National Lampoon-themed Christmas display causes panic

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A family’s attempt to win their neighbourhood Christmas lights competition ended up causing panic when a passer-by thought a man was stuck on their roof.

The Heerlein family in Austin, Texas, decided to recreate the decoration scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, complete with a hanging Clark Griswold.

In the scene, Clark, played by Chevy Chase, slides down the roof of his house while adding the lights and ends up dangling from the gutter.

The display caused a bit more of a stir than the family meant it to
Image:
The display caused a bit more of a stir than the family meant it to

So the Heerlein family hung a dangling Clark front and centre of their decoration, but it took veteran Alfred Norwood Jr by surprise when he walked past one day.

Believing someone was really in distress, he moved a ladder to try to help, called police and even tried to wave down passing cars.

Alfred Norwood jr, a veteran who was passing by, tried to help him
Image:
Alfred Norwood Jr, a veteran who was passing by, tried to help him

Mr Norwood was caught on the family’s CCTV camera offering help to the apparent victim.


He told ABC 13: “I was trying to get him down any way I can. Except when I started talking to him, he never said nothing!

“Then I thought, ‘Oh my God I hope he’s not dead, let call 911.'”

The sign will hopefully make sure no one calls police again
Image:
The sign will hopefully make sure no one calls police again

According to police officers, Mr Norwood’s call was not the first one police had received about the Heerlein house.

Chris Heerlein, the man behind the decoration, and his sister-in-law Leah Wheless, tracked Mr Norwood down after the incident and gave him a gift card for his troubles.

The family decided to make Clark G part of their decoration
Image:
The family decided to make Clark part of their decoration

Ms Wheless said: “He was doing everything he could to get the ladder!

“He didn’t give up. Whatever he had to do, he was going to save old Clark Griswold.”

The family have since added a sign to their display asking people not to call 911.


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