Monday, December 25, 2023


There is more tension and neurosis than usual at Christmas time. For one thing, football is heating up, and people are overloading on sugar (so schedule a diabetes check for January, after the last of the Bûche De Noël is consumed, and all the cheap chocolates). For another, there is all the excess social life and cheer. Which means that by the time the holiday finally happens you are tense and frazzled. And far less capable of accepting the intense paranoid conspiracist crap that comes out of some people's mouths, now at an increased rate, a veritable flood, because they too are tense and frazzled.

"Pretty soon all payments will be electronic, all of the banks will fail, which is what the government wants. Everyone will be issued cards with chips, that's how the government plans to control you. If you disobey your allotment will be cancelled."

"The government planned cigarette addiction, so that the medical industry could make money. It's all about money. They gave away cartons of the stuff during the war, so that doctors and oil companies could get rich. You need to drive to store for smokes, you're wired and hooked, there are more accidents! It's all a plot."

"Art school is a scam. They teach you how to make realistic pictures to cover up everything that's really happening, they don't want you to see that!"

"Religion and Baby Jesus were brought to earth by aliens thirty seven thousand years ago. They also gave us radios, but we lost them."

Last night's dinner over at a friend's place involved three seasonally stressed individuals who deal with the public every day, seven avid readers, two cigar smokers, one pipe smoker, one angry ex-smoker, a person with conspiracy paranoia, and an art-curator.
Slightly over half a dozen people.
There was overlap.
As such things do, the conversation ended up being about food.

Durian was mentioned. For a truly unforgettable holiday, introduce your MidWestern kinfolk to durian. Years ago I would organize a durian event every year, not because I like durian, but because I enjoyed the bafflement and discomfit of people who had never before been exposed to a fruit with a psychotic attitude.

Conversations these past two weeks have been intense.

"Colonel, my men have been hiding under your noses for years."

"It's very lonely and cold up in the mountains, gringo."

"The corrupt police chief owns the town."

So yes, I'm glad the holiday season is ending. Had a good dinner (babka, broad rice stick noodles with barbecued pork, mixed vegetables, chocolate), it's been a peaceful day, quiet outside. I decided not to go over to Chinatown because too many places will be closed, the ones that are open will be filled with Toishanese enjoying a day off hogging all the tables and tourists dawdling over several varieties of fried noodles, fried rice, fried spring rolls, and sweet 'n sour dishes. I am not nearly social enough for all that.

Not at present. Nor normally, generally speaking.

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Alcyon said...

Joyeux Noël, mon vieux!

After a pleasant time over the summer and well into autumn with using the internet to order tobacco, and not much else, I'm all caught up. You are prolific.

I hope the day, the season actually, hasn't been too trying for you. I myself ensured a quiet Christmas by acquiring Covid a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to regular boosters, the effects haven't been horrendous. That no one wants me near has been a delight! The day has been spent consuming sandwiches, sweets, fruit, tea, and all manner of stout GH blends; a perfect Christmas.

I hope you maintain your health during the upcoming year.

The back of the hill said...

And to you too a joyous Noel.

Regarding Covid, I had it over summer for several days. Very minor cough and lethargy, horrid vertigo for three days which had me banging into walls. Which caused me to do a picture of the station restaurant in Eindhove and a few others, all suffused with light. Current on all my boosters.

I hope you have recovered entirely.

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