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It’s December…..that strange time between major holidays when everybody is giddy and excited and homicidal all at the same time. Hurry up and wait and eat and drink and be merry and make sure you don’t miss Charlie Brown or Rudolph or the Grinch. Things seem to pick up and slow down simultaneously….with a lot of Office Space-type jobs going into semi-hibernation. Companies won’t admit to this of course, but the give-a-shit meter is barely detectable from now until the new year in a lot of places. Office parties…..loads of folks taking time off…..good luck getting somebody on the phone until the year 2020.

2390E7EB00000578-2852585-Scrum_down_Customers_push_each_other_out_of_the_way_as_the_crowd-72_1417213372623I broke one of my cardinal rules and left the house on Black Friday. I had the day off so in a fit of madness I volunteered to accompany my wife to the mall. What I saw was absolute chaos everywhere……while my wife kept saying “my God….this is nothing. There is nobody here….” over and over. I could not understand it. Checkout lines reminded me of Disney World. Parking lots were obstacle courses…..traffic law and order had seemingly broken down. I was just waiting for somebody to throw themselves across the hood of our car to reach their destinations quicker. I’m not good at this. At all. My wife is a pro. Apparently on-line shopping has taken quite a bite out of the Black Friday foot traffic….which I would have no way of knowing since it was probably the first time I’ve ever been near a mall the day after Thanksgiving. So the 8 billion people I saw that day is apparently usually 80 billion. Just thinking about gives me a newfound respect for shopping warriors like my wife, who seem to float above the crowds while I manage to get in everyone’s way. But right when I’m almost ready to accept that these people aren’t nuts I read about the Black Friday brawl outside of Nashville that apparently started over an argument over a pair of Frozen 2 slippers. And the fear and loathing begins anew.

I always feel bad for this shopping thing. The folks working at the stores don’t want to be there (looking at them reminded me of an assortment of hostage videos)….and maybe if idiots like me didn’t go to their stores 8 seconds after Thanksgiving dinner is over they wouldn’t have to be. But then if I stay home and order online I know I’m fucking over a pile of warehouse workers being paid like shit and treated like slaves by Jeff Bezos, not to mention the men and women who have to work a slew of overtime to drop the useless garbage I just ordered on my porch within 24 hours…..most of which I’ll probably return anyway. I’m an asshole either way.

And then came word that we were all going to die in a winter storm that promised ice and snow and unicorns. Folks forgot about buying ugly sweaters and flocked to empty supermarkets for bread and milk and beer….determined to ride the thing out while watching “The Irishman” on Netflix. And so while it did manage to sleet for 12 hours in a row, which is no joke…..the multiple feet of snow promised…..well….most of us swept it away this morning with brooms. My daughter’s college cancelled classes and she kept sending me photos of the green lawn of her apartment complex with the letters “lol” attached. She was grateful for the reprieve, but a little confused about how a forecast could be so….well…wrong.

And so here we are. A few more weeks and then Christmas. And then another week until New Year’s. And then instant depression, because it really is the best time of the year despite the madness and chaos and the fake snow storms and the brawls over children’s slippers. I think people are just a little bit nicer for about 6 weeks. Dicks are less dickish, and the normally charming practically glow. Everybody wishes you a “Merry Christmas” despite Fox news saying this isn’t allowed anymore because…..well…..you know.

But come the first week of January all of this illusionary stuff hits a brick wall and everybody is back to normal…..miserable and broke ready to shank anybody that looks at them wrong before they have that first cup of coffee.

Happy Holidays everyone!

In a bit..


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