The 7-year-old and I have been watching a lot of "MythBusters" lately. Which is obviously a fantastic idea when dealing with a second-grade spongeperson who absorbs information like a freakishly absorbent paper towel, and if that information contains explosions it becomes less an entertaining diversion and more an instinctual need.

The 7-year-old and I have been watching a lot of "MythBusters" lately. Which is obviously a fantastic idea when dealing with a second-grade spongeperson who absorbs information like a freakishly absorbent paper towel, and if that information contains explosions it becomes less an entertaining diversion and more an instinctual need.

I justify this explosion exposure by sitting next to him on the couch and occasionally shouting "Science!" like the guy in that Thomas Dolby song. I mean, "MythBusters" isn't an attention-deficit cartoon designed to inflate Target profit margins or move cereal units, right? Moreover, thanks to the wonder twins of DVR and Apple TV we get to skip the Commercials For Things, although I would probably feel a little better if Discovery could make with the less advertising of "Weed Wars" and that show about going to jail.

Otherwise, it's QUALITY TELEVISION! And if quality television so happens to involve endearing humans rocketing themselves down million-foot makeshift watersides and crashing backhoes into things, well SCIENCE! (Last night, for real, I told Little Man that we could go to the grocery store for something tomorrow, and his instant response was: "Don't forget the Diet Coke and Mentos!")

Besides, let's be honest. This show is awesome. It's the stuff-blowing-up show. It's like a Michael Bay movie for children who are smarter than Michael Bay (all of them). I don't know why every 7-year-old in the world doesn't watch this show, except possibly for all the bazooka action. Pfft. Helicopter parents.

Anyway, "MythBusters" recently aired a holiday special featuring a massive Rube Goldberg contraption, so I thought, "Yay! Let us find more holiday specials!" Which was fine, except one of the other holiday specials addressed the question of whether Christmas lights can make a Christmas tree spontaneously burst into flame, information that the second-grade spongeperson absorbed with slightly more wariness than he has previous episodes.

(Actual fact: The 7-year-old just saw my blog, which, in an inexcusable parenting error, has been on the computer screen for 6 seconds instead of his much-preferred YouTube Lego train movies, and tells me, "You should write a story on the burning tree." And here I think, "Yes! Yes I should!" So now he's gonna be all demanding with the agent fees and residuals, and then he'll buy a new iPhone and he'll get 35 other funnier clients and probably need to fly to Reno this weekend for something. I'd be more concerned about this, but frankly Agent is a much more lucrative potential business future than Idiot Humor Writer, so I'm basically like "Sure, son, how many minutes do you need and what size Dolce and Gabbana suit would you like?")

Anyway, the tree. It's not going to burst into flame. The show in fact proved that it's not going to burst into flame, unless you plug its electrical cords into sockets from 1956 and superheat the lights and tie them together with oil-soaked rags and I think spray it with hairspray? 

Yet after the MythBusters prove the tree is not going to burst into flame, and because this show is awesome, they on purpose make it burst into flame! And even after assuring Jake that we cannot replicate this explosion in our home because we don't have, among other things, explosives, all he sees is BURNING TREE ON FIRE, which, coupled with his best friend's recent lively interest in ghosts, is not making sleeping a lot easier this Christmas Season.

So every night, at bedtime, we unplug the tree. Every time we leave the house, we unplug the tree. Which, now that I think about it, is what you're probably supposed to be doing — which means this show is both science-y and education- and safety-oriented! Someone is getting a HUGE box of Diet Coke and Mentos this year.

Jeff Vrabel likes the waterslide episode a whole lot. He can be reached at http://jeffvrabel.com and followed at http://twitter.com/jeffvrabel.