Holy Exploding Christmas Tree Bulbs!

WTF! There on the living room wall was a big red stain, like somebody hurled a glass of wine at the Christmas tree and missed. Who would do such a thing?

Before I started accusing people of reckless anti-holiday hijinks, I noticed something odd: one of the bubble lights on the tree had stopped bubbling — and in fact its glass tube was bone dry. You know these bubble lights. The cheesy old-school ornaments have been around forever.

My wife thinks they’re dreadful, but the warm glow and bubbling bubblyness brings back fond childhood memories of Christmas past.

It seems that the tube blew its top and the liquid squirted out all over the wall like Old Faithful. According to Wikipedia, these things are filled with dichloromethane, noted for its low boiling point and use “as a paint stripper and a degreaser.”

I got a rag and tried to wipe off the stain, but nothing would work. Nice. The red dye is stubborn stuff — and because the ornaments come from China, it’s probably the same toxic brew that they use to paint our kids’ toys.

A more sensible person would remove all these things from the tree, but instead I went out and bought some more. What are the holidays without a little danger?

11 thoughts on “Holy Exploding Christmas Tree Bulbs!

  1. Actually, I think those things are filled with nuclear waste.

    Wall would make an interesting background for your annual Christmas picture, but I suppose The Saint will make you fix it first!

  2. If you want danger, go big or go home. Put real candles on your tree.

    We spent Christmas with my grandmother in the ’90s, and she was still using the original bubbly, hot, 100% genuine fire hazard lights from the ’50s or ’60s.

  3. I can only imagine how you explained this to Mrs. Madeo.

    “Hey, guess what, Honey? As just one of MANY Christmas gifts to you this year, I’m going to paint the living room whatever color you want! I was thinking a lovely shade of—er—magenta.”

  4. At Turtle Hook Junior High School in the mid-70s, we were conducting some of sort of science experiment using the fluid that came out of these things in chemistry class. The chemical, in addition to leaving amazing pink stains, was also highly, sweetly aromatic in an ether/magic marker/ditto fluid/model glue fashion, which generated the ever-popular adolescent “let’s sniff it until something happens” response. Several of us ended up on the floor and/or in the nurses office as a result. So be careful while you scrub.

  5. Whenever I need a laugh, I come back to this post and look at that stain on the wall. Then I imagine the look on your face. Then I imagine you telling your wife what happened.

    Works every time!

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