For the 10th and 9th Rants of Christmas, TB Gave to Me….

Quote of the Day:

I have never smuggled anything in my life. Why, then, do I feel an uneasy sense of guilt on approaching a customs barrier?”     —John Steinbeck

…..TEN Gifts a’ Wrappin’.

Who’s bright idea was it to start wrapping gifts anyway? I’d like to know because if TB spots him in some lounge the next couple of days, I might have to be restrained. Phil, you know the gold buyin’ guy down the street with the giant nativity scene in his front yard; anyway, his wise men didn’t wrap their gifts so I’m pretty sure it’s un-christian for us to do it. Of course, to put yourself in their sandals, what would be the point of wrapping gifts for eight pound, six-ounce, sweet, tiny all-powerful and all-knowing baby Jesus? Hmmm, I suddenly wonder if baby Jesus needed that myrrh for baby eczema or something? Seems strange because….I digress….

I am the worst gift wrapper in all of history. I also suck at billiards and penmanship but I’m not quite the world’s worst. Second worst cowlick ever, right behind Alfalfa. But gift wrapping–it’s no contest. I’m incredibly incompetent. We’re talkin’ a whole roll of paper, half a package of tape, patches to cover the tears from mishaps around the corners and teardrop-smeared ink on the tags. Bows? Ribbons? I can’t even talk about them. On the upside, you get your money’s worth on the time required to unwrap a TB gift, probably long enough to change the ecstasy of anticipation to simple relief by the time the box shows…..

……NINE bells a’ ringin’.

…Don’t look at me like that! I pitched in a quarter at Best Buy, eight cents at Target and a buck oh four at Walmart already today. I’m out of change and you ain’t gettin’ a twenty! I’m late for an Xmas party, forgot to pick up batteries again and my gut is suddenly affecting the tide schedules so gimme a break! (go see TDW’s latest, “My Gut is So Big)

Hey, TB believes in Christian charity, or any other kind of charity as much as the next guy but enough is enough. I can’t walk in to Kroger for a dozen eggs without getting a hearty welcome; then on the way out, as I gently tread as far to the left of the giant red pot of judgment as space allows I hear the condemning, sarcastic “MERRY CHRISTmas SIR! Oh yeah? Screw you! I can hear the sneer and I know that smile isn’t genuine. The bell ringers never miss a non-giver like me and I freely confess, after about the hundredth bell-ringer of December, I’m finished.

Two suggestions….just let my own conscience and the current weight of my front pockets be the deciding factor on when I pitch in. Keep your eyes straight and your thoughts to yourself when I have to pass. And, I realize this might be a bit controversial, but, speakin’ just for myself, if I gotta see you guys at every store in town, well, I could use more cowbell…..

…….EIGHT pounds a’gainin, SEVEN Christs in Christmas, SIX Xmas Parties, FIVE. GOLD. ADS. FOUR freakin’ stitches, THREE triple AAA’s, TWO billing errors and a Lounge in a Mall ain’t no Lounge.


About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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11 Responses to For the 10th and 9th Rants of Christmas, TB Gave to Me….

  1. Barista says:

    Fu*&in’ bell ringers!

    Worst part is next year they’re going to start accepting credit cards – they’ll all carry the portable cc swipers and the pressure will be tenfold.

    • Barista. I have missed you. Hope all is well. I’m heading over to get caught up on your doin’s today. Finally getting a little down time. It’s been crazy since Third Week.

  2. Kathy Parker says:

    Hilarious as usual- Merry Christmas TB!

    • Merry Christmas Kathy. I’m always glad for your drop-ins. Let’s me know a few people are still out there!

      BTW, our Europe trip crashed. Vermont is the consolation prize and a pretty good one at that. Stay tuned for blog entries and tweets from there next week.

  3. Thanks for the shout out. I could’ve used the affecting tides entry for my list.

    Kudos on including the bell ringers in a rant. I know the Salvation Army does a lot of good, but that whole scene is just wrong. First, it’s a false indication of whether you are generous or not. Five minutes before you arrived at the front of the store, you could’ve written a big whopping check to a charity, but as soon as you pass that damn bucket without placing something in it, you get the evil eye. (This is assuming you’re passing a bell ringer who’s devout. Sometimes you get the bell ringer who’s there to collect a check and whatever he can pilfer from the bucket. You can tell these guys by the amount of dings per minute coming from the bell. Devout Salvation Army personnel fire off about 3 dings a second. The paycheck-gatherer, bucket pilferer never exceeds about 5 dings a minute. His bell sounds more like wind chimes caught in a stray breeze.)

    Second, and maybe this is just me, but the bell doesn’t even make dinging sounds. All I hear is a tinny (not tiny) voice saying, “Stingy bastard! Stingy bastard!” You know, just like Jesus would’ve wanted.

  4. tiny d says:

    The rants are hilariously awesome TB, but I am most impressed with the snow flurries on the page. Are these a personal touch? Very nice.

    • WordPress let’s us add these every Christmas. I like ’em. Have you noticed you can change the direction of the snow with your mouse? Kinda makes you feel like a jedi.

  5. ZEEK says:

    TB, the rants were done in true naysayer fashion, and I am very proud of you grasshopper. You may one day truly transcend the portal that leads to the 9th realm of where only few ever dare to aspire…….the land of unconcious pessimism. Keep up the good work, oh, and BAH HUMBUG!!!!!!!

  6. Jessie Lou says:

    I noticed the direction change! And I noticed that they come all the way down the page.

    I get to ring the bell at Jerry Lee’s right after Thanksgiving. My goal is not getting the money but to make them all have eye contact with me. Of course, I will know many that come by but these days, there are just as many I do not know (and wonder where in the world these people came from). I ring my bell at 20 rings a minute, grin a big cheshire cat smile and say whatever comes to my mind. That is the scary part for the other party.

    I’m off to the last party (and arguably the best) Christmas party of the season with IR and his girlfriend who has never been to South Mississippi. Good Times in Goula!
    Then we will wait for the first showing of The Christmas Story.
    Merry Christmas to All!

  7. Harmony says:

    I have given up avoiding eye contact with anyone parked in front of a store whether they are trying to sell something to me,or they are asking for a signature, or encouraging me to give. They all get eye contact now, a big smile and depending on the the conditions of the day (and what it is that they are up to) they get a mimicked response or a delightful no. It’s the no eye contact that always seems to make me feel guilty, somehow acknowledging that the person is there makes me feel better even if I am not buying/giving/signing.

    Once, when I was around 13 or so, the whole family had somehow made it into town (this rarely occurred) to do some grocery shopping. On the way out there was a bell ringer asking for donations, my dad (in a bad mood) declined and the guy said “come on man, it’s for the poor” “I am the f@cking poor” my dad shouted an inch from the guy’s face. At that very moment I didn’t know which would come first…my death from embarrassment or the cops hauling my dad off for nearly killing the bell ringer.

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