Monday, December 25, 2006

Bah, Humbug

"This is offensive to both Christians and prunes."
-Lisa Simpson

That cold from last month is back with a vengeance, for some reason. If you subscribe to the concepts of viruses and antibodies, then I suppose that it's probably not the same cold; Rather than that, it's probably an elder sibling or close cousin that I'm experiencing here. Whatever the case, this Christmas has been the most medically-related one I've had since the year my sister landed in the hospital for dengue fever.

Or maybe I'm just getting old. Every year leaves me less and less enthusiastic about Christmas and more and more jaded regarding the holiday season. I expect nothing much from the end-of-the-year occasions nowadays: Maybe a substantially increased workload, heavier crowds at the malls, a good bit of 13th-month pay, and maybe more than a few carbohydrate-laden foods at the table. I've long accepted the fact that I'm too old to anticipate opening my presents under the tree, and that I'm too scatterbrained to concentrate on the religious overtones of the season. The more I think about it nowadays, the more I'm certain as to how I feel: Christmas, I suppose, has become just another ordinary, humdrum, run-of-the-mill day.

On the plus side, I didn't get any underwear this year. Underwear is probably the modern equivalent of coal in one's stocking, the kind of present that you get when things go wrong and no one pays attention to your pleas of mercy. There are a lot of gifts along the same lines, mind you -- a shirt that's two sizes too small, a gift certificate to a store that you'll never visit, a really expensive brand-name ballpen -- but you can at least justify some form of lawful intent for them. As for underwear, though... try opening up a mysterious package of briefs in front of the rest of your family, and you'll see what I mean. God help you if they encourage you to try them on "just to make sure that they fit".

I remember getting a Gillette Mach 3 razor and a bottle of shaving cream last year, and that was actually fairly nice. The razor proved to be very good indeed, although I've since lost the shaving cream somewhere in the endless limbo that is my closet.

But I digress. What was I supposed to be talking about, again?

Ah, yes... Christmas.

As bad as it may sound, I've recently started associating the Christmas season with an endless succession of cheese.

I like cheese, mind you. I'm not the sort of person who merely likes eating the stuff with bread, wine, or whatever comes in handy at the moment. I'm the sort of person who just happens to really like cheese. And as it turns out, every year my family seems to think that they have license to trot out a few hundred slices of the processed milk product every available meal. Most families actually do this with ham already; Mine does it with cheese.

I strongly suspect that I am solely responsible for the massive hole that appears in our cheeseboard each year. But as long as it looks like people are consuming the stuff, then we're going to continue serving it... which is quite all right, in my book. So now I associate Christmas with a massive overdose of free-standing cheese, and that seems wrong on so many levels.


...Why am I talking about cheese, anyway?

I blame the cold. It's shutting down my ambiguity sensors, and screwing up my ability to make any sort of sense at all.

On the other hand, both of those have been off-kilter for some time now, so maybe I really shouldn't lay all the blame on the virus. What makes matters worse is that I'm still on a deadline for that computer studies textbook I'm writing, and I'm now wondering if I should go back and double-check everything that I've written over the past few days. It wouldn't do to have my editor think that the manuscript was put together by a drunken Martian.

So I'll leave you with this, ladies and gentlemen. It's not much of a Christmas post, but it's more accurate than a lot of other things I've written.

At least, kind of.

Well, sort of.

Maybe just a little.


*Scuffs foot on carpet*


(*Koff, koff*)



...Well, Merry Christmas, anyway.

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