Archive for December, 2010

The Holiday That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

I went into a Macy’s recently and asked a clerk if I might be allowed to do some Christmas shopping, even though it’s a violation of the rules.
She gave me one of those famous New York blank stares and said, “Excuse me?”
“I just wanted to make sure,” I said. “I know that the Grinch who runs Federated Department Stores, which owns Macy’s, has ruled that–forgive me–Christmas is a dirty word and must not be uttered. I just wanted to be sure I could do my, you know, bleep shopping here. I feel uncomfortable doing Holiday shopping.”
She glanced at her watch and was probably deciding that it was time for her break. Or maybe she had triggered a silent alarm to alert security that “one of those people” was in the store. I decided to try a different department and got much the same reaction there when I said I wanted to buy a Christmas tie, rather than a Holiday tie, and needed some guidance.
“I’ll be with you in just a moment,” the sales clerk said, as he hurried away, obviously because of pressing affairs of state elsewhere.
The store was gayly festooned with decorations, which appeared to be rather Christmasy, but were actually Holiday decorations (one size fits all holidays). I knew that employees had been warned not to discuss the ban with any customers, so I just wandered around, muttering “Merry Christmas” to anyone who passed by. Each time I said it, a shopper gasped and said, “Shhh. Don’t you realize you’re in Macy’s?”
As I sauntered around the store I sang softly, “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” in my very best Bing Crosby voice. That was it. Two security men suddenly appeared and took me firmly to the door.
“If you ever do this again,” one man said, “you’ll be branded a Holiday Recidivist and you’ll never shop in this town again.”
On my way out I saw a sidewalk Santa wishing people a Merry Christmas, but a black limo pulled up, three tough looking guys in dark suits got out, handcuffed Santa, shoved him into the back seat, and drove away.
On the next block I saw Mayor Bloomberg warning a guy selling trees that he had better remove the “Christmas Trees” sign and replace it with a “Holiday Trees” sign or he would be arrested and his trees confiscated.
At the Post Office I tried to buy some Christmas stamps, but the clerk said, “How about some nice Holiday stamps, instead?”
When I got home I told my wife I had been out Christmas shopping.
“Please,” she said, “don’t use that word. The children might hear.”

They Walk Among Us

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Transcript of a recent phone call by Sarah Palin:

“Hello. This is Sarah Palin. May I speak to Senator Lieberman?”

“Sorry, Ms Palin. This is Yom Kippur.”

“Well, hi there, Yom. Can I leave a message?”


Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

My wife kept dropping hints for a Christmas present. An iPhone would be nice, she hinted. Maybe an iPad or even an iPod Touch. I just came right out and said it: “How about an iRon? Great for pressing clothes.”
She arched an eyebrow and flared her nostrils, which are always danger signals.
“May I remind you,” she snarled, sugar plums dancing in her eyes, starlight gleaming on her fangs, “about iWash, iClean, iCook?”
It was ok, I didn’t mind sleeping on the iSofa for a few days.