Sunday, December 26, 1999

Eggnogdelic Reflections


     Didn't we just do the Christmas thing?  I don't mean yesterday, goofy.  I mean, like, last month?  
     I think that once you reach 30 or 40, you should only be expected to do the Christmas thing every other year - that's what I think.  
     Or radically change the traditions every time so each Christmas doesn't so hopelessly blend into every other Christmas.  Next year let's sing carols about Jesus giving birth to Mary in a 7-Eleven - ok?  
     Oh, hush - it was just a thought.  You come up with something as good, we'll do it instead.

     Speaking of eggnog, why don't we ever hear of any other kind of nog?  If all nog is eggnog (as my dictionary heavily implies) why don't we just say nog and save some time and print?  We don't say cowmilk, do we?  No.  If there are other kinds of nog, well, what the hell are they?  Distillednog?  Cokenog?  The Unnog?  
     The whole thing is making my brain itch....

     Side note: While looking up nog in my dictionary I came across the phrase non composementis.  That's a legal term for "not of sound mind and hence not legally responsible."  I hereby announce that  Non composementis  is the official sub-title of this entry.  I dedicate that sub-title to the person who made it possible - Johnny Mathis and his rendition of "White Christmas" as heard over the sound system of a Chinese restaurant tonight.  The same rendition which constituted the first Christmas song I heard this year back on November 1 - almost two months ago.  The eggnog now clogging my one good artery was merely a minor accomplice in rendering me non composementis tonight. 
     Dairy producers of the world, Rejoice!

     Ok, let's talk presents.  Jester really liked the liver- and tuna-scented candles I got him.  My wife really liked the "Hits of the '70s - Vol. 18" CD that I got her.  I liked the "Yellow Submarine" mug she got me, proving that two people living in different decades with a high cat can still have a happy marriage.  OK, so she got me the robot from the '90s movie version of "Lost in Space" instead of the one from the '60s TV series - nobody's perfect.  I found a place on-line where I can get what I want - plus Robby the Robot from the '50s "Forbidden Planet" movie as well.  Wooo-hooo!  
     Y'all have a jolly old time in the new century - I'll catch up with ya someday when I'm done wallowing in the detritus of this one.

     Not that my mug was the best gift I got.  The best gift I got was a CD-ROM which tells me exactly where everyone was on earth and what they were doing the day I discovered the plays of Eugene Ionesco.
     The worst gift I got: Chintz swaddling clothes.  For the third year in a row.  Come on, people - buy a clue! 
     Oddest Gift:  A CARE package of used toothbrushes from Ethiopia....
     Gift I'm Returning First Thing Tomorrow Morning: The Keys to the Book of Life.  Turns out that Book is sealed with a combination lock.  DOH!

     Ok, cards.  I got a few.  One came all the way from Colombia.  Seems the army down there has been battling insurgents for decades.  This year it tried a new tactic: Sending the insurgents Christmas cards.  Some 100,000 cards were sent out.  Last Friday I got mine.  Well, one came, anyway, addressed "To The Guerrilla Residing At PO Box 8121, Lima, OH, 45805-0121."  The card had a picture of a drunken, bribe-taking soldier on its front.  On the inside were the words "Feliz Navidad, Prospero ano, guerrillero!" which my Spanish-speaking Taco Bell dog doll tells me translates as "Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year, guerrilla!"  I'm really not sure how to take this, but it did bring a tear to the eye of my photo of Che Guevara.  Whether it was a tear induced by sadness or by laughter, I can't say - Che and I aren't on speaking terms since he appropriated the frame I bought for his photo, broke it up, and delivered it to the poor peasants of Peru.
     Another card came from the US State Department.  Just yesterday, in fact.  Extra Special Delivery.  A fetching Madeleine Albright was on its front.  Inside I found the following hand-written message: "Dear Dan: As you know, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has been demanding the return of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez ever since Elian came to this country on Thanksgiving Day seeking a better life than an island which has never known a  '67 Mustang can give him.  If it can be arranged, would you be willing to be 'returned' to Cuba in Elian's place?  If so, AND you are physically capable of being wired with 51 pounds of listening equipment, AND you are willing to undergo the 6 weeks of intensive training our experts believe it will take to get you up and operating at the level of a 6-year-old, please call (212) 699-9798 and ask for 'La Skinny One.'  Mucho gracias ahead of time - and Merry Christmas!"

     There's more I could say but I think there's a bit of egg shell in my throat that I think I best go try to remove - maybe with the claw arm of the wrong "Lost in Space" robot I got, since I'm a firm believer in making the best of a bad situation.
     If I'm not back by next Christmas, feel free to open my cards for me.

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(©1999 by Dan Birtcher using the chop stick he shoved into his ear at the restaurant 
and then forgot to remove before leaving - shhhhh, don't tell)