Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2009

Why Does Everyone Hate Christmas?

I know, I know, I know. It's the forced jollyness. And it's the sick consumerism, the overwhelming loneliness of people who are far from their families, the ever present, maddening whine of Christmas tunes played over crappy speakers, it's the props in the windows and the fake snow. It's the glitter. It's the tacky electronic Rudolphs, and tripping over the stupid extension cords that dangle out the backsides of said Rudolphs. It's the crazies of all stripes who crawl out of their hovels every year, like so many disgruntled little elves, muttering about the alleged War on Christmas, or rioting about nativity scenes at the local shopping center, or yelping about how Santa was invented by Coca-Cola (which, by the way, totally not true.) So-I know, I know, I know.

But you know what? I fucking love Christmas. And not just because Jesus was born, although that's a big deal at our house. But it isn't just that. I LOVE that at Christmas, if at no other time, you see all your relatives and play stupid board games. I love that otherwise perfectly respectable people walk around with Santa-shaped brooches, and reindeer horns, and ugly sweaters that have glitter and lights and fuzzy red bobbles.

I love that all of a sudden, red and green look GREAT together, and even better with a string of lights! And maybe some tinsel! And definitely some pine cones! Ooh and also gold stars! OH and what about little paper angels? Yes! Yes! Yes! Here in Austria, I love that for a whole month everyone you see gives you homemade cookies and chocolate filled with tongue-curlingly sweet liqueur. I love that everyone is pretty much drunk for the whole of December, sipping steaming mulled wine and frighteningly strong punch while they stand in the snow.

In the United States, the pleasures are more absurd. People decorate, inside and out (and my family's home is no different). You should see the suburbs. It seems like, once a year, some kind of merry Christmas Godzilla has a little too much christmas cheer and then vomits across the whole neighborhood.

Up come string lights, snowmen and four foot candy canes. Cheerzilla stops, says "Ungh," and takes a wobbly step toward the North Pole...only to wheel around and puke again: plastic reindeer! Shiny red sleds! Cornhusk wise men! Hand-painted nutcrackers! Shivering, Merryzilla wipes the last few sleigh bells and gilded pine cones from his trembling lips, swears "never again" and crawls home to put a cool washcloth on his forehead and wait for next December.

It's awesome and I love it. Even if Coke DID invent Santa Claus (which they didn't, you stupid motherfuckers. Go get a job. So that you have money. To buy things. Like candy canes. Then your kids will love you. You ASSHOLE. Merry Christmas.)

Sonntag, 13. Dezember 2009

No Carrot Left Behind. Yeah, I Went There.

Someone better come over and give me a hug, because I just cleaned out the fridge and it was effing terrifying. As usual, I've now promised myself that from now the refrigerator will always be spotless, because now that it's clean I can pretend I'm the type of person who has a clean fridge.

Yeah. From now on, I'm going to throw away leftover coconut curry before it is disguised by a half inch layer of green spores. I'm going to dispose of half-empty containers before the sour cream has separated into its component parts that host apparently competing strains of life. I pledge that no colony of fungus will again be allowed to grow so lushly that it overspills its foil-covered plate. I promise that I will not permit alleged unperishables such as olives to be opened and then sit unused in their glass jars for so long that they half-dissolve in the darkening brine. I swear that never again, no not on my watch, shall any carrot -- not one carrot -- ever again be left in such a state of sorry neglect.

This is all a load of crap, of course. My careful policies are ruined by gross mismanagement and a lack of political will at a community level. In two months, when the guilt and the stench become unbearable and its time to boil the fridge again, I can be sure that I will find at least one carrot that was left behind.

But no matter far I backslide, I'm still never buying anchovies again, because wow.