I hate to admit it but I’m glad the holidays are over. Christmas trees are hell on a boat. Their dry, brittle pine-needles clog my bilge pump. Their cute little blinking 12v lights add up… to a dead ship’s battery! Plus, the strong solvents in the fake snow have fogged my Plexiglas ports.
Oh, yeah. My garland-festooned handrails are difficult to grip as well.
And, frankly, I’m puzzled by all the hateful abuse directed at Scrooge. I mean, if it IS the season for forgiveness—surely it should start with him… who was, after all, merely another miserly Republican determined to protect his wealth from those needy, greedy, welfare-demanding Dems!
Yes, hypocrisy thrives during Christmas——beaming all those sickeningly-sweet ‘peace on earth’ carols to Iraq is but one example. Santa Claus, as drawn by the drug-pushing Coca-Cola company, is another. The real sound of Christmas isn’t sleigh-bells… it is the sound of cash registers ringing. Yes, it always comes down to dollars-and-sense… obviously, encouraging ‘active giving’ is more corporately profitable than passive receiving.
This Christmas I gave Carolyn a water-proof picture of me so she can take it underwater with her while she scrubs the bottom of our barnacle-encrusted boat. (Last year I gave her a book I’d written which almost mentions her, and, of course, that was hard to top).
She gave me some fiberglass boat-building materials to use while widening the companionway hatch to accommodate my swelled head.
We both gave our daughter Roma Orion SASEs (self-addressed stamped envelopes) so that she can send us money with a minimum of hassle/delay. (Roma lives in Boston and is now a WOP… i.e., Wealthy Overpaid Professional).
Regifting is increasingly in fashion. Example: I ‘re-gave’ both the anger-management tuition AND the face-lift gift certificate to friends more deserving than I.
Thank God for advancements in technology, eh? I mean, don’t you just love those cruising-Christmas-letter emails? As a long term offshore cruiser I receive tons of ‘em, like, “Dear Someone We Feel We Should Pretend to Care About: This year we visited more countries than you aboard a better boat. Mostly, the people ashore where dumber than us. We liked the ones who knew it the best. Actually, we like almost every place we visit where you are not. On a serious note: rehab was fun! Signed, Us!”
One thing I don’t like: naysayers. Like Al Gore. I mean, why didn’t he named his exag-movie something more positive like, ‘The Many Conveniences of Warmer Weather” or something?
Frankly, I’m not angry he’d flying around spraying burnt jet fuel into the jet stream to promote his box office… that’s why they call it a ‘jet’ stream, eh?
And, hey, I’d MUCH rather bring more sunblock than more winter clothes while cruising the Arctic! (Hint: my therapist-turned-investment-counselor recommends buying ‘bipolar investments’ in the form of marina development stock located at both 90 degrees north AND south).
Needless to say, there is a religious element to Christmas as well. I mean, it is MORE than just taking his-name-in-vain when looking at the prices of the gifts!
Example: the Pope took time away from trashing Islam to (surprise!) praise His team.
Yes, candy-canes are usually hung upside down. (The letter J is for Jesus and the red symbolizes his blood… yeech!)
The New Year celebration is, at least, more in keeping with my sea-going life style. Traditionally, live-aboard boaters in the Caribbean sail to Foxy’s on Jost… in hopes of being dragged into by a wealthy, paradise-intoxicated bareboater and thus winning a free annual haul out.
Every year I make the same New Year’s Resolutions and then keep them. (My Top Three are: 1.) Be more like myself, 2.) Spend more time with a mirror, and 3.) Work on humility and, thus, be even MORE perfect!)
I don’t include Thanksgiving in My Favorite Festivities. Perhaps I’m overly-sensitive but the Pilgrims using the very-same Indians the following year… in place of fish to fertilize… seems a bit mean!
But perhaps I have a dark view of history.
Every time I hear about Rudolph I think: boozer!
Of course, some of the family gifts are nice: my mother-in-law always gives me the same-old same-old… what I’ll eventually do with a dozen gayly-wrapped suicide kits I’m not sure! My sister-in-law loves to send us ‘Thank-God-it’s-not-me’ cards and even her drugged-up-and-abusive husband agrees I make him look good.
My daughter sent me new software… which searches my hard drive and deletes any file containing her name, image or zip code. (I’d send her a thank you note for her thoughtfulness… but, hey, I no longer can find her address)!
My mother is still alive. I called her often… well, every decade or two… right up until she got call blocking.
I keep in touch with old friends. I often get little messages… “…I saw your picture in the Post Office” reminders of how much I’m missed Stateside.
My own wife is extremely imaginative when it comes to gift giving: this Christmas she gave herself noise-canceling Bose headphones… from me!?!
This year she also requested I have give her more Scopolamine Transderm patches for our offshore passages… but I just gave her a handful of those free bags they have in aeroplane seatbacks instead.
I always give our boat something for the holidays: this year it was a couple of “Skippered by His Fatness” stickers. Last year it was a waterproof, crush-proof box for my crown. Before that: a motion-detector linked to our audio-amped text-reading computer… so that everyone rowing by our vessel could ‘share’ in the joy of my writing.
But, as I say, I’m glad the holidaze are over. I want to get back to my normal cruising routine: pan-handling the docks, rooting through marina dumpsters, aggressively squeegeeing the sun-glasses of rich yachtsmen at the dinghy dock in hopes of a Fat tip.
And, sad to say, that last Santa truly pissed me off as I strolled passed with my wife. I mean, I would have let it go if he’d only said it once… but repeating it three times made me lose my husbandly temper.
“Ho, Ho, Ho!” he said.
“That was BEFORE we were married!” I shot back.