Monday, December 23, 2019
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (vintage edition)
It's becoming a bit of a personal tradition to read this book around this time of year. Some people have called me cold-hearted (bastard people, mind you), but this book does strike an emotional nerve at times. I mean, just to think of poor Jacob Marley, cut down in the prime of his earning potential, and by what even? It's a mystery. After a close reading, I bet it was a prostate thing - it would explain his demeanor when he returns as a ghost. It's the silent killer that no one wants to talk about, but here's a PSA - gentlemen, get yourself checked. I do it every year, whether I need it or not.
Anyway, this year I found this edition with the original typeface, and that was a nice novelty. The font reminded me of newspapers from when I was a kid. In the city, there was no paper delivery, so you had to go out and find a newspaper boy and buy a paper from him. The kids were a pain in the ass, and a weird lot too - always haggling about the price of papers, dancing around, and singing songs about New Mexico and stuff like that. Or maybe I'm crossing my memories with something, but in any case, it was nice when I moved out here and someone would actually bring your paper to your door. Now, of course, some guy just drives by at 40 miles per hour at 5 in the morning in a car with no muffler and chucks the paper out the window and you're lucky if it even ends up on your property, but hey, efficiency!
So I told my daughter Rachel that my Christmas gift to the family this year would be to not attend the big family Christmas dinner. I thought it would be a win/win, but Rachel told me with a straight face that everyone would miss me if I wasn't there, even Cousin Jim, the nose-whistler. I mean, Jesus - what the hell is up there that prevents him from breathing normally, and wouldn't you think that it could be removed? Do you think maybe someone stuffed a harmonica up his nose when he was a kid, and it's too close to his brain to operate? I can hear him from the other room even over the sound of my son-in-law pontificating about how walking the dog in the woods (for once) gave him a newfound perspective about nature and our relationship with the Earth. Damn it, Gerry!
So I guess I have to go, but I will not go quietly. My Christmas present to myself this year is the last jar of Ghost Pickles that I canned this summer (my spiciest ever!). I've been saving it for a special occasion, and I think this is it. My plan is to eat the entire jar in the morning just before I go over there, and then just let my digestive system take care of the rest on its own. Merry Christmas, suckers!