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Wednesday, 22 December
Interlude (Present Day)

O Holiday Season! Or, as I like to think of it, GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY Season, when I am annually moved to push people down, and would happily do so, were I not a meek little pussy who is easily beaten up.

It's not just me. Tonight we took a van ride with some friends-of-friends for a nice 'n dorky tour of the local neighborhoods that go crazy with the holiday decorations (including, horribly, "Candy Cane Lane," at which one house featured a fence with a charming Santa-figure outline done in lights. "Look!" I shouted, "That's where they shot Santa!").

Anyway, my friend K. was sitting in front of me, and I realized I had not yet bought him a gift. In fact, I hadn't the slightest idea of what to get him. So I leaned forward. "Look," I said, "what do you want for Christmas? Just tell me so I can go buy it." "Nothing," he replied. "Don't waste your money. I'm not getting you anything." He says this every year because he's a real pain in the ass, which is why I imagine we get along.

"Fuck you," I told him, getting into the holiday spirit. "I'm getting you something anyway." He snarled back, "Anything you get me I'm going to throw at you." I wondered briefly how much Kate Winslet would cost and how I would properly catch her, but then K. continued: "You know what? I'm serious. I don't want anything. Save the money and go volunteer somewhere good. That would be a cool thing." But I'm no sucker. "No," I said firmly. "I don't believe in that shit."

Yes, we really had this conversation. The holiday season is really a boon to assholes like me and K. because frankly, there's a lot of ammunition out there to play with.

Case in point, earlier today: On the way home from work I wandered up to Broadway to grab some stocking stuffers for the wife, which I found in a nice little store advertising a big 40% sale of all their shit, and grabbed a few things. Then I waited at the counter as the oaf before me hassled the shopkeeper about the startlingly ugly plant-thing he was buying for his presumably suicidal significant other ("Do you have a box? No? How about a bag? With tissue? Does it need watering? What if she wants to return it?" Dude. It's a stumpy little palm that will be dead in a month. You'll be lucky if you don't find it wedged up your ass in January). I waited patiently (by which I mean impatiently), and presently a woman came up to me bearing gloves.

"I'm getting these for my brother. He wants gloves, he said." (He was lying. Nobody wants gloves.) "What do you think?" She waved them at me. I stared at them; they were black and green suede. Gloves? Who is this broad? It was, of course, horrible.

"They're fine," I said lamely, and did not say, "But the point is, they're 40 percent off, right? Oh, and for God's sake, don't touch me."

"You think so?" she persisted, and then whapped me playfully with the gloves, touching me. I flinched. "He said he wanted gloves! I think they're nice." This was hopeless. I stood rigidly, deciding not to say anything else. She then found some votive candles. They were marked at fifty cents apiece.

"You think these are forty percent off?" she asked. There were signs all over the store saying "40% OFF ALL STOCK." "I assume so," I mumbled, managing to forget not to say anything else. My mind screamed at me. They're fifty fucking cents apiece! You could probably put a box of them in your coat and nobody would care! Please stop talking to me!

She kept talking to me. Soon she found this odious little keychain toy called "Mr. Wonderful." When you pressed Mr. Wonderful's ribcage, Mr. Wonderful said allegedly hilarious things like "Whatever you say, honey!" and "No, I don't mind doing the dishes!" and "I promise I won't come in your mouth like I do with those gutter whores!" She was delighted. "Have you seen this?" Did I have a choice? "You've got it right in your hand there, dontcha!" I nervously half-screamed.

Finally, I reached the counter and was rung up; the woman blithely edged next to me and began stacking her votive candles and Mr. Wonderfuls next to my stuff. I edged my crap away from hers, really wanting to leave. At that moment, the store's sound system began playing "Go Tell It On The Mountain." And the woman exclaimed, "This will get us in the spirit!" She began singing along, God help me, and doing a little hootchie dance.

Creeped out beyond all reason, I grabbed my shit and left. When I am an old man, old enough where people will say, "Aw, let the old duffer be, he's crazy, and shits his pants all the time" and all that, I do now swear: I will push people like her over. I might be a total pussy now, but when I get old and un-beat-up-able . . . that woman is going down.

Merry Christmas!

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


If Mr. Wonderful actually says ""I promise I won't come in your mouth like I do with those gutter whores!" I'm getting one for everyone I know.
There's a new holiday Pepto-Bismol ad. It's the same nausea/heartburn/indigestion schtick, but it's being squeaked out by elves doing the same stupid little dance. I HATE THE HOLIDAYS.

Comment number: 005344   Posted by: CG on December 22, 2004 01:53 AM from IP:

you shoulda whacked her anyway.

Comment number: 005345   Posted by: bushra on December 22, 2004 02:52 AM from IP:

I had the same feelings a similar encounter at the mall. A saleslady was in the entryway of her card shop holding a santa-fied bear. I passed and she waived the bear's hand at me shrieking "merry christmas!!!!" I was this close to laying a clothesline across her neck and throwing her into the store window. This close.

Really though, Kate Winslet?

Comment number: 005346   Posted by: RobbyB on December 22, 2004 06:51 AM from IP:

LOL @ your holiday cheer.

I pretend I'm deaf sometimes. I've tried playing the "No speak-a Engrish" card too but the only nationality I could pass for is Irish, so not so convincing..

Comment number: 005347   Posted by: Melissa on December 22, 2004 07:42 AM from IP:

Oh, Skot! Only Capra himself could have told a more touching Holiday tale. You know, every time Mr. Wonderful calls someone a 'gutter whore', an angel gets his wings!

Comment number: 005348   Posted by: ivana on December 23, 2004 12:39 PM from IP:

Wot a luvly story.

Could I have some Chardonnay, then, please, dearie?

Comment number: 005349   Posted by: Dr. Beads on December 24, 2004 05:00 PM from IP:

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