Beware The Decorations
Scoop Hampton And The Lost Light Escapage
“Scoop” Hampton gets a holiday décor shower when he opens the closet.
By Matt Hampton
From the Peruvian Andes to the Tanzanian jungles dark as pitch, when there’s a story that must be told and facts begging to be unearthed, there is only one man at Queens’ largest weekly newspaper who can be tasked.
That man is Scoop Hampton, friend to the downtrodden, torch in the darkness. His middle name may not be “Danger,” but he’s got a birthmark that spells EXCITEMENT!
In this week’s adventure, Scoop takes on his most daring assignment yet- the search for that most elusive of creatures, the grimmest of all possible foes, the dreaded “Dr. Dynamite,” who holds in his tangled clutches the legendary “Holiday Décor.”
If you’re not careful, hanging those lights can be a shocking experience. Photos by Kevan Tucker
Scoop’s adventure begins in earnest at the very start of the holiday season, as he calls his trusty photographer, “Kino-Eye Kevan.” After all, if people don’t see it, it ain’t news.
“K.K.? It’s me, Scoop. There’s a scuttlebutt about Dr. Dynamite, rumor has it he’s got the fabled ‘Holiday Décor.’”
“Let me guess, Scoop, it’s our job to—”
“That’s right, to find the Doc and the Decor, that’s the straight dope, K.K.”
And so, over hill and dale, our valiant heroes journey into the recesses of a metropolitan apartment, where legend holds the “Holiday Décor” is hidden, waiting for just the right time of year to return to the domiciles, garages and lawn decorations of our fair borough.
“Where we going first, Scoop?”
“Well, K.K., according to this ancient map I procured from a medicine man in Maspeth, the most likely spot to hide the ‘Holiday Décor,’ is a basement, attic or utility closet. If we check there, we may find some clue as to the whereabouts of the dastardly Dr. Dynamite.”
Scoop, courageous as always, grabs the utility closet door handle, and staring into the face of adventure, pulls as he turns….
With a wail and a crash, the contents of the metropolitan utility closet come bearing down on our intrepid hero. Santas, menorahs, tangled lights, tinsel and wrapping all jump angrily out of their musty prison cell. With little time to think, Scoop takes a deep breath, filling his lungs with the sweet air of freedom before he succumbs to the gaping maw of a 12-month-old mess.
“Y’know, Scoop, it might be a good idea to clean those closets come the Holidays, it’s a good way to keep things organized.”
“Don’t be silly, K.K., this was obviously another Dr. Dynamite booby trap.”
As Scoop works to untangle himself from the reprehensible snare, he checks each bulb to make sure there are no jagged breaks or missing lights.
“You can never be too careful, K.K.”
Watch out for broken glass on the floor from shattered ornaments.
“You can say that again, Scoop.”
Once our intrepid hero has untangled the mess of lights, it’s up to Kino-Eye Kevan to clear away the mangled remains of several broken Christmas tree bulbs.
“You’ve got to be careful of that broken glass, Scoop, when you’re—”
“That’s right, K.K., unpacking decorations can be a dangerous job, we’ve got to be sure that breakable items are carefully bubble-wrapped, or at least placed in boxes with packing peanuts or other padding.”
Wielding broom and dustpan with the aplomb of the mythical Monk-Maids of the Lemon-Scented Hills, Kino-Eye Kevan sweeps the razor-sharp vestiges of the fallen ornaments into a nearby trash can.
“Well, K.K., booby trap aside, it looks like we’ve found all the ‘Holiday Décor,’ though Dr. Dynamite has escaped our grasp once again.”
“We’ll get him next time, Scoop.”
With the task finished, and the Holiday Décor safely unpacked and ready to be used for the forces of truth and righteousness, Queens is once again safe to celebrate the holidays!