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Monday, December 30, 2013

Ten Words for Baby New Year

So, it’s almost the New Year.
Growing up I saw cartoons of old man 19__ paired with baby 19__ in newspapers, billboards, and sometimes even on doodles made by bored classmates.
As I was a child, I focused on the old man. I felt sorry for him – knowing that his mission, if not his life, would end at midnight New Years Eve.
Now I’m on my way to being an old man, I look at the baby. He looks so clueless. Somebody should help him out.
Here’s
Ten Words for Baby New Year.
by Headley Hauser

1) Sleep. It’s under-rated. As a baby, they let you sleep all the time. Take advantage of it. Before February rolls along, they’ll be waking you up for school, and then it never ends. Store up your zzzs while you can.
2) Floss. It’s over-rated. Baby food tastes just as good in November as it does in January.
3) Christmas. Sorry Baby New Year, you have been royally rooked. Your birthday doesn’t come till you’re about to go to Old Man retirement, and Christmas is only a week before that. It’s a form of child abuse. Demand presents now! Declare MLK birthday as your Christmas, or maybe wait till Valentines Day – by then you’ll be ready for a nice bike.
4) Weather. We’re not in Australia here – January is COLD. Old Man Year gets to wear a full robe and carry a combination hour glass/space heater, while you’re stuck in a diaper? Find yourself a good pair of footy pajamas and don’t let go of them till St Patrick’s Day.
5) Yummy. It’s a trick word that parents use. When they tell you something’s yummy, it’s probably lima beans or spinach. Yummy may sound like a good thing, but make them eat a spoonful first.
6) Football. It’s a sport. All the boring games took place in Old Man Year’s term and now people are excited about the games in your first several days. Don’t worry. Barney will be back on the air by the time you’ve outgrown him.
7) Rock-a-bye. I know – it’s scary as hell. It doesn’t mean that the people singing it want to put you on a tree top and then let it rock till you come crashing down to earth. They really mean well, believe it or not.
8) Farts. They are funny. Old people pretend they’re not, but they’ll still laugh when a baby like you does it. Knock yourself out.
9) Pets. On the whole – they’re good. No, the dog that licks your face is not trying to eat you.
The cat avoids you because he knows you want to pull his tail. No matter how much the fish beg – they really won’t like it outside of the bowl.
10) Politicians. Avoid them. Every politician loves to claim you as the reason it’s time for his or her poorly-thought-out concept of what’s in the public good. Lucky for you, Baby 2014, you’re not one of those big change years like poor old Baby 2000, but still be on your guard. Remember, even before you learn how to talk, you can still blow raspberries – very effective with these clowns.


Here's a video with some more high-brow baby humor.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Heritage of Donuts and Toilet Tissue


They say that the ozone layer is depleting rapidly (or maybe it’s increasing dangerously?) diseases are mutating at an alarming rate, and the world economy is standing at the brink of collapse. What I want to know is what’s up with Mr Whipple and Fred, the Dunkin’ Donut guy?


In my town, every child knew the big three rules 1) never play with matches, 2) walk facing traffic (I guess so we couldn’t say “I never knew what hit me”) and 3) “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.”

I could have included – “It’s time to make the donuts,” but that wasn’t really a rule.

As I age, I’m dealing with the unpleasant realization that the trivial icons of my generation are resonating with fewer and fewer people. I now get the same blank stare I once gave old fogies who said to me, “Twenty-three skidoo!

What was that about, anyway?

The thing that’s most frustrating is that there’s no reason for today’s wrinkle-less, gray-less youths to learn about Fred and Mr. Whipple. Fred didn’t march with Martin Luther King, or even supply donuts to those who did. Mr. Whipple didn’t end the war in Vietnam – or even wipe up afterwards.

Fred and Mr. Whipple sold donuts and toilet tissue.

And they weren’t even that funny. Why did we think they were funny… Alright, I’ll speak for myself - why did I think they were funny? Why did I chirp, “Ring around the collar,” and laugh as I got dressed for school? Why did I chortle over “Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat,” as I piled into the family station wagon? Why did I wander down residential macadam singing out, “If you think it’s butter, but it’s not…?”

Well, there was a reason for that last one. Being a little boy of the 1960s, I had fewer bad words available to me without serious repercussions. Though I and my pals sang the Chiffon margarine jingle correctly, what we heard in our heads was: If you think it’s butter, but it’s snot.”

Yes, little boys are gross.

Yes, I grew up – I’m taller than I was. What’s your point?

As much as we are defined by what we do, we are also defined by what our generation does. My father’s generation saved us from the Germans.
My grandfather’s generation saved us from the Germans.

(Maybe we were in a bit of a rut there.)

But what did my generation do? We watched TV and learned advertising jingles, and as shallow and downright (synonym of shallow used here for rhetorical flourish without enhancing meaning) we were, I still care about these two silly little men.

Are they still with us? Is Fred still making donuts, or has he been promoted to the great deep fryer beyond?

That doesn’t sound nearly as pleasant as I meant it to.

Is Mr. Whipple still meticulously stacking paper products – an act which was clearly anal (talk about subliminal advertising!)

Wherever they are, and whatever they are doing, I am grateful for having such trivial influences in my life.

Donuts and toilet tissue are a lot easier to think about than ozone, disease, and economics.



For those of you who A) want hard things to think about or B) want one last blast of the Christmas Season – here’s a Weird Al classic.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Modern Single Holiday


My most frequently published bit. Merry Christmas (thank goodness it's almost over.)

 

Modern Single Holiday

by Headley Hauser


Appears in A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales 2009
Great Stocking Stuffer


We wish you a merry humbug.

We wish you a merry humbug…

maybe I covered that in the first sentence.

Single men get labeled (unfairly) as Scrooge-like when it comes to the holidays. While it’s true that Ebenezer was a bachelor, it would be unreasonable to say that he was typical of our type. 
First of all, Ebenezer hardly lived alone. He had four ghosts in residence, including his Rasta ex-business partner Jacob Bob Marley. Secondly, the man had servants and never once slept in an unmade bed or ate a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner. Finally… I can’t think of a third reason, but who ever heard of a position without three points?

You might think that just because single men throw Christmas cards away unopened and snarl at shopping mall Santas that we lack an appreciation for holiday spirit. What you fail to take into account is that we, the unwashed denizens of studio apartments, have legitimate holiday traditions of our own.
Now, please remember that tolerance begins with appreciating the differences of others. Single men are rarely P.C. [?suggest “politically correct” in text or as footnote] (at heart), but we have no qualms about invoking [? “imposing?] such tripe on others. So stuff that judgmental attitude where the sun don’t shine, and enter the world of the Bachelor Winter Wonderland.

Deck the halls with dirty laundry.

What? Surely you’re not so close-minded as to insist on pretty lights, peppermint sticks, and frosted Dollar Store figurines to make a home festive? A chair is just a chair, but a chair with blue jeans, jockey shorts, and one odd sock is a festooned celebration of peace on earth and good will till laundry day.
I’ve always taken great comfort in that old favorite:

God rest ye single gentlemen, and sleep through church this day.

At night they light the candles, so wait for the display

To save us in that darkened hour so we can slip away

Without bindings or promises of toil – promise of toil

Such as deacon-work, our holiday to spoil.

Of course there’s the twelve days of Christmas (in the sink).

On the twelfth day of Christmas my scrub sink held for me

Twelve spoons from coffee,

Eleven knives from toffee,

Ten forks spaghetti,

Nine pans Crocker Betty,

Eight cups a-soakin’,

Seven dishes broken,

Six things best-not-spoken,

Five drops of Joy…

(La – la – la)

Four Tupperware,

Three sauce pans,

Two really grungy pads,

And a crock pot I got from Aunt Marge.

Let’s pause a moment, in the midst of our euphoric gaiety, and salute the very reason our kind survives, sometimes for decades, past college graduation: the female relative. If it weren’t for Aunt Marge, Mom, Sis, Grandma, Niece, and Soft-hearted-neighbor-lady-who-adopts-strays, your average bachelor would be eating wet sawdust off the floor before his twenty-eighth birthday. (I mention twenty-eight because that’s the year most women, quite correctly, recognize that the bachelor, so appealing in years past, has now spoiled like a soft cantaloupe and will never be trainable as a proper husband.) These noble women (if you’re having trouble following this paragraph, just ignore all parenthetical asides) provide edible food and helpful laundry tips in sufficiently frequent intervals to keep bachelors from such feral acts as eating raw tuna-helper while peeing in the shower.
(Only the ignored single man does both at the same time.) Their visits to the bachelor’s home ensure that he will wash (or throw out) the dishes, do his laundry, and hide debris regularly.

Back to traditions.

Oh little mound of Doritos bags, how still I see thee lie

On my trash heap and way down deep in my laundry not yet dry.

Yet with your sparkling presence your green and red doth glow.

When from my seat I see none to eat, to the convenience store I go.
For Christmas many single men turn to the hot Doritos. If the trashcan, like a merry heart, is overflowing, it just makes sense that bags should be green as well as red. It’s not that we want to eat Doritos actually, it’s that we know they are so nutritionally balanced. There’s nacho cheese (dairy), corn (grain), hot peppers (fruits and veggies), and the hydrogenated animal fat… (distant cousin to protein?).

Away in a futon, no room on his bed,

The cherubic bachelor with dreams in his head

That Jesus and Santa will work side by side

And bring him an X-box and a Porsche-a to ride.
Of course we know that Jesus was born a baby, ignorant of social customs and incapable of caring for his own needs. Sound like someone you know? Perhaps we, the full-sized infants known as single men, expose our pathetic ineptitude during the holiday season as a public service.

Or maybe we’re just hoping that Scrooge’s ghosts will stop by and tidy up a bit.

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for that someone special?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Just Plain Stupid Christmas Story


The last two posts on Just Plain Stupid were parts One and Two of Will Wright’s story, Pickle’s Christmas Wonder as it appears in the Bethlehem Writers Group award-winning anthology, A Christmas Sampler. link

Nothing against Will, but it was so sweet it made my teeth hurt.
If you think Christmas is a time of soft twinkling lights, teddy-bears, kittens, and little puppies that never piddle on your just-washed laundry, then Pickle’s Christmas Wonder is a story for you.

For the rest of us – the kind that celebrates the holidays by twining a bit of mistletoe around our middle fingers when we salute people who steal the last parking space at the mall – in other words, the kind of good people who read this blog, a different kind of story is in order.


Elfie the Elf
by Headley Hauser


Generally, elves would rather have a reputation than be relegated to the obscurity of anonymous elfhood. Elfie however, did not appreciate the reputation he, through his family, had earned.

Elfie was the son and grandson of older Elfies. His mother was named Elfine. Even his little brother was named Elfie.

Elfie and his family were known as the elves without imagination.

Elfie toiled in Santa’s workshop making hobby horses and toy boats.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It didn’t matter that very few children wanted hobby horses or toy boats any more. Most of the other elves were making tablets, smart phones, and gaming systems. But in spite of his best intentions, whenever Elfie picked up his hammer to make a toy, it ended up as a hobby horse or a toy boat.

I think we have all we need of those,” said Grufflebunt, the elvin line boss. “Try something a little different.”

Like what?” asked Elfie.

I won’t ask too much of you, knowing your family reputation. How about a Jack-in-the-box?”

Oh,” said Elfie, looking uncertain.

Surely you can make a Jack-in-the-box!”

Um,” said Elfie.

Grufflebunt gruffled at Elfie - a skill which qualified him for management. “Just don’t make another hobby horse! We have too many hobby horses.”

Right,” said Elfie. He made a toy boat.

Later at dinner, when he, his mother, Elfine, his father Elfie, and his little brother, Elfie were eating meatballs and mash potatoes as they had for every dinner Elfie could remember, Elfie surprised his family by saying something other than, “pass the salt, please.”

We’re elves,” said Elfie.

Elfie the father, and Elfine the mother looked surprised and concerned by Elfie’s statement. Elfie the little brother didn’t pay attention to anything other than his meatballs and mashed potatoes.

I believe you’re right,” said Elfie the father after a particularly awkward pause.

Elves should be creative, “said Elfie. “Elves should have imagination. I want to be a creative elf with imagination.”

Hum,” said Elfie the father.

That was the end of the discussion for the rest of dinner as Elfie and his family finished consuming their meatballs and mash potatoes.

It was hours later when Elfine looked up from her crossword puzzle. Her crossword puzzle consisted of two words. One across was a four letter word for “precipitation common in the North Pole.” One down was a five letter word for “famous resident of the North Pole.” She’d been working on it for some time.

Elfie,” said Elfine the mother.

Yes,” said Elfie the father. “Yes,” said Elfie the older son. “Yes,” said Elfie the younger son.

Not sure what to say, Elfine pointed at Elfie the older son (who as you may recall is the title character of this story.) “I think you’re right, Elfie,” said Elfine the mother. “I think you should be creative and have… that other thing you think you should have. I believe in you, Son. I know if you put your mind to it, you can… do that.”

Thanks, Mom,” said Elfie, and encouraged by his mother’s faith in him, Elfie determined to be creative and to have imagination. He determined to spend every free moment to generate creativity and imagination. He was sure he could do it if he tried!

That was fifteen years ago. So far – just a lot of toy boats and hobby horses.



What? You expected an imaginative solution to Elfie’s problem? If I had a useful imagination, I’d be raking it in writing self elf books.  Here's one of those annoying elf on shelf vids.  Merry Merry.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pickle's Cristmas Wonder Part Two



For the sake of saying something positive about Christmas (and because I’m lazy,) I’m letting Will Wright post his story Pickle’s Christmas Wonder from the Bethlehem Writers Group anthology A Christmas Sampler. link

Part one ended with Holly the elf telling Pickle and the rest of the toys that it was time to get into Santa’s sack.


Pickle’s Christmas Wonder
Part Two

by Will Wright

 
Holly, the elf walked up with a big sack.

“It’s time to go in Santa’s sack,” said Holly

“The sack’s too small,” said Pepper. “Reginald won’t even fit in there all by himself.”

“It’s a magic sack,” said Holly, and she picked up Reginald and threw him inside. Reginald didn’t stick out at all, but Pickle could hear, “clang, clang, clang!” coming from inside.

Pickle thought that Santa’s sack would be dark and crowded, but it wasn’t like that at all. There were more toys than he could count inside and everyone was singing “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.” Pickle found Thistle, Taffy and Bowser, and the bears sang in four-part harmony like they learned at bear school.

When they got to Willie’s house, Santa pulled Pickle, Pepper, Loopy and Reginald out of his sack. He hung Pepper on the Christmas tree. He looked very pretty with a Christmas light behind him. Then, Santa put a big bow around Reginald together with a sign that said, “To Willie from Santa,” and put him in the middle of the room. Then he put Loopy and Pickle, side-by-side, at the top of Willie’s stocking.


“That looks just about right,” said Santa.

Pickle looked at the room. Reginald was so big and shiny. Willie would never even notice Loopy and him at the top of the stocking.

Santa clucked Pickle under the chin, and it made the bear laugh.

“That’s better,” said Santa. “Now remember, Pickle, you have a job to do.”

“I’m supposed to wish for Willie to have the best Christmas Wonder possible.”

“That’s right,” said Santa.

“But Santa,” said Pickle, “Reginald will be Willie’s Christmas Wonder, and Reginald said he doesn’t even care. He just wants to have fun and go fast.”

“That’s Reginald’s job,” said Santa. “But Christmas bears have a different job, and you’re a Christmas bear. Remember what Buddy taught you, and you’ll do fine.”

So instead of feeling sorry for himself, Pickle started wishing. He didn’t worry about anything else – even if he ended up under the bed collecting dust. All that mattered was that Willie have a great Christmas Wonder. It didn’t matter if that Wonder was a funny tickle, a happy sigh, a warm feeling or something to eat. It didn’t matter if the Wonder was a big, shiny, fast fire truck that went clang, clang, clang. What mattered was that Willie’s Christmas Wonder was a wonderful Wonder.

So all night long, Pickle wished and wished and wished some more, until sunlight came through the window and he heard little feet on the stairs.

“Oh boy!” said Reginald, “we’re going to have fun!”

“Fun?” said Pepper. “Like having a Christmas tree light melt my stripes all night?”

“Oh look,” said Loopy. “He just came around the corner. He’s so cute! I’m a sucker for him already.”

Pickle looked across the room at three-year-old Willie with his bright eyes and curly hair, and something happened inside. Pickle’s little bear heart started beating and wouldn’t stop.

And each little beat said, “I love you.”

Willie ran across the room, jumped over the big new fire truck, and pulled Pickle out of the stocking.

“You smiled at me,” said Willie. “Mommy, the teddy bear smiled at me.”

“That’s because it’s Christmas,” said Willie’s mother. “Wonders happen at Christmas – especially with Christmas bears.”

That night, Willie’s mother looked in on her little boy. He was hugging Pickle the bear tight. A silly lollypop looked down at the two from the bedpost. A shiny new fire truck was resting at the foot of the bed. It needed the rest. The truck had gone fast and had fun all day long.

Willie’s mother went back down stairs, gathered up the candy canes, and put them in a candy dish – even one whose stripes looked like they were melted, and then she sat down and put her head on the chest of her oldest friend. She listened for his heart.

Each little beat said, “I love you.”

“Did you have a good time with Santa at the North Pole?” she asked.

“I did,” said Buddy, “but it’s good to be home.”

“It’s good to have you home,” said Willie’s mother whose name was Lynn. “And thank you for my little boy’s Christmas Wonder.”
 

Gee – that was a little too sweet for this blog. I think I’m going to have to post my brand of Christmas story in the next post.

And to balance off the sweetness, here’s a video of a shopping mall Santa with a bit too much imagination.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pickle's Christmas Wonder Part One


In the spirit of the season (and because I’m lazy,) I’ve decided to reprint Will Wright’s story, Pickle’s Christmas Wonder as it appears in the Bethlehem Writers Group’s award-winning anthology, A Christmas Sampler. link

It might be a bit sappy – but go with it. As it’s a bit long, I’ll post it in two parts.

Pickle's Christmas Wonder

Part One

by Will Wright

The North Pole has the finest bear school in the world. Pickle, Thistle, Taffy, and Bowser were very excited to learn all about being bears. They were not going to be just regular bears, either. They were going to be Christmas bears!

Buddy Bear was the teacher of bear school. He had been a Christmas bear when he was new. Santa made Buddy the teacher because his friend, Lynn, read him every story there was about Santa and the North Pole.

You see, bears, no matter how smart they get, still need their people to read to them.

Pickle, Thistle, Taffy, and Bowser learned how to bring sweet dreams, and to keep the bed bugs from biting. They learned how to turn a smile into a giggle, and a giggle into a laugh. They learned how to soak up tears and turn them into love.

And they learned about the Christmas Wonder.

“Every year,” said Buddy, “each boy or girl who believes in Santa gets one Christmas Wonder.”

“Is it a warm feeling?” asked Pickle.

“Is it a funny tickle?” asked Thistle.

“Is it a happy sigh?” asked Taffy.

“Is it something to eat?” asked Bowser.

“It can be anything,” said Buddy, “though I never heard of one that was something to eat. As Christmas bears, it is our job to wish for our boy or girl to get the best Christmas Wonder possible.”

“How do we do that?” asked Pickle.

“We do it,” said Buddy, “by wishing what’s best for our boy or girl, no matter what – even if it’s not good for us.”

“Even if it’s not good for us?” said Pickle, Thistle, Taffy, and Bowser.

“A bear is unselfish,” said Buddy. “Because Christmas bears love so much.”

It was the hardest thing that Pickle learned at bear school. How do you want something for someone else even if it’s not good for you? He almost didn’t take his pie ursa bearra diploma at graduation.

“Don’t worry,” said Buddy Bear. “The secret is love.”

Holly the Elf led the new graduates to Santa’s great hall where there were many toys, puzzles, candies and treats waiting for Santa to decide where each gift would go.

“Today we learn the name of the boy or girl we will go to on Christmas day!” said Thistle.

Thistle went to a girl named Chrissy. Taffy went to a girl name Danielle. Bowser went to a boy named Spike. Pickle was happy for his friends, but was sad to see them go.

“Now,” said Santa, “This next list is for a boy named Willie. Willie is three years old and he believes in me.”

“That means he gets a Christmas Wonder,” said Pickle to the peppermint candy cane next to him.

“Shush!” said the candy cane. “I want to hear this!”

“On Christmas,” said Santa, “Willie will get Pepper the candy cane, Loopy the lollypop, Pickle the bear, and Reginald the fire truck.”

“My boy’s name is Willie!” said Pickle.

“He’s my boy too,” said the candy cane who had shushed him before. “But Willie’s getting a fire truck. That just means I’ll end up in a candy dish, and you’ll collect dust under the bed.”

Pickle didn’t think that Pepper was very friendly.

“Oh don’t mind him!” said a lollypop behind him. “He’s just an old stick in the mint.” The lollypop hopped over Pickle’s head, and balanced on his stick.

“I’m Loopy,” he said.

“I’m Pickle,” said Pickle. “It is very nice to meet you.”

“I wouldn’t know,” said Loopy. “I’ve never met me before.”

Pickle decided that Loopy was a little confusing, but he was a very friendly lollypop.

“Clang, clang, clang,”

There was a big red toy fire truck behind Pickle. It was one of the biggest toys in Santa’s hall – even bigger than most of the tricycles.

“My name is Reginald,” said the fire truck. “If your name’s Pickle, hop up on my running board and hang on!”

Pickle did just that, and Reginald sped off so fast that Pickle’s cloth ears folded back in the wind.

“You’ve got a good grip,” said Reginald. “That’s a good thing, ‘cause I think we’ll be doing this a lot when we get to Willie’s house. Clang, clang, clang!”

“Hey! Where’s the fire?” Pepper grumbled as they circled around him.

“That’s not much of a Yule spirit, Pepper,” said Loopy. “Are you sure you’re a candy cane and not a misshaped sour ball?”

Pickle very much liked riding on Reginald. He was a very fine fire truck, so big and fast and pretty. “Willie is very fortunate to get such a wonderful toy,” said Pickle

“Yeah,” said Loopy hopping up and down on his stick. “Willie will be crazy about him. He’ll be Willie’s Christmas Wonder.”

“Yeah,” said Pepper. “Willie will wonder why Santa even bothered bringing us.”

“Douse that kind of talk!” said Reginald. “Christmas is supposed to be fun. Willie will have fun with all of us!”

“But Loopy is right,” said Pickle. “You’re sure to be Willie’s Christmas Wonder.”

“I know you can sure lick me,” said Loopy.

“I don’t care what Willie’s Christmas Wonder is,” said Reginald. “I just hope that he likes to have fun – and go really fast! Clang, clang, clang!”

Holly, the elf walked up with a big sack.

“It’s time to go in Santa’s sack,” said Holly

Log in Monday for the conclusion.

Here’s a follow-up video from the last post – a series of Christmas light shows.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Joe the Light Man


The Legacy of Joseph

As I’ve mentioned in this blog – Christmas is not my favorite time of the year, but I have to give it one thing: it refuses to be ignored.

The tradition I like best about the holidays is the mania some people go to stringing lights all over their property.



Where does such a thing start? I figure it had to be Joseph. I’ve always pictured Joseph as a bit of a goof. He remains unmarried most of his lifetime, finally marries a girl who’s already pregnant, then in spite of their honeymoon in Egypt doesn’t seem to worry when people claim his wife remained a virgin her whole life (which must have come as quite a surprise to Jesus’ siblings.)

I see old weird Joe as the nerd prototype. He works with his hammer, chisels and saws, and dreams of building a box into which he can store and display ancient episodes of Dr. Who.
Christmas lights must have been Joe’s idea.

Tap-tap-tap… tap-tap-tap.

“Joseph, what are you doing?”

“I got these string things at the Bethlehem WalMart. I figured I’d gussy up the place.”

“What do the strings do?”

“Well, if you get a small lightning bolt to hit one end, just right, they’ll light up, real pretty.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?”

“Shouldn’t be. They carry the Hasmodean Laboratories seal.  Besides, we already have these strange glowing bits around our heads.  That hasn't harmed us; why should this?”

“What should I do?”

“Stand behind the manger, between the donkey and the cow, and look serene,”

“Like this?”

“Perfect! Hold it like that. I think I see some Wise Men coming. This is gonna be great! Hey! You shepherds, get your smelly sheep out of the picture.”

Tap-tap-tap…tap-tap-tap.

“Joseph?”

“Yes, Sweetie Pie?”

“I’m concerned the lights might disturb the baby.”

“Nah! He’s got that, sleep in heavenly peace thing going for him.”
 
I look at the stuff we put up these days and all I can think is: Joe would be proud.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

An Open Letter to Sanity Clause


Dear Sanity:

After doing a careful study of popular Christmas specials, movies, and You Tube posts over the years, (along with one routine from the Marx Brothers,) I have come to what I hope is a very useful and profitable conclusion. That conclusion (I write in a new sentence to avoid a run-on and MS Word green squiggle) is that getting presents from you has nothing to do with your existence or non-existence. What matters (I write in yet another sentence, making three sentences function where one would be sufficient,) is that I believe in you.

For the above over-sentenced reason, I am submitting my Christmas wish list for your consideration.

When I was just a little Hauser, my parents told me that you don’t do cash. They also said you don’t do gold, loose jewels, mutual funds, time travel, or lamps with genies in them. As you are fictional, I would encourage you to think outside the box. Your coworker, The Tooth Fairy has been working in negotiable instruments for some time. They take far less space in a sleigh than those high-end automobiles with red bows on them that I see in commercials all the time.

No? I wonder if the elder Hausers had relayed your legend differently… Oh well.

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. I don’t want one of those surprise – what the H. E. double hockey sticks type of presents I hear about from time to time. For instance, I saw a video about a multi-headed poisonous-looking snake worth 25,000.00 a head.

I don’t want one of those – or anything related to snakes, poison, or any type of creature with more than one head.

Perhaps a look through the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog would be helpful.
How about a transparent canoe kayak? What great fun to take this small unstable craft out onto the open ocean and watch sharks as they watch me glide along the surface. Maybe they won’t even recognize I’m in a boat and unsuspectingly ram into it as they attempt to bite off arms and legs.

What could go wrong? – 1900.00 plus 100.00 extra shipping.
I would adore a golf cart hovercraft. Though I don’t play golf, I would take it to all the local courses, driving over their greens and sand traps. When the angry officials come to scold me, I will say, “I’m not touching your precious golf course!”

What fun! – 58,000.00.
As a stocking stuffer I would like their acrobatic robot. He does flips and kicks, martial arts, and bows when he’s done. I would like mine to be able to scrub the toilet and some other light housework – maybe I could hire him out and make a few bucks.

Would I get picketed for violating his rights? – 2,400.00.
I’d like a small item for my friend Joe in California – the voice activated R2-D2. He pretty much does everything the one in the movie did except shocking Sand People. You might want to check with Joe first, though. Knowing him, he probably already has three or four.

But it’s the thought that counts – 199.95.
Oh, you might want to bring a couple bottles of Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey (4 grand a bottle.) I wouldn’t drink it, but I might need it for bites in case someone ponies up 125 grand to send me a multi-headed snake.

Here's a clip from one of your documentaries, Sanity.  See!  I haven't forgotten.