At work we have a lot of Christmas themed decoration, as usual. During the time when I worked in the toy industry, that was also unavoidable. Seeing as Christmas is the time of year when desperate grandparents buy their children's offspring lots of stuff in hopes that the little shits will, for once, write thank-you notes. Which they probably won't, because the only time when they even think of grandma is when she flies out from her retirement community in Florida right around mid-winter.
At her own expense, nota bene!
But they love the x-box and the drone!
As the person most likely to be voted "oddball uncle we never associate with", this blogger is not fully vested in the joy of the season. Doing "credit and collections" at a toy company a few years ago dis-vested me even further from the holidays than my own natural inclinations would have.
And, as a pipe-smoker, there is even less to vest me.
Smokers of cigars and pipes are heading into a dark period of one to several weeks when they will be all alone near the compost heap at the end of the garden far more often than usual, as their happy kinfolk demand that they not trigger the cousin from California or Massachusetts and her badly behaved brats with their foul habits. Runty no-neck monsters.
Even here in the Bay Area, relatives and other visitors will send Uncle Fester out into the driving rain and sleet, often with nary a thank you, to catch his death of cold by the rotting garbage.
Not realizing that both pipe and cigar smoking have become the perfect way to ensure privacy and quiet, especially if you have a thick overcoat, gloves, and a sturdy umbrella.
Ah, finally away from those people!
And all that horrid tinsel!
The awful music.
Because Christmas is, after all, all about repressed sexual urges, bad sugary treats, cheap chocolate, cheese in a can, the relatives you don't actually want to socialize with, puritanism, suffering, despair, exile, a lack of bearskin rugs on which to lie naked by the fire, deepfried turkey, over-eating, influenza, Players Navy Cut cigarettes from Canada, crappy movies, and dead wild animals stuffed and mounted in nightmarish tableaux vivants.
Oh giddy joy!
I really must stress the repressed sexual urges, cheese in a can, crappy movies, and nightmarish tableaux!
Oh, and a talking fish hat which I hid before she could force me to wear it. She was only five years old at the time, about a dozen years ago, but she still hasn't found where I hid it. All the other victims didn't move fast enough, and catered happily to the whims of the little girl, but I refused. Instead, for part of the evening I went outside for a cigarillo, and observed them all from the garden, near the row of tomato plants, then snuck in and yanked the hat off the table and "disappeared" it while everyone was distracted.
And I still feel good about that.
The damned talking fish is probably still on top of the ceramic punch bowl in the sun room. She may have forgotten about it by now. I haven't.
All my living relatives are in Canada or on the East Coast. I shan't be flying out for the Holiday. Other than having some cioppino with old friends, I have no intention of celebrating. Jesus wasn't born on Christmas (as you jolly well know), neither was Santa, or Sam the Angry Maccabee and his legion of murderous intolerant xenophobic bastards.
Instead, on Christmas day, I shall most likely be enjoying solitude, the end of mass-insanity, non-Christmas related food stuffs, a hot beverage or two, a couple of bowls of excellent pipe tobacco while my fingers turn blue, and a nice bit of gloom while in a funk. As suits bachelors and eccentric kinfolk with matches whom you cannot trust around flammable decorations.
Alas, there is no fermenting compost heap anywhere nearby.
But I do have a thick overcoat and an umbrella.
So I'll be quite alright.
THE ODDBALL UNCLE WE NEVER ASSOCIATE WITH
Minor detail: a very real concern for that day is the weather, and where will I find something decent to eat on Christmas, as my apartment mate will be off and spending a large part of it at home. She doesn't like my smoking around her, and the few hours when she's over at one her relatives house for the family Christmas dinner with her siblings won't be enough time for me to smoke my pipe and let the apartment air out before she returns. Aside from which, I intend to be fast asleep in my own room when she gets back.
She can tell me all about it when I get home from work.
Second Christmas day I'll be "at the office".
The cigar smokers compost heap.
Three layers of socks.
NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.
Point of order, Jews never claimed that any Maccabee was born in December.
Avade, but the Christians claim that everybody was born then.
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