Oh! Damn! You’re here! Bugger! That was bloody fast. (Hurriedly takes down the image from the main monitor)
I was…just finishing up some last minute apparel shopping…for a friend who really sucks at buying gifts for his lady. Yeah…for a friend, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
What? NO I WILL MOST CERTAINLY NOT put her back up on the big monitor! What? NBO I will not be giving out her number or giving her yours either/ NO! I don’t know her relationship status or Facebook page address!
It’s Christmas Eve for God’s sake! What are all you people doing here anyway? Smelled the Gingerbread? Oh. Well Impish is a little depressed about being out of action. As you might recall he stood in for Rudolph last Christmas pulling Santa’s sleigh.
He was hoping to get back to his custom of
terrorizing visiting several small hamlets someplace in Europe which he describes as having somewhat backwards ideas and attitudes towards Dragons, as he has every Christmas Eve for the last 250 odd years. Since the flight surgeon has him grounded he’s pretty depressed about them celebrating Christmas without his presence.
So the cheer him up all three kitchens are working over time to recreate one of the villages in miniature for him to eat his way through.
So sorry, no plates heaped with hot Gingerbread today. There is of course coffee and in case some of you were found moping around because there was to be no issue tomorrow I’ve prepared this short one for you.
The True Story of Rudolph
A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.
His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.
Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?”
Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger.
It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in.
Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Wards during the Great Depression.
Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.
Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a story book!
Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story,embellishing it more with each telling.
Who was the character? What was the story all about?
The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.
Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day.
But the story doesn’t end there. The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little story book and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book.
Wards went on to print, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores.
By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than Six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major Publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May.
The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.
Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”
The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.
Actually the plate is at the base of his tail and the magnet is currently in the seat of his robotic wheelchair which has been programed to prevent a repeat of the Thanksgiving Feast fiasco.
[Frustrated bellow of dragon rage is heard off in the distance. Lethal barely suppresses a snicker]
After that comment about Impish’s magnetic backside this seems to be as good a place as any for a Dragon Report.
Impish has attended two
torture physical therapy sessions now and walked into the second one on a cane instead of the walker as he did last time. He claims to be ahead of schedule in his healing & mobility. I can attest to his good spirits having spoken with him and traded texts and other forms of online communications. I can also state unequivocally that the rumors about Impish having under gone a sex change while in surgery are baseless and unfounded. We suspect Barney of being responsible for these after Impish was quoted observing that it appears Barney might have had a tummy tuck & tail lift recently. Impish’s sex is unchanged which is to say he still basically doesn’t get nearly what he claims he does.
[Another bellow of dragon frustration is heard off in the distance follow by a very clear “LETHAL! I will get you for this!” followed by something lest distinct that might be some very inventive cussing. Lethal grins despite trying not to and wipes a tear from the corner of his eye]
As I was saying, around here he uses the high tech robotic wheel chair which I got him (yup the one from the Impish’s Insight comment above, its real) as the floors are either cobble paved and uneven or stone polished too smooth for him to trust his semi steady assisted gait on. His problem is that the metal plate attached to his butt and the electromagnets in the chair’s seat are also real as is the locking 5 point restraint system.
I’ve taken the precaution/liberty of programing the chair so that it cannot get closer than 500 feet to any of the Christmas food prep areas here at DL/LL HQ to avoid a repeat of the Thanksgiving Feast That Wasn’t Fiasco. In fact should Impish attempt to force the issue [Frustrated dragon bellow “Not this way you blasted Leprechaun cursed chair! I can smell Beef and Bacon roasting in the kitchen damn you!” Lethal requires a moment to compose himself before continuing] it is programed to wander him off to some remote part of our HQ at 1/4 speed before the controls release to him again.
Christmas dinner here is to be rotisserie Bacon wrapped Beef Tender Loin, Stuffed Shells, a Tossed Salad of Field Greens and Garlic & Parmesan Crescent Rolls. As you can well imagine after being ill for Thanksgiving and the Fiasco so I didn’t even get leftovers I’m determined to enjoy my Christmas Dinner, even if it does mean a enduring slightly frustrated dragon.
Old-time radio programs
Do you have a lot of spare room on your music player? If so, you may be looking for an inexpensive way to load it up.
You probably have music and podcasts on your player, but don’t forget about radio programming. Old-time radio is a lot of fun. You’ll find free, legal old-time radio programs online.
The Internet Archive has a large selection of old radio programs such as Sherlock Holmes, Dragnet and World War II news broadcasts.
You can download the episodes in MP3 format. They’ll work on any music player, smartphone or computer. Or you can burn them to CD for listening in the car.
System: Windows, OS X
Please call me to make an appointment if you received one of these Christmas cards from me.
A teacher and a school resource officer called in the police to arrest a 13 year old student in Albuquerque, N.M. for burping during class! Authorities charged him with “interfering with public education.” I think those same charges should be brought against everyone but the student. Had the student’s gas escaped through the back door, the authorities might have contacted the EPA!
A principal at a school in Colorado suspended a six year old boy for kissing the hand of a girl he had a crush on. The principal believes that this act of affection rose to the level of sexual harassment. I believe the principal’s ill advised handling of this event rose or sunk to the level of grave stupidity.
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
Wuz da nite befo Crimmus
An’ all ower de hood;
Ereybody wuz’ sleepin’;
Dey wuz sleepin’ good.
We hunged up our stockings
An hoped like de’ heck
Dat ol’ Sanna Claws
Be bringin’ ar check.
All o’ de fambly
Wuz layin in de beds,
Whilst Ripple and Thunderbird
Dance tru’ dey heads.
I passed out inna’ flo
Right nex to my Maw;
When I herd sech a fuss,
I thunk, “It mus be da Law!”
I looked out thru da bars
What covered my do’,
‘Spectin da sheriff
Wif a warrent fo’ sho.
And what did I see,
I said, “Lawd, look at dat!”
They was a huge watta’ melon,
Pulled by giant warf rats!
Now ober all de years
Sanna Claws, he be white;
But looks liken us bros
Gets a black Sanna dis nite.
Faster dan a po’lees car,
My homeboy he came;
He wupped on dem warf rats,
An’ called dem by name!
“On Leroy, on ‘Lonzo,
And on Willie Lee,
On Sapphire, on Chenequa,”
Dey wuz a site to see!
As he landed dat watta’mellon
Out der in da skreet,
I knowed it was fo’ sho’
Da damdest site I ebber did see.
He didn’t go down no chimbley,
He picked da’ lock on my do’;
An’ I sez to mysef,
“Shit! He done dis befo’!”
He had dis big bag,
Full of presents I ‘spect;
Wid Air Jordans and fake gold
To wear roun’ my neck.
But he left no good prezents,
Jus’ started steelin’ my shit;
Got my drugs, got my guns,
Even got my burglar’s kit!
Wit my stuff in da bag,
Out da winda he flewed;
I woudda’ tried to catched him,
But he stoled my ‘nife too!
He jumped on dat wadda’mellon,
An’ wipped out a switch;
He wuz gone in a seccon’,
Dat son of a bitch!
Next year I be hopin’
Anutha Sanna we git,
‘Cuz diz here Sanna Claws
Jus’ ain’t werf a shit!
I was sort of hoping that we’d make it through the Holiday Season with out the latest seasonal rage the debate over ‘The Attack on Christmas’ versus the ‘Politically Correct Non-Offensive Expression of the Holiday Season’. It has surfaced every year at this time for about the last 5 years and if you ask me only serves to further divide us and detract from the true meaning of the Holiday.
Impish had spot on with his Peanuts meaning of Christmas. Linus a lot like Calvin is an old wise soul in a very young body and often out of such babe ‘s mouth comes a true gem.
I’ve not the time or as yet the stamina to devote to a debate over the issue. Nor will I be a party to detracting from the true reason we celebrate the time of the year. I am however posting 2 of the best pieces I have seen for both sides of the issue for your perusal.
In Praise of “Happy Holidays”
by Edward T. O’Donnell [Mr. O’Donnell is an associate professor of history at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA]
Here we go again. If it’s December then it must be time for that annual Christmas tradition established a few years ago—the outrage mongering by conservatives over an alleged “War on Christmas” being waged by a cadre of secularists who employ the phrase, “Happy Holidays.” Particularly galling to these self-appointed defenders of tradition are retailers that avoid the word Christmas in their advertising and in-store decorations. In recent years groups like Focus on the Family, the Catholic League, and the American Family Association have launched a variety of vigilance campaigns, including an “It’s OK to Wish Me A Merry Christmas” button campaign and various boycott threats and “watch lists” identifying “Christmas-unfriendly” retailers.
I must admit that the expression Happy Holidays once struck me as vapid and meaningless—essentially the December version of the all-time vapid and meaningless phrase of modern times, “Have a nice day.” But all this War on Christmas hysteria in recent years has led me to a new and heartfelt appreciation for the expression, for I see that it embodies both a fundamental American value and, strange as it may sound, one of Christmas’s core religious ideals.
I should point out before wading any further into this minefield that I come to this contentious issue as a Christian who attends church weekly and even sings in the choir. In other words, a cranky, axe-grinding atheist or free-wheeling new age spiritualist I am not.
So why defend Happy Holidays? Let’s begin by focusing on the profound republican virtue that lies at the heart of Happy Holidays: respect for each and every citizen’s right to their own religious beliefs (or non-beliefs). As Americans we take for granted the idea that people of different faith traditions can live together in harmony. But history makes it abundantly clear that America’s remarkably successful experience with religious pluralism is the exception, not the rule. Who can calculate the oceans of blood spilled over the centuries, from the Crusades to Darfur, in the name of religious zealotry? Indeed, American society was once beset with religiously-inspired violence. Scores died in anti-Catholic and anti-Mormon riots in the 1840s and 1850s.
It has taken several centuries to develop and enshrine America’s much-cherished tradition of religious tolerance. This effort has succeeded even as the number of religious faiths in America greatly multiplied. It’s a hard won tradition and Americans should remain ever vigilant in protecting it from the any group that seeks to impose its orthodoxy on everyone else. The “Merry Christmas, or Else” zealots are not preaching violence, but they are promoting a dangerous, unwelcome, and ultimately un-American form of religious intolerance.
Even more compelling, especially for those (like me) who consider Christmas a religious holiday, is the spiritual argument in defense of the phrase Happy Holidays. Has anyone seriously interested in the religious meaning and significance of Christmas stopped to contemplate the absurdity of a campaign demanding that retailers, as Focus on the Family put it a few years ago, “put Christmas back in the holidays”?
Retailers? You mean the people leading the relentless charge to transform Christmas into a grotesque exhibition of materialist excess, are now responsible for upholding the true meaning of Christmas? Would anyone take seriously a campaign that urged beer brewers to “put sobriety back into tailgating”? Or Las Vegas to “put commitment back into express weddings”?
Put simply, the charge that individuals and retailers who fail to say Merry Christmas is itself a very real assault on Christmas. After all, the holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus, an event the Bible tells us was hailed by a choir of angels singing, “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.” Raging against the inclusive, tolerant and ultimately harmless phrase, Happy Holidays, runs directly counter to this theme.
Indeed, it’s like making war on Christmas.
So here’s wishing you Happy Holidays – and all that implies.
and now with the of course opposing view point…
Both greetings — Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays — have religious significance.
The Question of the Week was about Christmas and what terms should be utilized; Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. It might help to have a background on the derivations of both phrases.
To understand the meaning behind Happy Holiday(s) and Merry Christmas, one must look at the origin of the words.
The word holiday is a compound stemming from the words holy and day. The word “holiday” first surfaced in the 1500s replacing the earlier word “haliday” which was recorded before 1200 in the Old English book Ancrene Riwle. Earlier, about 950, the word was “haligdaeg” and appeared in the Old English Lindisfarne Gospels. It was a compound of the Old English “halig” (holy) plus “daeg” (day). Originally the word meant a religious festival and a day of recreation, free from labor and toil. As the English language and pronunciations changed the word evolved into our modern “holiday.” To wish someone a Happy Holiday was to wish them happiness for a singular day of religious significance “Happy Holy Day.” To wish someone “Happy Holidays” was to wish them happiness for the many Holy Days in a particular cycle of the Christian calendar, such as Advent. Advent is a cycle in the Christian calendar which includes Christmas and concludes on the Feast of the Epiphany. Therefore, then or now, to wish someone “Happy Holidays” is to wish them happiness from the first night of Advent through the Feast of the Epiphany, including Christmas.
The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, as Cristes-messe. Cristes-messe referred directly to the specific date set aside for the Mass of Christ, a commemoration of the birth of Christ. The word became “Christ Mass” in Middle English and then “Christmas” in modern English. To wish someone “Merry Christ Mass” or “Christmas” was to wish them to be filled with joy on the singular day set aside to recognize the birth of Christ.
Both of these greetings have deep religious significance. In a very technical sense perhaps “Happy Holidays” has the greater significance as it wishes one happiness for the entire period of Advent, while Merry Christmas sends a greeting for only one day during that period, the day of the Mass of Christ.
Personally, I wish people a Merry Christmas.
Personally I’d like to know when exactly observing the custom of ‘Peace on Earth good Will Toward Men’ went out of style!
What? You guys still hanging around?
No we got no Figgie Pudding, no Wassail, and all scraps of ginger bread are immediately vacuumed up by Impish.
Still won’t be on your merry ways huh? Well I’m prepared for that, don’t say I wasn’t nice before I
fragged you all dragged this little fact before you all!
[Watches the ensuing panic then begins texting frantically] Santa- I can explain that little slip up, I was provoked!