Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Warm Wishes for a Very Merry Armageddon!

This came in the mail at work. Surely I will not be dooced for scanning it (at work) and then posting it on my blog, because I have cleverly removed the name of the company that sent it to us. I don’t think we work with them anyway, which is much to my relief because all I could think of when I saw this was Harold Pinter and his “comedies of menace.”

Harold Pinter, whom I had never heard of until my class on British playwrights, is, surprisingly enough, a British playwright. He writes what critics have called “comedies of menace” which are, surprisingly enough, plays that are both comedic and menacing. When the Nobel Committee chose to award Pinter the Literature Prize in October, they specified that he “uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms” and that is precisely what he does, usually much to the theater-goer's discomfort.

If this postcard isn’t the very picture of oppression’s closed room, I don’t know what is. It could easily be an illustration from one of Pinter’s later, little-known forays into children’s literature. It is never too early for the little bastards to learn that a socio-political Armageddon is on its way, and that they had better prepare themselves for the ugly truth that Jolly Old Saint Nick is a fascist who claims to know everything about everyone and dispenses justice quite freely without so much as a glance of recognition at the Hague--and all this while posing as a kindly father figure whose great beneficence it would be unthinkable to dispute.

Meanwhile, little Rudolph, easily recruited on account of his unpopularity with the other reindeer, finds himself under the thumb of a ruthless tyrant. Below, the text of Pinter’s timeless children’s classic, “Christmas Eve.”

Santa: Ho, ho, ho.


Santa: Ho, Rudolph, pleasant evening, wouldn’t you say?
Rudolph: Yes, sir.
Santa: Nice and cold.


Santa: Wouldn’t you say?
Rudolph: Yes, sir.
Santa: Then say it!
Rudolph: Very cold, sir. Very nice.
Santa: Yes, I think so, too.


Santa: What does my watch say, Rudolph?
Rudolph: It is approximately half past five, sir.
Santa: Is it? Oh yes. I must have looked at it upside-down. I thought it was nearly midnight.


Santa: If it were nearly midnight, you’d be in bad shape with those Christmas cards, wouldn’t you? You’d be five minutes from the deadline.
Rudolph: Yes, sir.
Santa: You know why the call it the deadline, don’t you?
Rudolph: Yes, sir.
Santa: You say you do?
Rudolph: I do, sir.
Santa: Brave of you to keep up the leisurely place, then, isn't it?


Rudolph: Yes, sir.
Santa: Very brave indeed. Well, good luck, Rudolph.


Rudolph: Thank you, sir.
Santa: And Merry Christmas.

Slight pause.

Santa: Ho ho ho.


The moral of this post is: Do not send Christmas cards to your friends that make them want to phone Amnesty International and turn in Santa Clause.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Abbie, Doctor of Philosophy

My mother has been teaching the dog to count.

She says, "I teach, it's what I do. I don't care whether it's a dog or not, I'm going to teach it."

Apparently, for the last nine years, my mother has been counting Abbie's muddy paws as she dries them. When I asked whether she did it the same way every time, whether Abbie knew her hind left foot was #3, she said no, and seemed to think that was odd.

Abbie stood there and panted. Outwardly she was saying, "Duhhhhhhh, I'm hungry." But inside that furry little head she was thinking, "I have already extrapolated the existence of the quadratic formula. Now feed me, because I am a genius."

The only thing holding her back now is not having opposable thumbs, but I'm sure she'll take care of that as soon as she maps the canine genome, which is probably her plan for next Tuesday between 3 and 5pm. Until then she will devote her time to deconstructing the Shakespearean canon with an eye toward his treatment of women in Greek myth, and in her spare time she'll fine-tune her artistic style which, until she gets thumbs at least, will likely be reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's.

Any day now we'll come home and find that someone has painted "Four legs good, two legs bad" on the garage door. Inside, we will hear the strains of Abbie fluently speaking multiple languages as she simultaneously disarms the Iraqi insurgency, creates peace in the Middle East, opens a can of whoopass on North Korea, and practises juggling with bowling pins.

So I guess some good can come of this. But I want my collection of Dickens back and no, I will not man the keyboard so she can try to beat my time in Minesweeper.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Harriet Goes to the Dark Side

[There is a heating man checking out the insulation in the ceiling.]

Otto: Does he realize he's stuck up there if we move this ladder?
Eloise: You could mention it to him.
Otto: Hmm.

[clatter, bang]

Harriet: I can see I'm going to have to keep a better eye on Otto.
Otto: What?!
Harriet: Did you just move the ladder?
Otto: Oh, I was just getting water!
Harriet: Did you put it back?
Otto: Yes!
Harriet: Good.


Harriet: God, wouldn't that be funny?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Atkins would smile

i purged all products containing grain from my cupboard yesterday- not because i believe in the benefits of a low-carb diet, but because my rice was starting to grow wings. yes. wings. like, each kernel is going to fly away, wings. my bags of rice and whole grain pasta and my box of grits were completely infested with grain moths. i don't know how they got there, but they actually burrow into your food and spin webs in it and hatch in it and i'm so ridiculously grossed out, that i can't bring myself to eat carbs again. grain moths: yet another reason i will smile when california falls into the ocean.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

awesome is...

awesome is: ending a verbal altercation with your coworker by shutting the door... on your boss' hand... severing the nailbed and breaking his fingernail cleanly in half... and then spending the evening with him in the emergency room... while he calls his friends and leaves messages like "hey, yeah, my employee cut off the top of my finger... we're gonna have to postpone the golf game".

Thursday, December 01, 2005

plea to a psychic spider

i was watching a spider on the wall. and then i got distracted. and now i can't find it. last time i lost track of it, it showed up in one of my sweaters. and yesterday it was on the bathroom windowsill. it knows i washed it's cousin/brother/wife (who can tell with spiders) down the drain last year. and i watched my boss kill a black widow with a golf club last week. psychic spider knows these things. please forgive me, spider... and please don't climb up my nose while i'm sleeping. please. please.