Cut to the asylum interior. An unshaven, wild-eyed man sits in the corner bound in a straitjacket, nodding his head, and muttering, "C7, C9, C7, C9..." over and over again.
"What's he in for?"
The great Christmas light quest of aught-nine is officially over. After many failed attempts to find the last few strings I needed, I settled on some that I discovered at Bachman's on Saturday. They're not ceramic which was what I really wanted, but they are multi-colored. They're also LED and have a five year warranty, so they should save energy and last longer (as in they actually might work again next year). I had to pay more for such features, but I'm hoping the investment pays off in the long run. Yes, I've finally acquired those C7s that I've been looking so hard for.
As I was stringing up the new lights in the fast diminishing light of late Saturday afternoon, I noticed that they looked a little different than the one string of ceramics I already had on the roofline. It wasn't just the finish and color of the bulbs either. It was the size. They were definitely smaller.
So all this time that I was searching very specifically--and would accept no substitute--for strings of multicolored, ceramic C7 bulbs, what I actually was trying to match was a string of multicolored, ceramic C9 bulbs. Funny, isn't it? Yeah, I'm still laughing today.
UPDATE-- Tim e-mails to twist the knife:
I hope in your quest for the C7 Christmas lights you didn't pass up C9 lights that you really needed.
Oh, you mean like when I was at a Target on Saturday and saw a string of C9 ceramics, but decided not to get it because you know I HAD to have C7s?
If they ever make a sequel to or updated version of A Christmas Story it should include a side story that kind of runs throughout the movie in the far background, kind of like the squirrel chasing the nut in Ice Age, with you, of course, as the "quiet, never bothers nobody, until Christmas that is," OCD-Christmas-light-obsessed town crazy guy.