Tag Archives: Elephant

Christmas Changes

Depending on the age of your little dudes, Christmas is a vastly different experience.

In general, the younger the little dudette, the earlier you get to awaken on Christmas morning. I used to be able to count on no more than six hours of sleep between Christmas Eve and Morning, if I was a very lucky dude, mostly because I had to stay up a little later to make sure and “help” Santa distribute presents and stuff stockings.

In the mornings, we’d hear the pounding of little feet racing back and forth in the hallway upstairs and one little dude ran to the bedroom of the next little dude, who ran to the next. And then they all tried to sneak downstairs with the subtlety of a meth-crazed elephant putting out flaming ducks*.

As they get older, things. . . change.

Since the youngest little dude now is 14, an official teenager, we’re not faced with such appallingly early wake-up times most days. In fact, my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Her Beauty Sleep If I Know What’s Good For Me, and I were able to get up on our own around 8 in the morning, walk the dog and still sit down to share a bit of that instant Christmas classic: Breaking Bad. (Because nothing says Christmas like the story of a milquetoast chemistry professor turning into an ego-crazed, blood-soaked methamphetamine dealer with delusions of grandeur.)

Instead of racing down the stairs, the young dudes stumbled downstairs, slowly, peering around with sleep-clogged eyes, running hands through tousled hair and croaking through coma mouth in a ritualistic, “Ugh. mumblemumble-orning mumblemumble.”

I won’t say the young dudes actually took their time opening presents, letting each person go in turn, remarking on the wonderful way Aunt Someone took the time to pick out just the right shade of puce for the sweater she knitted each of them. Still, there were occasional pauses in there that didn’t come from them accidentally inhaling a floating piece of impromptu confetti drifting through the air.

Christmas coming right before the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, offers the perfect time for reflection, for considering how things have changed. I’m not one to focus on the past, to talk about how things were always better when I was younger, or when the young dudes were, in fact, young, but it is interesting to see how they have adapted to the passing years.

It’s taking these moments of reflection that enable parents to come to terms with the fact that, while they’re horrifyingly impersonal as gifts, teenagers really do want gift cards so they can get exactly what they want for themselves. I wish it weren’t the case, but there it is.

Time, as is its wont, passes. The black pencil writes and, having writ, passes on. Stuff happens.

And you will not be able to stop it, so you’d better find a way to enjoy it. The sooner the better, dudes. The sooner the better.


*Why do ducks have flat feet? To stamp out forest fires.
Why do elephants have flat feet? To stamp out flaming ducks.

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Boxing Day And Me With No Gloves

Well, no big, puffy gloves designed to hit people.

And, yes, dudes, I realize it’s not that kind of boxing.

Boxing Day is a rather Anglophilic holiday, being celebrated in UK, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa and a few other places. Traditionally, the day after Christmas was when the wealthy snobs would give gifts to the servants and tradesmen in what was known as a Christmas box. Hence, boxing day.

Nothing about the Sweet Science in the Squared Circle at all. (And thus ends my knowledge of boxing. Rather shallow, that.)

We don’t necessarily have the day off here in the states, but I definitely think we should. I mean, this is the Day of Recovery for most of us who celebrate Christmas, religious or no.

We’ve done the major clean up, but now it’s time to get our heads back on straight. Time to remember that people aren’t going to pop out of the chimney and hand us gifts just for being good little dudes and dudettes any more this year.

Time to realize that eggnog is appalling, like white snot in a glass and we really wouldn’t be drinking it if it weren’t some sort of tradition and, of course, filled with enough alcohol to anesthetize a very lost elephant who had suddenly found itself in a cocaine processing plant.


It could happen. Maybe. Somewhere in the multiverse.

Moving on.

Today is the day my teenagers go back to being teenagers. Yesterday, on Christmas Day, they reverted to their younger selves and actually rose on their own, leapt from bed and came charging down the stairs, ready to take on the day. And anyone who stood between them and their presents.

On Boxing Day? Not so much.

There’ll be quiet in the house again this morning. The only one likely to make a noise is Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog, who’s still going to demand a walk at a reasonable hour. And, like the chump that I am, I’ll give it to him.

Boxing Day also is the Day of Regret. Mostly I’ll regret that I didn’t do a better job of listening to people during the year and, consequently, purchased presents for them that they didn’t really want and forget the stuff they did.

I love giving presents. I just wish I were better at it.

Regardless, today is the day we begin to ease back into the real world, to rejoin our real lives. Already in progress.

So what do you say, dudes?

Let’s get out there and live ’em.

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Sunday Serenade: In One Ear

by Richard

Of course there’s a song called “In One Ear” and of course I’m just the type of person to play it for you a couple of days after running a story about a woman who grew a replacement ear on her arm.

What? You dudes thought I could pass up this opportunity?

How long have we known each other? Seriously?

No, never mind.

Just sit back and listen to “In One Ear” from Cage the Elephant, a fantastic alternative band out of Kentucky.


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