Got a tip from a reasonably informed source: “The Christmas people are at it again.”
Even though it was March, I drove downtown in my 1950 A4 Checker (for you young people, that’s a car, not an Internet fact checker) in a cold wind that raged drunkenly beneath black clouds that looked like they’d been painted onto a frightening sky by Salvador Dalí during one of his less-lucid moments.
Arrived at the Max Value Department Store at high noon, heard a clock ticking, saw a used-up department store Santa singing “Do not forsake me oh my darling.” He waived as though we were the same kind of people even though we aren’t.
There was a line of Christman trees with bright burning candles in the store window (actually behind the window) hovering over a pile of brown pine needles, crumpled tinsel, last year’s gifts, and last year’s dreams.
I waited until September and drove downtown again, saw that Max Value had burnt to the ground, demonstrating the danger of placing candles on Christmas trees. Nearby stores that hadn’t burnt down yet due to the vicissitudes of mob looting that is no longer a crime in most cities, already had factory-fresh trees and garlands, ribbons and bows, stacks of toys I’d never heard of, and signs that proclaimed, “To Hell With Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving, we’re merrily geared up for Christmas.”
I felt lower than Jimmy Hoffa at the bottom of the river with concrete shoes.
Skipping Hallowe’en was fine with me because I think the holiday is meant for dead people. But Thanksgiving. Ignoring that day is a crime in enlighted cities that feature skies painted by Thomas Kinkade. My town was still stuck with Dalí skies, Piccasso streets, and Picasso people that had eyes in all the wrong places. It was obvious to me why nobody cared about Hallowe’en or Thanksgiving: the world was filled with people who can’t see straight or who are blind or who escaped from an asylum.
I walked up to a store manager and said, “It’s not even Black Friday yet.” He laughed like that evil doll in a movie I wish I’d never seen and said “Corporate Calls the shots. Next year, we’re putting up our Christmas displays during the dog days of August.” “I assume there’s a discount for the fleas,” I said. “Hardly. Folks give them to their cat-loving friends as gag gifts.”
I left before I got angry enough to kill him.
The clean-cut Santa standing outside the main door was so fat, I decided he was already eating turkey. When I got home, I heated up a roast turkey TV dinner, thankful that everyone who knows me won’t accept any cards or gifts from me because “I’m out of touch” and proud of it.