Mannheim Steamroller (That’s what the Moore family would listen to when we decorated the tree while I was growing up. Go 80’s childhood!!!)

This is Pops’ surprising confession to the Christmas Tree Missile incident