Monday, November 27, 2006

I'd Rather Sniff Armpits

There comes a moment every fall when I first see a mutilated pumpkin, a twinkling Jesus in a window or a nude blue Spruce waiting forlornly for an abusive owner who will forget to water it, and something inside of me dies. My soul. I'm pretty sure that the grand gesture that was expected of the human race each Christmas did not start at a Best Buy sale.

And for that reason, I'd rather sniff armpits for a living than go through the protracted agony of the holidays. For starters, I have a standing rule that I don’t accept gifts at this time of year. I have enough crap and you have bad taste. While we’re on the topic, doesn’t Totes make anything the rest of the year? If you know anyone over the age of twelve who has given someone a Chia Pet, drop them immediately. The Clapper has survived five U.S. Presidents and eight terms of office. It will be around after a global nuclear holocaust. Someone somewhere will clap their hands and a generator in Slovenia will turn on.

I hear you. But what about the children? Fuck the children. How many presents do you have to give them until they have high self-esteem? What about getting together with the family? Fuck the family. Families fight more at the holidays than at any other time of the year. What about the extra days you get off from work because of the holidays? Interestingly enough, I embrace that one.

The famous Secret Santa of Kansas City, Missouri has outed himself this year so I decided to out myself as well. For me it started in the early 90’s with the boyfriend who couldn’t get it up, otherwise known as The Impotentate. On Christmas day he had not invited me to his family’s celebration. Lonely and bored, I drove around my neighborhood in my 1990 gray Ford Festiva and decided to hand out money to the homeless. Even if they were getting high, I wanted them to be smoking The Christmas Crack. When I was down to a dollar I decided to pack it in. On the way home, I saw one last guy trudging up a hill and stopped my car.
“I’m really sorry; I only have a dollar to give you.” What was anyone going to do with a dollar in Los Angeles? (Don’t say the 99 cent store you miserable fucks)
“You know,” he said, “This morning I asked God to help me and now I got a dollar!” (I’m not God, right?)

I never looked back.

Some years I make mistakes, some years I hit a home run but generally I just wish I was as rich as the Secret Santa of Kansas City. One homeless man was camped out under the awning at Big Lots. I handed him a five-dollar bill but he wouldn’t take it. He wanted a meal from McDonalds, which was right next door. I asked him what I could get him and he said some combo-name I didn’t recognize and believe me, I’ve done hard time at McDonalds. I went into the restaurant and scanned the list. I finally found what he wanted; it was the most expensive breakfast McDonalds had. $3.85.

One time I gave money to a guy who looked at my car and said, “I think you need this more than me.” Fool. Another year I saw a real bad case, a man who looked like he wasn’t going to make it to the end of the day. I gave him ten dollars and asked him what had happened to him. He said he had been living on the streets after being thrown off the Planet Nebutron and sent to Earth in a time capsule to repopulate Wyoming. And I thought to myself, ‘Good Lord. How am I going to get my ten dollars back?’

Another year I gave money to two guys walking down the street with an empty supermarket cart. They took the money but looked at me strangely. Something was not right. So I drove around a few blocks and when I came back, they had collected another cart. They worked for a supermarket, which I would have realized had I looked at the backs of their jackets, which said Ralph’s.

Two years ago I saw a man and a woman living out of their car. They had parked in a deserted lot and taken a few of their possessions out to rearrange. I stopped and buzzed down the window of my car (the Festiva was long gone). The woman looked at me with the most stricken look on her face and yes I was wearing makeup. I waved two five-dollar bills and she came running over.
“Here, this is for you and your friend.”
“Oh my God! ThankYouThankYouThankYou, can I hug you?”

Before I had time to answer she had reached inside my car and gathered me up in a giant bear hug. And the entire time all I could think about was, ‘Dear God let her not steal my Nicole Miller purse.’

End of chat.


  1. There is much to love in this post: Totes, the Clapper, Slovenia, the homeless, the Christmas crack, a photo of people in white coats sniffing raised armpits.

    You are damn hilarious.

    (The Impotentate. Heee!)

  2. Anonymous10:31 AM

    you made me spit up my coffee thru my nose...

    i think i love you...