Christmas 2014

palm_tree_relaxing_santa_hawaiian_christmas_ornament-rb5c8909a27e04ef29a1c98397e0b9980_x7s2y_8byvr_512**The Dudes**

“Happy holidays, dude!”

“Wuss.”

“… whut?”

“Yer a wuss, dude! What happened ta Christmas?”

“Whaddaya think happened ta it, dude? How many years ya been lecturin’ me ’bout how come ya don’t wanna marry no 2,000 year old chick, who’s pregnant wit’ someone else’s kid no less? Sooner ‘r later a dude wises up, yeah?”

“So ya ain’t gonna give me no fun, huh? Ya sure ain’t given me nothin’ else!”

“Same as you, dude! It ain’t like either a us made enough money fer presents.”

“Dude.”

**Kris an’ Murphy**

K: “Happy holidays, Murphy!”

M: “Mmmmph.”

K: “Beg pardon, Mr. Scrooge?”

M: “Hey. At least Cratchit got Christmas Day off. And that was before the ghosts showed up. Here I sit with my laptop open, madly writing reports, and with my phone on speed dial to a dozen people and open to the texts of a dozen more. Ever since the grants dried up and I had to start consulting to pick up the slack … Which reminds me. What are you doing here?”

K: “Grabbing a quick bite between my own reports. Which I desperately hope to complete before our Christmas party starts in a couple of hours. Because if I’m not at the house in holiday mode before the guests start arriving, the spousal unit will lynch me!”

M: “Uh huh. Remember when the Christmas/New Year’s holiday break was actually three full weeks?

K:Sigh. We really didn’t have a clue about the rest of the world then, did we?”

M: “Nope. And we didn’t pay any attention when ivory started becoming an endangered species, and ivory towers along with them. Too late now.”

K: “Indeed.”

M: “Oh well. You remember what the dwarfs were singing as they went off to the mines …”

K and M [singing]:We owe, we owe, it’s off to work we go …!”

**Reg and Syd**

“A toast to the holidays, Reg!”

“Hear, hear, Syd!”

“Next year, I’ll be the host on my yacht. The Opulence should have completed its shakedown cruises by Thanksgiving, and the staff be fully ready to operate with all the quality and efficiency you deserve. It might even come close to matching what you have here.”

“Why, thank you, Syd. I’m sure everything and everybody will conform to your usual exacting standards. Considering the tropical Atlantic?”

“No, by your leave; I like the Pacific, and there’s plenty here we haven’t yet explored. Besides, it reminds me of an amusing consultancy report I received a couple of months ago.”

“Oh?”

“Fellow offered to chart our cruise for us, knowing that we would be touring the out-of-the-way places in the South Pacific from a base in Hawai`i. He suggested a route that would put us crossing the International Date Line, enroute to Bali, at 11:59 PM on the 24th of December. Which would, of course, drop us on the other side of the dateline at about 12:01 AM on the 26th! Presto – no need to offer holiday pay to the crew!”

“I .. see. Did this consultancy firm have a name?”

“Certainly. ‘Ebeneezer Efficiency LLC’.”

“Aha. A bit too good to be true, Mr. Grinch?”

“I should have known I wouldn’t be able to get that past you, Reg. Indeed it was a spoof. But you have to admire the sentiment.”

“Perhaps, Syd. Perhaps.”

**TSA Jack**

“Happy hol …”

AAughh!! JeHEEbus …! Oh, it’s you. Sorry. Hi, J…”

STOP!!

AAAAAck!!!

Dammit, Damitri, what the hell is wrong?!?

“I tell ya, Jack, it’s been a nightmare!

“Yeah?”

Yeah! Lines out the door an’ three times ’round the building! People pushin’ and shovin’ an’ yellin’. An cuttin’, ‘r tryin’ to, what lead to more pushin’ an’ shovin’ an’ yellin’. An’ they’re tryin’ to sneak stuff through in their bags, in their pockets, in their underwear – an’ I don’t wanna think about under their underwear! An’ the noise …!!

“Look, Damitri, if the security line is gettin’ to you …”

“You kiddin’ me, Jack?! I came in here for a rest! All that was the supermarket on Christmas Eve! Sheesh! A man could’ve gotten killed in there!”

“Well, you’ve got the typically slow night tonight. But take care of yourself willya? Airline traffic will pick up at the weekend, and especially next weekend after New Year’s, and we need you.”

“I’ll be OK, Jack. Just, just don’t play no more Christmas carols on the loudspeakers. Please?”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

**Screwtape The Third**

“And this pile of holiday-season investments in H.E.L.L.’s properties, Wormsap?”

“All those clients who were driven mad by the Christmas carols playing on loudspeakers in supermarkets and shopping malls since Labor Day, sir.”

“Your work?”

Yours, sir. Of course.”

Must I remind you that diplomacy is a virtue?

“Permit me to remind you, sir, that brown-nosing is generally not considered a virtue.”

“Ah. That is better.”

**Starship Train**

“Computer.”

“Yes, Captain.”

“Is the holiday season over yet?”

“Which one? There are thousands in the database …”

“The one corresponding with the winter solstice in Earth’s northern hemisphere.”

“Working. You would think, from their ‘holiday season’ references, that English-speaking Terrans in the 20th and 21st Earth centuries had only the one holiday every year. The Vulcanians were horrified at the imprecise use of language. Not to mention the imprecise use of facts.”

“Still are. Just ask them. Speaking of which …”

“Yes, Captain. The solstice has passed. Technically, we are entering the second day, out of twelve, of Christmas, so the ‘season’ associated with this holiday isn’t yet ‘over’. But most of the crew who celebrate it are done with Christmas celebrations. There remains New Year’s Day to come, in a week’s time.”

“I remain amazed at the hold this ‘Christ’ has on so many people, even to this day and on this starship. There are no contemporary records that the man even existed, and if he did in fact exist, and set out to ‘save his people’ as claimed by his propagandists, then he failed miserably, either to liberate Judea from Roman rule or to return from the dead, 2300 years after he said that return was ‘imminent’.”

“The ‘Christ’ concept, Captain, is no more ridiculous than the one underpinning the solstice celebrations to which Christmas and many other Terran holidays have been pinned – namely, that some priest managed, once again, to save the Sun from dying, and needs to be paid throughout the year, and handsomely, for providing that service.

“Moreover, the ‘Christ’ concept is far more personal. Your metaphors of ‘clean birth/rebirth’ and ‘propitiating sacrifice’ date back to the dawn of your written records, as well as those of many other Federation planets and peoples, and are immeasurably powerful. Without them, few beings who have suffered personal or professional failure would find the strength to rebuild their lives, rediscover their abilities, recover their fortunes. Lives, for all but the ‘perfect’, would be short and mean. That might work in crowded, resource-poor societies without much external competition. For a society that needs ‘all hands on deck’, the absence of such cleansing metaphors is a recipe for disaster.”

“‘Propitiating sacrifice?'”

“Something, or someone, who suffers or dies at the hands of a society, and in that suffering or death metaphorically carries all the socially-unacceptable actions – the ‘sins’ – of that society and the people in it. Thereby, symbolically, offering that society and its people the chance to forget those sins and try, at the very least, to make new mistakes rather than constantly reliving the old ones. Sometimes called a ‘scapegoat’.”

“But a scapegoat was called a scapegoat because it escapes – set free in the wilderness, if I recall correctly, while its buddy was sacrificed as a sin offering. I don’t exactly call dying while nailed to a cross ‘escaping’.”

“Neither did the original scapegoat, Captain. Yes, the Biblical account does specify releasing the scapegoat into the wilderness – from where, it was presumed, it would never return to the place whence it came. What the Biblical account does not relate is the time when a scapegoat did return to the community, carrying its metaphorical loads of sins with it. From that time forward, the scapegoat was taken to the wilderness as before and released – by pushing it down a cliff steep enough to ensure it would break its neck. So the ‘scapegoat’ did not escape. And this is the meaning of ‘scapegoat’ that has passed down to us.”

“Computer?”

“Captain?”

“I think my head hurts.”

“Eggnog?”

“Yes. Please.”

“Delivered. And, Captain?”

“Yes, Computer?”

“Happy holidays.”

This entry was posted in Dude and Dude, Holiday, humor, Kris an' Murphy, Reg and Syd, satire, Screwtape III, Starship Train, TSA Jack and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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