Sunday, December 25, 2022


Well, glad that's over with. Several stressful days leading up to the holiday, too much social contact and stimulation (which left me all jangly by the time I went to bed last night), serious over-reliance on caffeine and forcing myself to be seasonally cheerful and good natured, an excess of people and noise, and calling up my kinfolk in Calgary.
But it's done. I can be myself again.


On Christmas night all the bloodthirsty old maids of the city gather to hunt down the Coyote King. The baying mob takes to the wild forests of Nob and Russian Hill, sowing mayhem in their savage pursuit, till at last the Coyote King is cornered. After allowing him to mate and fertilize one of them ("the virgin sacrifice"), they slaughter him, ending the grip of winter. The new coyote king is born in spring, and the cycle repeats. Carols are loudly sung to drown out the sounds of anguish, despair, and slaughter. A corpulent eunuch priest wearing red robes distributes gifts. You didn't see anything, kid, do you understand? Red hides the bloodstains. Many innocent animals are killed and eaten; lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large ch ...
A primitive primal psycho scene, saturated with significance.

But if you are a vegan, you will probably have tofu.

As of now, Christmas trees are discounted.

Soon chocolate too, till February.

As I said, I'm glad that's over. I'm not a social person. One on one I'm fine. Person to person. Person to people, far less so.

In another seven weeks it will be Carneval (Mardi Gras). Five days of riotous behaviour, the focus of which for the young men will be capturing and burning two large effigies of the earth mother and father of the community, which the police have pre-emptively seized and parked in the walled compound behind the station. Much beer and genever will be consumed to steel their nerves for the task. Maybe petrol will be used; if it rained recently the papier mâché needs help catching fire. The cop station also.

Like Christmas, Fat Tuesday and the weeks leading up are filled with drunkenness, ritualistic nonsense, vandalism, and very extroverted excess.


My uncle and aunt in Calgary are well. So is my cousin, I believe, who lives nearby. The kid of another cousin has a new movie out, and recently became a father. Another cousin is, for some reason which I didn't quite understand, in the vicinity of Tierra Del Fuego where his daughter has some kind of assignment. Further updates next winter.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of excess, those pork sausages at Wycen Foods…are those cooked or raw in the wrinkled form in which they are sold?

The back of the hill said...

Raw. But dried, and preserved with Prague powder. Steam them, or lightly pan fry. I tend to skin them first, rinsing with hot water loosens the skin. Chinese preserved meats are technically speaking raw, and often cooked with other foods to add flavour.

Search This Blog


One of my earliest grammar school memories naturally involves chocolate. Of which I was fonder than many of my classmates, who preferred Dut...