Right after Hoda and Kathie Lee of NBC's Today show told the nation Friday morning that a Lexington home had been voted as having the best holiday decorations in the land, John and Debbie Wagner (the responsible parties) drank a victory toast of diet Ale-8-One and went right back to working on props in their front yard at 1144 Tanbark Road.
Seems the pink flamingo-breast cancer awareness Christmas tree needed additional pinkage and the skeletons in the pickup needed some cold Coronas and the University of Kentucky area needed some glossies of Rich Brooks and Billy Gillispie.
"Oh, and we put together a Joe the Plumber, toilet and plunger and all," says Debbie Wagner.
The national television win came as a huge surprise to the Wagners, who until Monday didn't even know their house had been entered in the contest. In fact, the final tally on the Today show Web site was incorrect, with another of the three finalists showing a larger vote total (albeit with the disclaimer that viewers needed to watch the show to see which home was the winner).
No one at the Wagners was especially disappointed that weatherman Al Roker didn't show up on their doorstep, though Debbie Wagner's 90-year-old mom did dress in her tight leopard suit early in the morning just in case.
Luckily, WLEX (Channel 18), the Lexington NBC affiliate, more than made up for the Roker oversight, providing the nationwide network feed of the house's glamour at 10:30 a.m.
By mid-afternoon, Wagner's mom was still dressed in the snazzy outfit, even though she was napping, unwilling to be caught less than ready when the first trick-or-treaters came by.
John Wagner, on the other hand, spent the victory afternoon "making sure all the bones were accounted for" and making sure Debbie Wagner didn't fall off any ladders.
All so they were ready for what "really matters," says Debbie Wagner, "this community's approval."