Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry Christmas My Ass 12/6/2010

Today is December 6th. I was hoping to go much deeper into December before getting hit by my first “Merry Christmas” blitzkrieg. But I took one across the bow early this morning from the volunteer that serves coffee and pastries at the VA Hospital in Charleston. I can forgive her because some of the people that she serves today won’t be around at Christmas.

Throughout the day, I heard several other such greetings in the periphery but as they were not directed at me, the rules of engagement are that I did not have to respond or acknowledge. I find that the key is to keep moving in a serpentine manner and pretend to be otherwise engaged.

That strategy served me well until I made the tactical error of visiting Walmart. At the entrance was the dreaded Salvation Army Bell Ringer. I did not expect an encounter this early in the campaign and was not prepared. I tried unsuccessfully to avoid eye contact, much like with a rabid dog. I thought I had gotten safely out of range, but those people are trained to project their “Merry Christmas” greetings so that even with the cover of several other shoppers, I knew it was directed at me. I felt the laser sight of her eyes on my back. It was like a Scrooge seeking missile. Though I did not turn around, she knew that I knew that I was hit. She confirmed the kill by ringing that infernal bell.

As Skooter and I were entering the elevator at my residence, I could not get the door closed before one of my neighbors entered. Believe me; I tried as desperately as if Jason Voorhees was pursuing me. I knew from past Yule-tide attacks that she was a loose-cannon “Merry Christmasser,” who has been known to snipe as early as Black Friday. I was trapped in the elevator like a fart victim. She began the conversation with a benign weather comment. Skooter apparently did not receive my telepathic command to attack. It is my understanding that the business end of a 40 pound Beagle attached to one’s leg will temporarily curb Christmas spirit. But Skooter, selfish bastard that he is, failed me miserably, as he tried to charm her out of a treat. Eye contact was inevitable.

I had to exit first, so I considered a preemptive strike with either a “Have a Nice Day” or a i-jung chagi to her knees. Since she lives in the same building, and I see her nearly daily, perhaps she would realize how ridiculous it was to “Merry Christmas” me with 18 shopping days left. But she not only “Merry Christmassed” me, but there was collateral damage: “You and Skooter have a wonderful Christmas.” Oh no she didn't. Though traumatized, I managed to drag Skooter to the safety of our home. If I can teach Skooter to use the toilet, I may not venture out again until 2011.