I have a guest post up for you today because I’m still reeling from how in love with all of you I am. You were all so sweet to me yesterday with my post about Amelia’s birthday. Thank you. I needed that. I really did mean it when I said if you were local, I’d be honored to have you (I’m in St. Charles, which is a suburb of Chicago).
Oh, yeah. I rewrote the ending last night if you’re not seeing where I invited you. I’m still inviting you. I’m also asking you this: how long does one have to plan a party if she still would like guests to show up? Like, when should I aim for, knowing her birthday is the 28th of January? Also: do people send paper invites any longer?
Wanted to tell you that have all of the emails you’ve ever sent me about Amelia in a folder that I’m saving to show her some day. I’ll have to print out all of the lovely comments, too, because Pranksters, she deserves to know how amazing her Internet Aunts and Uncles are.
Taco Bell is totally copying me:
Whatever, Taco Bell. We got the Band Back Together .
I may or may not be in love with Claire. Okay, I so am. She’s hilarious and she’s awesome and she’s witty and if you cut her, I think she bleeds platinum. Total win.
I’m thrilled to have her guest post on my blog today because she’s freaking hilarious. Also, I’m guessing that my blog will probably turn to platinum now that I’ve published her Holiday Rules.
THE RULES (Holiday 2010 Edition)
OK, so here’s the thing:
Every year, I try to be a little less curmudgeonly. This vow is usually sworn at Christmastime, when, despite all the relentless marketing propaganda and crass consumerist bullshit, the idea of a being so desperate to save a bunch of idiots from themselves that he sent his only kid to be their punching bag somehow continues to resonate inside my tiny charcoal heart. That said, events of the past year (as well as my the fact that I was graciously invited by Aunt Becky to be a guest poster) have driven me to create one of my occasional “Rules” posts. For those of you who are unfamiliar, I have, as befits an underemployed and struggling author with little to no influence outside a smallish circle of very tolerant and compassionate weirdos, decreed at various times rules designed to minimize my irritation while, y’know, fixing the world ‘n’ stuff. This is one of those times. In keeping with the spirit of the season, I present “The Twelve Rules of Christmas.”
01) When on line in front of me at a fast food establishment (drive through or inside), acting as though you have never, ever, EVER been to any sort of restaurant or engaged in any type of human interaction is now illegal. Pulling up to the drive through in the howling snow and starting a conversation with “Now, let’s see, what do y’all have here?” as though you are in the exotic climes of some distant Caribbean isle, perusing a menu in the charming local dialect, instead of looking at pictures of tacos so dated that one features a young Celia Cruz, is EXTREMELY illegal.
02) The ban on all Snuggies™, Slankets™, and their sloth-breeding kin continues. Anyone attempting to gift me with such an item shall be summarily sentenced to wear ONLY a Snuggie throughout the course of an Ohio winter, said Snuggie having been hand-crafted out of skunk fur and the tub leavings of Robin Williams.
03) All wrapping paper, even the extra-fancy kind, shall now be sold in standardized rolls, and available in quantities of subtler delineation, eliminating the need for one (ok, me) to choose between “enough to wrap the entire city of Toronto” or “enough to wrap several molecules of Buckminsterfullerite.” In addition, attempts to engage other shoppers in a little wrapping paper swordplay shall be met with enthusiastic glee, rather than nervous calls to security. Bunch of damned party poopers.
04) Given the current economic climate, I have reversed my earlier decree and hereby declare fruitcake to be not only legal, but welcome. However, said fruitcake is not to be consumed (unless one has a death wish or the sort of appetite that permits the consumption of, say, an old boot), but rather stockpiled and used as building materials for low-income housing. Much like their less-durable cousins of mud and adobe, these noble fruitcake bricks will provide solid, enduring shelter from the elements while warding away pests (except for, again, the sort of person who thinks it’s okay to eat fruitcake, and they probably have pica. NOT THAT I DON’T APPRECIATE THE FRUITCAKE EVERY YEAR, AUNT CATHY!).
05) And speaking of aunts, it is hereby declared that all children shall be made to understand that the same “weird” aunt who gives you crazy things like “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Iliad” or My First Particle Accelerator™ as gifts when you are a child, rather than Captain Crappy’s Junketron Blaster of Commercial Flackery™ or Barbie’s Magical Dream House of Rigidly Unforgiving Gender Stereotypes™, will become YOUR FAVORITE AUNT when you are older, because as it turns out, genetic drift means you’re probably more like her than your parents, and therefore will be able to find solace and camaraderie in your shared cranky intellectualism. I think we’ve all seen “Daria,” people.
06) In this season of peace and love, freaking out over, or trying to make political hay out of, the following words is now extremely illegal: “Merry Christmas;” “Happy Holidays;” “Christmakwaanzukkah;” “Io Saturnalia.” (That last one may be solely for our time-traveling friends of the Seventeenth Legion of the Roman Imperium. Sorry about the wormhole, boys, I’m trying to fix it as fast as I can! In the meantime, please feel free to invade Gaul. They’re used to it.)
07) All persons applying to shovel walks and driveways shall henceforth be cherry-cheeked, wool-ensconced cherubs with earflap hats and a gleam in their eye, rather than grown dudes with a three-day stubble and the personal hygiene of a particularly indiscriminate hyena. Persons matching the latter description shall be summarily bathed, shaved, and set to work building fruitcake houses for the poor. Persons matching the former description shall be rewarded with hot cocoa and a shiny silver dollar (“silver dollar,” in this context, should be read as “Twenty bucks? To shovel my walkway? You extortionist bastard!”).
08) All drivers will practice their winter driving all year long by coating their tires in butter every three weeks and turning up the A/C full blast. This will prevent both the seasonal amnesia of winter (“What? It’s cold and snowy in November? AGAIN?”) and the driving behavior it engenders (“Bob, look out! There’s mysterious frozen water falling from the Heavens! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!”). This rule also applies to shopping patterns, so that otherwise normal people will not, upon hearing that snow flurries are in the forecast, rush to their local market and buy up all the milk, soup and shovels as though they only just now remembered they’d been asked to go on a ski trip with the Donners.
09) Those fake fireplaces that do so well on the iPad and the YouTube and whatnot will now produce actual, extremely merry, crackling heat. I don’t want to hear excuses, Science – you can grow an ear on the back of a fucking mouse, you can make BlazingLogs.com fill my living room with cheery warmth.
10) Persons participating in “Secret Santa” who fill out their info card with terms like “cool stuff,” “whatever,” or “Anything Disney! (followed by seventeen exclamation points and a crudely-rendered Mickey Mouse head)” will receive coal. And by “coal,” I of course mean “NOTHING.” Any person drawing such a card from the communal pool with be given the option of either drawing another name or slashing the owner’s tires.
11) All children’s Christmas programs will now have A) a maximum length of one hour; B) attractive cigarette/snack girls dressed as “Sexy Mrs. Claus;” and C) an open bar. I’m looking at you, Saint Michael’s Academy for Wayward Youth.
12) For a variety of reasons, this time of year is decidedly unmerry for a lot of people; the mentally ill, the homeless, the forgotten, the embittered (which, now that I think about it, describes a fair number of family Christmases. But I digress.). Therefore, all persons on this dinky blue rock are hereby required to pause at some point, seek out someone less fortunate (trust me, even if your name is Bob and you’re working as a buoy, there’s someone out there less fortunate than you, bub) and just take that moment to acknowledge their existence and value as a human being. I don’t care if it’s a hot bowl of soup, a hug and a smile, or some sort of weird, borderline-illegal act in the back of Fast Louie’s Massage Parlor. The point is that you do it. Because Christmas comes only once a year (insert your own “Fast Louie’s Massage Parlor” joke here), but being a decent human being is a full time gig.
OK, that’s it for now, I suppose. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Festive Kwaanza, Joyous Solstice, Gleeful Non-Denominational Mandatory Holiday Gathering, et hoc genus omne. Now let’s get out there and build some motherfucking fruitcake houses. FOR THE CHILDREN.