Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lights Out for Martha. Almost.

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 31:  Martha Stewart (L) and Bette Midler pose together at Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project's Annual Hulaween gala benefit at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel October, 31, 2006 in New York City.  (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Back in freakin' August, I got my coveted "Grandin Road" Halloween issue. This is ALWAYS a very happy day for me. Martha's has a line of "good things" exclusive to Grandin Road. To a Halloween junkie like myself, it's the best damn thing since candy corn. Last year, in an effort to pace myself and depressed by the endless rain that turned my lawn to mush, I exercised some restraint in my lawn decor. I like Halloween, but I did not want to play out a live electrocution on the front lawn. (Although it would be a really fabulous, appropriate, yet tragic way to meet my demise.) The Grandin Road catalog had these FABULOUS flicker lights put out by none other than Martha Stewart. Apparently, these things are harder to get than Osama Bin Ladin, because I had to pre-ordered in August for delivery in mid-September. While gently stringing the lights across the porch here at Kelleywood, a slight gust of wind caught the dangling sting lights and smacked the bulbs against porch railing. One bulb smashed to bits. Crap. I looked in the box the lights came in. No extra bulb. I blamed Martha.

A few blogs ago (in case you haven't been tuning in and only view my blog when you want to complain about the music) I discussed how my rift with Martha had healed over the years. I even suggested how other celebrities (eh hem, Lilo, Paris) might aspire to Martha's example and start behaving like human beings. No whining and crying from Martha in the slammer, she took it like a champ and emerged a more admirable, humble human being. It was impressive. It helps that I am a complete sell-out when it comes to Halloween and NOBODY does Halloween quite as well as Martha.

Until this year. I was a lee...tle disappointed when the Fall issue of "Living" gave a lackluster rundown on this years Halloween. Instead, Martha had rehashed her Halloweens of Yore into a shiny book/magazine at twice the price of "Living". Martha is getting a little up there in years and probably has a lot on her plate with changing networks and all, so I was resolved to let her have one so-so year. I let it slide. This year. It is nice to have all the primo Halloween stuff of yore in one place. Then that light bulb smacked-up against the railing. True to form, the lights still lit (like Martha promised) even with a broken bulb, but one had to wonder if they presented a fire hazard. Especially on a porch swathed in cheesecloth like some sort of suburban mummy.

Cursing Martha under my breath, and trying to remember when I'd paid our last insurance premium, I tried to find a replacement bulb. Ever try to find a ONE watt, candelabra replacement flicker-bulb online? Who has ever heard of a ONE watt light bulb? Nobody. NOBODY. Not even the "1000 Light Bulbs Superstore". I gave-up and called customer service at Grandin Road in search of a replacement. Surely purveyors of such high quality Halloween stuff would know of a replacement. I felt sort of stupid contacting "tech support" for a friggin' light bulb, but I soon realized I was in over my head when I got the feeling NO ONE had ever requested a replacement bulb before. Surely I couldn't be the only person to smash a light bulb? Suddenly I felt very alone in the world with my singular smashed light bulb. Grandin Road was equally stumped. They told me they would "research the issue" and be back with me within 24-hours. Sure, right. I thought. I continued to search for the bulb online. After all, this was a Halloween emergency. Much to my surprise, less than an hour later, Grandin Road called and told me they would send me an entire new string, no charge on the fifteenth of October when their new shipment arrives.

A whole new string. Wow. I don't even have to send the old one back. It is a Halloween miracle. Martha and Grandin Road had come through for me. But, seriously, next year could you toss in an extra bulb? Please?

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