December 2012 Archives

victim of the week: melissa nelson

You know Melissa. She's the hot dental hygenist who was fired because the dentist's wife found his interest in her threatening. For the good of his marriage, he let her go.

He is, I should note, a mustache-twirling villain. He made all manner of inappropriate remarks about her appearance, about his boners, and whatnot. He is a pig who is clearly guilty of sexual harassment.

But Melissa didn't sue him for sexual harassment. She sued him for discriminatory hiring practices. He has no right to fire her simply because he finds her too tempting, she argued.

My god, what a sense of entitlement on this one. To be clear: employers can fire whoever they want to fire. To prevent abuses, certain classes are protected. "Hot chicks" ain't one of these protected classes. Although god knows they want to be.

santa and me: year three

By the third year of my battle with Santa, I was pretty sure he was a concoction of my mom's. One by one, my friends were renouncing the jolly old elf and demeaning those who persisted in believing. And my mother certainly wasn't above fraud.

One day in early December, I saw her fumbling to lock a hallway closet. When we made eye contact, she panicked a bit, scrambling faster to lock the door.

a-HA!

I could scarcely wait for her to leave the house. When she did, I raced upstairs. Picking the lock was a small matter. I had years of practice on my siblings' bedroom doors. Within seconds, the closet door swung open.

And there was a gigantic pile of Christmas gifts, every one of them from "Santa."

A wave of mixed feelings hit me. Triumph, certainly, in finally outwitting the evil woman who'd spent my lifetime lying to me. But also a distinct sense of loss. A kernel of innocence died that day. I would never know the magic of a childhood Christmas again. I bowed my head.

That's when I saw the note.

Pat,

Sorry to dump these off on you so early, but that kid of yours is getting close to catching me, and I can't have that. Please store these until Christmas morning. Thanks a ton.

Ho, ho, ho,
S.C.

I believed until I was 38.

santa and me: year two

I'd learned my lesson. I was not going to stake out Santa. But I also couldn't shake a feeling that would never truly leave me for the rest of my life: a woman was lying to me.

"Can you write down what you asked Santa for?" Mom asked, ever smooth.

"Is there anything you want to tell me, Mom?"

"Nope."

"Anything, say, you want to come clean about?"

"Not that I can think of," she growled.

And so it went for weeks, our little dance. Me, suspecting that Santa was really a middle-aged woman. Mom, going to mat for her fiction.

Christmas Eve finally came. "Well," I think I'll sack out early," I yawned around 9pm, eyeballing my mother for a reaction.

"Luvyagoonite," she droned without looking up from her self-help book.

I slipped upstairs and, after several hours of pre-gift vibrating, drifted asleep.

At precisely midnight, I was jolted awake by the unmistakable sound of eight tiny reindeer and an enormous sleigh coming in for a landing on the roof above my bedroom. It was deafening and, any other night of the year, a certain harbinger of the apocalypse.

CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-jingling-CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-jingling-CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-jingling-CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-CLOPPITY-jingling-CLOP!

Adrenaline surged. I couldn't help myself--I raced downstairs to the fireplace. There, I found my mother. She hadn't moved. But now the stockings were stuffed full, and presents towered under the tree.

"Didja see Santa? You just missed him," my mom said, still not looking up.

I was inconsolable. Not that my mother much tried to console me. Even my brother, who soon came in from outside, didn't seem impressed by my near miss. What's wrong with these people?

Tomorrow: round three

santa and me: year one

When I was seven, I determined to get a photo of Santa.

After my parents put me to bed, I snuck downstairs with my pillow in hand and my sister's X-15 camera around my neck. I slipped unnoticed into the family room, where the Christmas tree and, importantly, fireplace were. I pressed into the corner of the couch, hidden under a blanket, index finger poised on the camera's trigger like a cobra prepared to str--

Next thing I knew, I awoke in my own bed. Drat.

I went downstairs to find the expected bounty of presents from Santa. My stocking was stuffed until its seams strained. I reached inside and found a handwritten note.

John Paul,

If you EVER try that crap again, I will never give you so much as a lump of coal for as long as you live.

-SC

My knees buckled. Terrified and chastened, I told no one. I fake-smiled my way through the opening of presents, exactly as I would later, as an adult.

But by next year, I was again emboldened.

Tomorrow: next year

one more thing to fix

You may have noticed that the site looks different and the last five months' worth of posts have disappeared. This is actually a good thing. My site software is finally up and running. As my penance for taking so long, I get to fix the design and enter all those entries by hand.

Yeah, I'll get right on that.

a well regulated militia

I own a handgun. It's for self-defense.

I own it grudgingly. I do not celebrate my patriotic exercise of my second-amendment rights. I own a handgun for one reason: the gun-fetishists at the NRA go to the mat for the right of every drooling whackjob to buy automatic weapons.
Gun control? Yes, please. I'll gladly give mine up if the whackjobs show me how.

There seems to be more sentiment than usual for a reasonable discussion of gun control. I hope that resolve weathers the ravages of the NRA, who will all but nail themselves to the cross in defense of the indefensible. They will whine about Obama's tyranny, about infringement of their rights, about dangerous slippery slopes. And when they do, I hope that the public has the spine to state the obvious: you are not the victims, here.

Ready to see who cancels out your vote?

You think you are. You're not.

The documentary Two Days in April follows four NFL hopefuls preparing for the draft. None of them are superstars. We watch them exercise and prepare for interviews, and then finally it's draft day. Everyone is sitting around at home with their families, watching TV and waiting for a call from a team, except for one kid. He's in a hotel room with his pastor.

Curiously, when he's later the only one of the four kids to go completely undrafted, he refuses to talk to the camera.

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