Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Holidays

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season.
 The Christians called it “Christmas” and went to church.
 The Jews called it “Hanukkah” and went to synagogue.
 The atheists went to parties and drank.

These days, people say “Seasons Greetings”, which when you think about it, means nothing. It’s like walking up to someone and saying “Appropriate Remark” in a loud and cheerful voice.

Some of you may be unhappy with this dereligionizing of the Holiday Season and you may have decided that you’re going to celebrate the old fashioned way, with your family sitting around stringing cranberries and exchanging homemade gifts.
 Well, you can forget it.
 If everyone pulled a stunt like that, the economy would collapse overnight. The government would have to intervene, forming a cabinet level Department of Holiday Gifting, which would spend billions and billions of tax dollars to buy Barbie dolls and electronic games, which it would drop on the populace from Air Force jets, killing and maiming thousands. So, for the good of the nation, you should go along with the program. This means you should get a large sum of money and go to a mall.

When you get to the mall, the first thing to remember is that you should not park in the mall parking lot and walk to the mall buildings, because you will probably get killed. Instead drive your car right up to and, if possible, right into the mall building. This is perfectly legal, people do it all the time. In almost every mall I’ve ever been to, the corridors were littered with cars, RVs, snowmobiles and boats left by smart parkers.

Now you are ready for the actual shopping. Your goal should be to get it over with as quickly as possible.

Here is a very efficient shopping method: Divide the amount of money you have by the number of people on your gift list. So if you have $160 and you have 10 people on your list, your average is $16 per person. Now find something that costs $16 and buy 10 of whatever it is. You’ll find many useful gifts in this price range; for example, you could get 10 bottles of Vitamin B. Everyone can use Vitamin B and your children are sure to shriek with delight when they find it under the tree.

If you want to buy gifts that are a little more personal, here are some guidelines:

Gifts for Men

Men are amused by almost any idiot thing, that is why professional ice hockey is so popular. So buying gifts for them is easy. But you should never buy them clothes. Men believe that they already have all the clothes they will ever need and new ones make them nervous. If you give him something even as simple as a new tie, he will pretend to like it, but deep inside he will hate you. If you want to give a man something practical, consider tires.

Gifts for Women

Again, you should avoid buying clothes. Not because women don’t like clothes, the problem here is sizes. Women’s clothing sizes don’t mean anything,they vary from store to store, from manufacturer to manufacturer depending on the day of the week or the time of year. Trying to buy clothes will give you migraine headaches or cause you to spend time in the nearest bar. This means you will drink too much and end up having to go to AA meetings. Plus all those meetings really cuts into your available shopping time.

The safest gifts for women are expensive little bottles of scented liquids. These are sold at cosmetic counters under names such as “Eau De Water de Toilette” and “Endless Nights of Endless Nights”.

Gifts for Children

This is really easy, you never have to figure out what to buy for kids because they will tell you, over and over and over……………… Just make sure that you get them exactly what they ask for, even if you disapprove of their choices. If the child thinks that they want Murderous Bob, the toy with the face that you can rip right off, you’d better get it. Now you may be worried that it might help to encourage the childs’ anti-social tendencies, but you have not seen anti-social tendencies until you have witnessed a child who is convinced that they have not been given the right gift.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful, independent and self assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat  on the shores of a lovely pond in a verdant meadow near her home.
The frog hopped into the princesses lap and said,

"Elegant Lady, I was once, a very long time ago, a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you however, and I will turn back into the powerful man that I was. Then my sweet, my government shall return and I shall take care of your every need. I will take charge of every aspect of your life, protect you from harm and re-institute all the laws. All you will have to do for this service is to forever feel grateful and happy as you bow to my every demand. It will all be for your own good, for you will no longer have any cares."

That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on a repast of lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled to herself and thought, " I don't fucking think so."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The heat and haze of summer afternoons, the buzz of the cicadas in the still, oppressive air, are sometimes interrupted by a sudden summer storm. More often the roll of distant thunder brings no rain to relieve the heat or  quench the parched vegetables. Leaves wilt in the afternoon heat. When rain does come, it is often in the form of a downpour with such pounding force that it bruises the leaves of growing plants, releasing the fragrance of a multitude of herbs into the warm, moist air.
The first major harvest from the garden is cabbage. When all the cabbage has been picked, I remove the outer leaves for stuffing and split the heads. I slice the quartered heads dime thin, weigh the shredded vegetable and then add three tablespoons of salt to each five pounds. Then the cabbage is stomped in an old crock until it is covered with its own liquid. This will ferment in the cellar until it is canned sometime during the waning moon in September.
Later in the month, when all the plants have turned yellow and fallen over, the potatoes are ready to harvest. Jeff2 gently turns the soil with a pitch fork while I follow him, my bare feet planted in the dirt, my fingers feeling in the warm moist soil for the potatoes as the rich loamy aroma wafts up into my nose.
By the last day of the month, our harvest is in full swing. We have tasted the abundance, we have eaten our fill of tomatoes and peaches and corn on the cob. I have begun to can tomatoes and pickle cucumbers, and the cellar is beginning to be filled.