Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Awaiting the Christmas Apocalypse
This year my usual distaste for this hyper-commercial silly season and all the capitalistic overindulgence that become associated with it has been replaced with another emotion. Yes, I still find all the luxury automobile, decadent jewelry, and other commercials that equate love and family with the purchase of some new and expensive form of crap disgusting but I am talking about something on an entirely new and different plane of reality. This new Yule Tide feeling is outright fear that somehow I might suffer a similar Christmas day like the one I had to live through last year.
To recap, last year I awoke early on Christmas morning with my usual casual disregard for this time in of year firmly in place. I'm sorry, I am a Springtime kind of guy, except when it comes to the yard work associated with that period, and find winters only useful because the beaches here in South Carolina are largely deserted during those months. However, last Christmas morning was something of a minor miracle for me.
After falling limply on the living room couch where I had planned to turn on the television and watch either the original version of “Red Dawn” or “Dawn of the Living Dead” I was soon joined by my daughter who demanded we watch the Christmas movie “The Polar Express.” I tried to compromise by suggestion “Finding Nemo” or another Pixar movie but she refused. So, like any good dad I inserted the Polar Express DVD into the player and fell back on the couch with every intention of sleeping through it.
Something almost magical happened last year, I had never really liked Polar Express but for some reason the movie deeply affected me. My transition was almost like that of old Scrooge after being visited by those ghosts determined to mess with his head. I felt uplifted and outright joyful over the idea of Christmas and what it meant. For a brief time I loved all humanity, even the devolved and stunted folks who watch things like Duck Dynasty and Fox News.
Making things even better, Christmas last year was going to be blissfully simple since my wife was taking the kids up to Richmond, Virginia to see her mother the next day leaving me home alone. Christmas dinner was going to be a small ham and other easy dishes, then we were all going to see a movie. That evening we planned on making hot chocolate and playing board games. Instead, everything quickly went to literal shit.
About ten o'clock that morning I heard a curious sound coming from one of the bathrooms. It was a gurgling noise that immediately sent me into a panic. Long messy story short, our septic tank system picked that day to go completely and utterly wrong.
When my wife realized we had no working bathrooms and in fact had puddles of brown water in the bathtubs in the space or two hours she and the kids and pack up some bags and were waving bye to me as they sped off to Grandma's house. As they turned off the street it was then I realized I had to go to the bathroom. I hope no one ever has to go find a working bathroom on Christmas day. I drove around for a couple of hours looking for an open convenience store or fast food place. The one damn time I needed greedy capitalism to force its underpaid wage slaves to work and save me from doing number two in my pants and I could find nothing. Luckily, I saw that Redneckistan Medical Urgent Care was open allowing me walk inside and use their ultra clean facilities. Yeah, I had expected to be forced to use a dirty restroom and had brought along a bottle of disinfectant.
Christmas Day last year was the start of a long and expensive battle with our septic system that was not won by us until we dropped fifteen-hundred bucks into getting it repaired. Why does this bother me this year?
See, in a totally weird and illogical way reoccurring patterns seem to always show up in my life. The best explanation I can offer is that when two or three similar events happen there is a better than average chance a fourth or fifth one will not be far behind.
Case in point, this year we are again planning a simple Christmas dinner with us all going to a movie that afternoon. And like last year the wife will be taking our daughter to Richmond the next day to go see her mother. My fear is that once the pattern reasserts itself the septic tank monster will somehow awaken to plague me like some psychotic, axe wielding movie serial killer that refuses to stay dead.
Will tomorrow be a horrific sequel to last year's Christmas Day? I hope the hell not but just to try and break up the pattern I will be watching “Dawn of the Living Dead” tomorrow morning and fighting to keep my usual cynical and Scrooge-like demeanor.
For your Christmas enjoyment: