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Diatribe: The Return Of Sarah Childs’ Middle Finger Christmas Light Display.

12/14/2013

SARAH-CHILDS-HOLIDAY-LIGHTS-large570I don’t live in a particularly competitive neighborhood.  If one neighbor gets a new mailbox we don’t all run out and get new mailboxes.  If someone paints their front door red, we don’t all feel the need to paint our front doors, too.  There’s not a “keeping up with the Joneses” sort of attitude.  I think it’s safe to say that we all like it that way.  This is particularly true during the holiday season when, unlike one Denham Springs, Louisiana, neighborhood, there is no Christmas light competition drama.

I’m glad I’m not Sarah Childs’ neighbor.

For the second year in a row, Sarah Childs has placed holiday lights on the rooftop of her home in the unmistakable shape of a hand flipping the bird.  Last year, with the help of the ACLU, Childs fought city officials for the right to flip off her neighbors with the colored lights and won a restraining order that prevented the city from removing the lights when a judge deemed her display “free speech”.

This year, when she put up her finger lights again, she immediately received angry calls of complaint from neighbors and someone actually cut her lights and extension cords into tiny pieces and threw them around her lawn.  Childs quickly replaced her holiday message and added a second finger for good measure.

“You know lots of people just resort to violence.  Look at road rage, people flip each other off all the time.  I really don’t see what the big deal is.” – Sarah Childs

Adding to the absurdity of the situation is the fact that Childs doesn’t even live in the house any more.  The house has been empty since she and her husband divorced which makes the display even more offensive to neighbors.  Apparently, the light display was first installed because Childs believed a neighbor stole her dog and Childs would like for it to remain on permanent display.

Personally, I’ve never had the desire, the nerve or the time to climb on the roof of my house to secure strings of lights to its gutters on a frigid December evening.  On the occasions that I have decorated outside my house with lights for Christmas, I’ve used strings of lights fashioned into nets and draped over shrubbery that was close to the ground.  I’m festively lazy but the ACLU and City Hall have never needed to become involved.

Would you call the police if your neighbors put this on their roof?

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5 Comments
  1. I’d be bothered, disturbed, disgusted, and I’d probably wanna know why she did it, but it isn’t a police matter.

    It’s kind of a dumb thing to do though it’s her right.

  2. Can’t imagine any of our wonderful neighbors doing such a thing! Would I call the cops. No.

  3. I would just close my curtains & not look at it.

  4. I think it really does depend on how it actually affecting the person complaining. I don’t need to be looking up at a roof all night. And if the lights are not penetrating my bedroom curtains then I can try to get some sleep in relative darkness. And if you don’t have kids tapping mummy and daddy to say that finger is swearing or offensive etc, and you don’t see it that way, then let her waste her electricity bill and risk her life on that roof.

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