Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Treasured Christmas Memory

Though the years I’ve enjoyed many Christmas’ with fun Christmas food and fun Christmas caroling and fun Christmas eggnog with fun Christmas adventures. 

I’ve given and received great Christmas gifts, mediocre Christmas gifts, and downright shitty Christmas gifts. Aah, those Christmas memories do light the corners of my mind. 

I remember the time I stripped naked and wrapped myself in red wrapping paper and took a photo and used it as my Christmas card with the caption, “Guess who’s all wrapped up with no place to go? Ho! Ho! Ho!” 

I remember the time I tried making Christmas cannoli. The shells came out delicious but the cream, the supposed easy part of the recipe, I over beat and it turned liquid. I had a kitchen disaster not even Gordon Ramsey could fix. To this day, I cannot eat a cannoli without thinking of The Great Cannoli Debacle of Christmas Past. 

Where's the friggin' cream?

I remember my favorite Christmas joke. The same joke I relentlessly tell every year:

Santa comes down the chimney with gifts. A girl appears and says, “Santa, will you spend the night with me?”

Santa says, “Ho, ho, ho, Santa gotta go. Got lots of toys to deliver, you know.”

The girl removes her top and says, “Santa, will you please spend the night with me?”

Santa says, “Ho, ho, ho, Santa gotta go. Got lots of toys to deliver, you know.”

Finally she removes all her clothes and says, “Santa, will you pleeeeease spend the night with me?”

Santa says, “Ho, ho, ho, Santa gotta stay. Can’t get up chimney with pecker this way”

Aah… but semi-nude photos, cannoli nightmares, and demented Christmas jokes do not light a Christmas candle to the Christmas memory I have when my little niece bought me a Christmas gift with her own money at her grammar school store. 

The gift was wrapped in festive Christmas paper with a bow to match. It was a beautiful looking package, but what was more beautiful was the look in her eyes as she gave it me. That look was bigger and brighter than any star of Bethlehem.

You’re probably wondering what the gift was? It was a level. Yes, a level to make sure things are even and not askew. 

My treasured level!
I love that level.  It has moved with me from place to place and every once in a while I do a level check around my apartment making sure nothing is at an inappropriate angle. 

It’s been years since she gave it to me, and she probably doesn’t remember, but I do, and I always will. 

And that is a favorite Christmas memory. 

My goodness, is that a Christmas tear in my eye?

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Journey of a Dollar

I’ve been thinking lately about the dollar bills passing through my hand and wallet. They have their own personal history of which I willingly and unwillingly participate when I accept them from someone and before I pass them on to someone else. 

I am a link in the chain of the history of a dollar bill. But what is that history? 

Today I sat in my easy chair, with a glass of red wine by my side to keep me company,  and pondered this question for hours…  I looked deeply into my wallet and saw the history of the stained and crinkled dollar bill that stared out at me… 

That dollar bill left the mint and was sent to a bank in New York City where it was accepted by a tourist, a German, who was exchanging euros for dollars.  That German tourist was a bit of a perv and took the dollar to the seedy part of town and stuffed it into the g-string of a lap dancer.  

The lap dancer, at the end of the evening, tugged that dollar out of her g-string and used it to pay a cabbie for a ride home.  

Later that night the cabbie gave that dollar as change to a D-List Reality TV celebrity whom he dropped off at the airport. The D-List Reality TV celebrity, upon landing in Los Angeles, used that dollar as part of her purchase of drugs from a cabbie/drug dealer who took her from the airport to her dilapidated house in the seedy section of Beverly Hills. 

Later that night the cabbie/drug dealer used the dollar to purchase a cup of coffee at an all night diner in Eagle Rock. The poor old waitress was tired, after working a double shift, and spilled coffee on the dollar when she tried sliding the dollar off the table while also grabbing the used coffee mug. 

The next morning I stopped at the diner for a doughnut and a coffee. The same waitress was back at work for another double shift, and gave me the dollar as change when I paid with a twenty. 

The same fingers I used to stuff that dollar in my wallet I used to touch the doughnut. Being the doughnut-holic that I am, I licked the remnants of the doughnut from my fingers for a lasting mmm, mmm good. 

Cough. Cough. Cough. 

Oh no… The germs and specks of DNA from the German tourist, the lap dancer, the NY cabbie, the D-List Reality TV celebrity, the LA cabbie/drug dealer, and the overworked old waitress are now part of me. 

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! 

I have to leave now and make an emergency trip to the drugstore and use that dollar to purchase Purell, mouthwash, and plastic gloves, and then I’m heading to the clinic for a throat culture.