Red-Bugged Christmas Tree

Red-Bugged Christmas Tree
26 November 2010 
It seems after about twenty years, the artificial Christmas tree may have red bug. As we pulled the branches out of our neatly labeled Christmas tree box (about two years ago The Prince Consort got tired of the original Christmas tree cardboard box that was 99% duct tape), fluffed, and stuck branches into the trunk, The Prince Consort asked when I thought we’d do the annual discussion of whether we should buy a new artificial tree. 
This would be another case of ‘multi-tasking’. It appears I forgot to have that discussion out loud. Or I had it in Lowes while he drooled over the power tools five aisles away, and I cruised the newly displayed Christmas trees. Apparently I finished the tree discussion alone.
So The Prince Consort was much relieved that ‘we’d already agreed’ as usual that it was too $#$% much money, and the old tree was fine.
And then we started winding the Christmas lights onto the old tree. Not that it started shedding like it had the grunge, but I noticed that a number of the branches were more brown that green. Closer inspection revealed more brown branch wrapping than green needles. Which accounts for the dustpans full of needles we swept up. 
This summer was tough on evergreens in this part of Kentucky. Many were weakened by lack of rain and became easy prey for the little red spiders that suck the life out of evergreens. When I was a kid in Southern California, we called them red bugs. 
The lights are wound perfectly on our Christmas tree. This is the first year I’ve gotten that right. Usually the distribution has the same lopsidedness of my photographs, a little skewed to the right. No way am I stripping off those perfect lights. We have plenty of ornaments to pile on the tree. More than enough to make it darned hard to tell if it’s been de-needled by the artificial red bug or not. 


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