Happy Holidays; An Xmas Story


So. It seems that I have become one of those missing-in-action blog posters about whom my friends bitch—a once prolific writer of obnoxious drivel posting daily entries into cyberspace now posting monthly at best. Having just mistyped “cyberspace” as “cyber space”, I’ve been informed that cyber isn’t an actual word yet, and alas, cyberspace is.

OK, whatinthefuck is that all about? How can a nonexistent entity not exist yet have space? How can nothing occupy space? Other than in situations like Rick Perry or Sarah Palin’s brains, wherein skull vaults contain empty emptinesses.

Which reminds me. My across-the-street neighbor—a most interesting woman born in Holland and Americanized for the last forty years—invited us over to a dinner party last night. Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson is in town for a visit, so when I say, “…invited us…,” I mean the brain doctor and first Mrs. Mooner Johnson joined me for the party, not the dogs. The dogs are pissed to be left at home alone when Agnes, said and same neighbor, has a party.

“Look, shithead,” the Squirt said, “Agnes has the most interesting friends, and the goat dog needs some socializing with a refined cultural element. Take us with.”

“No, little lady,” I told my tiny brown puppy. “Things will be too crowded and you’ll be under foot.”

“Fuck you, asshole. You’ll pay for this one.”

Am I the only parent who finds themselves revisiting the quality of their parenting skills at constant intervals? I raised three well adjusted, interesting, honest and productive kids as a much younger man, and yet, with the experience and maturity of an older man, the net results of my efforts to properly raise this miniature dog have resulted in the Squirt.

I was asking Dr. Sam earlier this morning, I asked, “Why is the Squirt so fucking headstrong, demanding and why does she stick to her principles like Gorilla Glue? She is the most exasperating person in my life.” I was taking advantage of my lovely ex wife’s visit by attempting to sneak a little free psycho therapy action into coffee time.

She answered, “For starters, buster, I just punched the clock and I’m now charging for out-of-town, weekend, holiday, emergency and crisis rates. Those rates are charged by-the-word at $25-per word. After I tell you that you have somehow managed to parent a formerly sweet young dog into a mirror image of yourself, know that if I stop now, you’re bill for this morning’s session has already cost you $1,775.00”

I thought for a moment. “Jesus Christ, Sammie, you’re charging me for prepositions and pricing contractions as two words! You are such a bitch.”

“And you, my dear ex husband, are a nut case. My free diagnosis of the day.”

Anyway, and before my ADHD drives this train into a gorge, we went to the party last night and had a ball. Everyone in attendance not named Mooner Johnson was an interesting and spiritual person and an actual artist producing incredible art, or an interesting, spiritual and renowned psycho therapist. The entire roomful of us thought Rick Perry is a brainless sack of shit, and when I said, “Fuck Walmart!” the room cheered.

Which reminds me. Dr. Sam I. Am is crazy about this private label Chardonnay wine from Costco. Since Costco is the polar opposite of Walmart—treating employees with respect and dignity while profiting still mightily—I was happy to visit Costco for a case of the wine when I was in the ABQ. I’ve agreed to help write and supervise the implementation of a five-year business plan for my buddy who owns the roofing company, and I’m in New Mexico’s largest city often.

Costco was crowded with holiday shoppers, and after bumping and bustling through the store to get the case of wine and industrial-sized buckets of red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and olive oil, I went to check out. The shortest line had six overly-filled baskets waiting and I took my place at the rear. There were two, or more, persons with each basket, save-and-except the one immediately in front of mine. That immense and spilling-over cart was unattended. I looked for its keeper and finding none, moved it ahead of me as the line shortened. Nosy bastard that I am, I spent my time waiting in line searching the store around me and guessing who, and where, the cart user might be.

OK, I was also thinking about the five-year business plan, wondering what item from my Costco shopping list I had forgotten, trying—unsuccessfully—to not look at the ample bosom spilling from the holiday sweater on the lovely lady in the line next to me, and likely spurred by the ample bosom, was wondering if I was clever enough to talk the good doctor into joining me in an evening of sack time. For those of you interested in my sex life, the answer is, as it always is, “No, shithead, your ex wife is far too well adjusted to sex it up with the likes of you.”

I was now at the point where I had to either push the abandoned cart aside and start putting my own basket’s contents on the black rubber conveyor belt for pricing, or wait and piss-off the now seven carts-worth of shoppers behind me. Just as I had grabbed the cart’s handle with both hands to lift it aside, a short, plump Catholic woman walked up and said to me, “Oh, thank you, sir.” She started putting her items on the black rubber belt and added, she said, “And Merry Christmas.”

You might wonder how I knew she was Catholic, right? For starters, she had maybe seven crosses hanging from chains around her neck, I saw the edges of a wear-worn Bible poking from the giant purse she’d left in the basket, and pinned to the breast of her sweater was one of those little buttons that show a pair of tiny feet. With the personal experience and knowledge that that particular button is a favored demonstration of a violent Catholic strain of anti-abortion fervor, I pegged the lady as Catholic.

“Happy Holidays,” I responded, full of holiday cheer and proud that I hadn’t pushed the nice lady’s cart aside.

“Merry Christmas,” she said, and again.

Thinking she hadn’t heard my first response, I responded with a somewhat louder and quite more cheery, “Happy Holidays!”

Wait. Would I have spoken more cheery, or would it be more accurate to have said my louder voice was cheery more? As accuracy and crystal clear communications are my life’s goals, me, I’m going with Cheery more.

“Merry Christmas!” she said, and again, this time through gritted teeth and with not a small level of menace.

Oh, now I get it. This crazy bitch is worried that America is killing her sacred holiday.

“And a Happy Holidays to you and yours,” I said as delightfully as I could say it.

“I saaa-i-ud Merr-ry Christ-mas.” Christmas was said as two words with a heavy emphasis on “Christ”. Her eyes had turned feral, like in a horror movie when the Devil posses to scare you into pissing your pants.

“Happy Holidays,” brightly said by me, and merrily so. It has been many months since I have enjoyed the special pleasure it is to poke and prod Catholic Anti-abortion Protest lady into spitting at and slapping my ruggedly handsome face. I do miss those times and felt this the perfect chance to push another silly Catholic woman off her kibble.

“How dare you blaspheme my sweet Saviour’s birthday!” she snarled. “He!!!” shouted now, “is the only reason you have a holiday and I will not let you disgrace His name.”

I was winding up my favorite three words for an occasion such as that when the Costco clerk managed to pry the angry woman away.

“Fuck your Jesus.” I whispered my anti-Fuckhead Christian mantra to myself in true holiday spirit. I always emphasize the “your” part to distinguish the various Jesuses apart. Some Jesuses are loving and accepting while others must be total fuckbrains, and often the lines blur for me.

After a fantastic party and great time, Sammie and I walked back to Casita Johnson de Santa Fe and opened the door to a frightful sight. The entire living room was covered in the shredded remains of a week’s worth of newspapers. Two piles of dog shit had been deposited on the laces of my snow boots that sit by the door, and everything that formerly sat on top of the coffee table was strewn amidst the shredded paper.

“Happy fucking Holidays, Mooner.” It was the Squirt. She and Yoda were sitting on the rug that sits half in the dining room and half in the kitchen. They were wearing the jingle bell collars that are my Xmas decorations. “Fix us some eggnog and light the fire, Bwana. Lets get in the spirit.”

I love my puppies, New Mexico and good friends. Happy Holiday, y’all.

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6 Responses to “Happy Holidays; An Xmas Story”

  1. Q says:

    With pets like that, who needs enemies? Sheesh! Mooner, I’ve witness the “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” argument before. I don’t make a big deal out of it, but some people do. It got ugly at my previous job once over it. LOL! I play it safe and do the politically correct thing. I don’t have time to argue with people.

    “Happy holidays” to you, sir!

  2. Squatlo says:

    Okay, I’m going to resist my primal urge to ignore your blog post out of protest for the fact that you’re only showing up for “work” on this site once a month. But I can’t let my primal self run things, or I’d be raping women down at the pond, ala “Quest for Fire”. It’s important to recognize my limitations, so I’ll go ahead and leave a comment.

    Getting into a Happy Holidaze/Merry Christmas shouting match in line at Costco would have made my fucking holidays, without another blessing. Just the chance to annoy people without having to mention the Duck Dynastic homophobe would have been priceless.

    On another note (“…and now, for something completely different…”) I was driving home from an aborted car sale (my son was unable to convince a potential buyer into handing him cash for his sports car) when a tune by the Dixie Chicks came up on a mix CD on my stereo… “More Love” is the name of the tune, and it’s a protest ode to the red white and blue patriotic horseshit of another country artist (Toby Dick, or something) they were bickering with at the time. Anyway, the song stresses the importance of setting aside prejudices and hatred, and calls for “more love” as a solution to the world’s problems. At about that time, I was turning right at an intersection not a mile from our house, and noticed a homeless guy (according to his cardboard sign) asking for help… “Homeless- anything will help!”

    When I got back to the house, I popped the top off a Red Stripe, and a few seconds later my son arrived in his unsold vehicle. We were about to dig into a bowl or two of my lovely (and dangerous) wife’s famous chicken noodle soup (to kill for!) when I remembered that guy sitting at the corner with the cardboard sign. Then I remembered those stories you wrote of donating tons of veggies to food banks, and putting shoes and a coat on “Bobby” at the taco parking lot blizzard. It hit me, here’s a chance to change a stranger’s life, if only for a few minutes.

    My wife and son both acted like I was giving a Nigerian Prince our Social Security numbers over the internet when I drove off with a Tupperware container of hot soup, complete with spoon and crackers.

    For the record, the guy wasn’t just appreciative, he got up off of his squatted position, extended a hand, then gave me a hug. He reeked, and looked worse than he smelled. But he was smiling, said “Merry Christmas and God bless”, and had tears welling up in his eyes. We’re having an unusual warm snap here in middle TN this Christmas, and for that I’m grateful. He’s at least not shivering under an overpass in sub-freezing weather. And he’s got some of the best soup (and our favorite Tupperware dish! dammit!) on Earth for dinner.

    Mooner, you’re missed, man. I miss coming over here and reading your crazy shit. I miss hearing about the day to day things you deal with, and how you handle ’em. I miss hearing from you at my place, too.

    When this holiday season blows over, we need to reconnect. You’ve been good for a lot of people, and you’ve been a great influence on more people than you know.

    Merry Christmas to you and your (current) wife… She’s gotta be one patient lady! Thank her for us!

    Bob and Cindy

  3. Katy Anders says:

    The fact that you only bother to post quarterly is more than made up for by a) the fact that you don’t just post on whatever happens to be in today’s headlines, and b) the overall quality of your posts.

    I know it’s gotta be time-consuming to be out there every day, pissing people off like you do. Occasional reports from the front are probably all we can hope for.

  4. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    Q. I’ve tried to not confront assholes like that woman but it makes me go all appoplectic and shit. One of these days I’ll tell the story of the time I let someone get away with it and will never be able to forget my error. I’ve discovered through that rememberance that I don’t have time to not argue.

    You’re one of the good ones, Q. Happy Holidays.

  5. Mooner Johnson needs sexing says:

    Squat. How good does it feel to help someone with true needs? Your gift of homemade soup and opaque air-tight plastic container might be as good a gift as your man will ever get. When I think how lucky I am to have health and enough money to live without fear of sleeping in a cardboard shanty, the need to share with the unfortunate is primal instinct. Going back to minister the soup is testiment to your good heart.

    As for more frequent postings herein, I’m hoping to be less busy after the new year and have a head full of silly shit to share. But I most miss visiting and reading my friends’ writing on a daily basis. My love to Cindy and manly hugs to you.

    Katy, my sweet baboo. Headlines are not for head cases like me. When the swill inside your skull is more interesting than lemming roadkill…

    OK, maybe I was steering a bad course there, allogorically speaking in a metaphorical sense, but the headlines are mostly bullshit these days. I’m finding I actually might like the current Popester, the Republitards are unchanged in the width and bredth of their bigotry, and The University of Texas needs a football coach.

    One of the attendees at last night’s party lived in Houston for a time before moving here. We shared a sympathy for you related to your residential environs. “Houston weather sucks,” was also applauded.

  6. bj says:

    … still blotting tears from the ‘Bobby’ post ….
    You’re a wonderful human being, Mooner Johnson. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, the Missus and all the Kids ….

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