Listen Up, You Little Nippers

There was a time, believe me or don’t, when machines didn’t have memories. They opened cans, maybe, or suctioned dirt from carpets, and that was plenty wonderful. We were happy as fucking clams when we no longer had to trudge out to a shed in the backyard to relieve ourselves.

And put this in your pipe and smoke it: There was a day in the not so distant past when there were no malls in all the world, children.

Every year they still let Mary go into any school in America to give birth to the Christ child, and I can for damn sure tell you that no teacher ever told us that it was possible to have sex standing up.

There was none of this nonsense then. Oh, there was plenty of monkey business that could get a fella’s goat, sure, but there wasn’t this wall-to-wall horse hooey that you run into everywhere you turn today.

The Sears holiday catalog represented desire’s vanishing point, the place beyond which no child would dare dream, the last frontier for Christmas wishes. Whatever a kid could want or imagine was in that catalog, and there was no point in getting greedy. Santa Claus would bring you whatever the hell he damn well pleased, and you were lucky if he bowed to a single one of your true desires.

The Sears catalog was nothing, really, but a fat book of pornography for children, and the holiday was about desire and anticipation and disappointment. That was just the way the world worked, like it or lump it.

It’s still the way the world works, of course, but plenty of you greedy little bastards apparently don’t get it. I can assure you that your version of disappointment is a trip to Disney World compared to the version experienced and felt so keenly by the elders you treat with such disrespect and ingratitude.

Good lord, most of us didn’t get squat for Christmas.

One year I got some socks, a pair of underwear, a little felt bag of marbles, some pencils with my name stamped on them in gold lettering, and a candy cane. Those pencils, now that was thrilling. Seriously, they were quite the treat.

I’ll ask you to think about that for awhile.

I’ll ask you to imagine that.

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