It was beautiful! I felt alive. I loved everything I could see. I sprinted out into the street and hugged the garbage man. He was beautiful. He looked really surprised. Maybe I should have worn pants but there was no time for that.
In my hands I held a Christmas card. It was even addressed to me. To me! Someone had sent me a Christmas card. A bona fide recipient of the Ribbon of Participation. I was finally somebody.
“God bless us, every one!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. I’d never felt a stronger sense of belonging.
Yes, it was time for a let down.
The local TV news, which consists of 18 minutes weather, 2 minutes news and 10 minutes commercials, has been telling us for months that practically every single day is setting another local weather record. In winter we had the warmest winter days ever. There have been lots of rainfall records along the way, including one just a couple of days ago. And now, finally, record heat days are occurring on a regular basis.
I think we’re setting a record on setting new records. Somebody check the records. This has got to be true.
Living in Portland means, of course, there is no air conditioning in our house circa 1950s. I think they hates them, they do. Maybe things were cooler in the 1950s so people didn’t think they were really needed? Bioswale floors, walls, ceilings and roofs constructed out of organic kale didn’t exist back then, did they?
Whatever the case, when the heat hits our house like an oven on broil, the windows, reluctantly, have to be placed in the “open” position. And that’s when the shit goes sideways.
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Come what may.
This just in: The Earth’s tilt (or spin axis, if you will) is still 23.5 degrees. Ooooh, yikes. That’s a mite chilly, mate. 23 freaking degrees?!? Are we talking fahrenheit or celsius? Either way, that’s colder than [insert your own obscene colloquialism here] in a pickle jar!
That’s pretty damn cold.
Weather segments on the local news have always been a bit extreme, full of histrionics and hyperbole. ZOMG, tomorrow there’s going to be wet, sun, fog, humidity, wind, mist, hail, and, worst of all, clouds. No shit? Really? Ya think?
Tell you what? If you can successfully predict before it happens when lizards will fall out of the sky, wake me up. Okay? Until then? Shut your fucking omen hole.
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I have dubbed the trip Grouchy With A Chance Of Meatballs.
Per standard operating procedure I was lured into the midst via deception. “Let’s do brunch,” said my wife. Then, after my tummy was slaked and my attention wandered, suddenly our car was pulling into the gaping maw of Hell.
“What the Hell?” I stammered redundantly.
Yes, it was the IKEA super mega store on steroids. (I think they call them STOROIDS.) Lest there be any doubt: The “holiday season” is upon us.
Cars were flying in every direction. People were running and screaming. Their hair was on fire. Vendors were pumping out hot dogs. A dog barked. A garish clown on stilts juggled live babies. It was the peak hour of the peak day of the week and the peaking holiday season was upon us. And we were now in the epicenter where Swedish style and design meet in the supercollider of Want.
GRUNDTAL! You’re welcome.
Step one of shopping at IKEA is not navigating the labyrinth or even following your nose to the nearest deceptively aromatic meatball. No, before those phases may begin one must find a temporary storage location for one’s Volvo. I’m talking about, of course, the PARKERINGSPLATS.
But then, something unexpected happened. Call it a Hobbit’s journey, if you wish. I call it a Very Guru Christmas. It was time for a new Festivus tradition henceforth to be called the Random Act Of Kindness (To An Asshole).
For some it would be a confusing time.
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I really look up to my wife. She hates her job every bit as much as I hate mine, although, perhaps, for not exactly all the same reasons. To each their own! Vive la difference!
Hell, sometimes she even makes me feel like a negativity neophyte. Yes, she’s that good and I love her for it.
I made her company famous in a previous post about how they turned Christmas dinner into an H.R. event by making employees roll dice to determine where they would sit. You thought this was Christmas dinner? Nope. It’s a team building exercise!
So far in 2011 there have been layoffs, employees were told there would be no Christmas bonus, and management is forcing employees to use extra vacation days before the end of the year. My wife’s coworker was saving her days, in accordance with company policy, for a trip next year. Now that’s all screwed up. The scuttlebutt is that management wants fewer vacation days on the books so there will be less payouts during the next round of layoffs.
Recently my wife was summoned by the department head. She was informed that she was the worst “smiler” in the workplace and that she needed to improve on her smiling. The “or else” was implied.
The facts are clear. A computer report that tracks productivity in the department shows my wife at the top of the list. The best smiler in the department? She’s dead last.
The intimated threat to my wife: Do a better job at smiling or we’ll keep the most unproductive employee ahead of you. Smile more or you’re the next to go.
Believe it or not, she was actually called in for a meeting about this. Amazing, I know.
Then this same boss gives my wife a little Christmas card. It contained a $5 coupon to a coffee house and a personal note that said, “I hope this makes you smile.”
Using a Christmas card to deliver a shitty boss message like that? You gotta admire a subtly handcrafted and executed implied threat delivered with such festive deftness. I’m in awe.
To me, there is one thing I really want to be reminded of during the brief moment of enjoyment known as reading a Christmas card.
Yes, you got it. “Difficult times.” No Christmas card is complete without that sentiment.
The Guru of Negativity tips his hat in awe, appreciation and respect to the author of this jolly piece of virginal snow. Those are some massive jingle bells.
The multitasking of wishing seasons greetings while reminding me of this shitty year is a holiday win-win. Even Santa himself couldn’t delivery a better Christmas gift. It’s perfect. I always wanted my heart on a plate.
Ho ho ho…
Just in time for the holidays…
Is the holiday season making your spirits too bright? If you find yourself feeling goodwill towards men, this new classic holiday CD might just help. Pop it in the old music machine and shatter some peace on Earth, won’t you?
Deck your fellow man instead of those pesky halls!
Not available in any stores!
Now how much would you pay?
Only 24 easy payments of $2.99. Operators are standing by. Don’t visit the Shopping Maul and punch women in the face just for the chance to own this fabulous bit of Christmas musical history. Ordering factory direct from China is available on our pimped out web site.
Come on! Step up and order today, but only if you’ve got the jingle balls to make a consumption decision that will change your life — forever! (All sales final.)
Includes classic downer hits like:
- Christmas at Ground Zero
- Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas)
- Red Water (Christmas Mourning)
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town?
- A Long December
- Merry Fucking Christmas
- Walking Round in Women’s Underwear
- If We Make it Through December
- Offensive Bonus – Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday
- Hyppo’s Bonus Pick – I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
- Critter’s Bonus Pick – A Cat Carol
Critics fucking rave:
It’s a breadth of freth aire.
—Some guy we paid who consented to us paraphrasing his words
Songs from the Abyss cured my holiday cheer in no time at all!
—Grandmother Taker (shortly before her most recent stroke)
That’s 45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back and I couldn’t be happier!
—Our recording engineer
I hope you’ll enjoy these timeless Christmas classics as my precious gift to you. Ho ho ho.