Hard Candy Christmas


God bless us, if not quite everyone.

Nothing says Christmas to me more than buying cough medicine at the CVS and needing assistance because the automated checkout assumes that I'm running a meth lab. That, and a "Ho! Ho! Ho!" greeting card where the ho's are the Kardashians.

Speaking of unfortunate assumptions, a friend of mine went to Comet Ping Pong on Connecticut Avenue the other evening for pizza as a show of solidarity against fake news and fascist terrorism, and was promptly mistaken for Trump operative Corey Lewandowski. His actual name is Keith, and he's a fine fellow. Please do not dump glitter on him.

I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that Christmas can suck it like the rest of 2016. I mean, I can understand someone not liking Hillary, but how do you get from there to being convinced she is running a pedophile sex ring in the basement of a pizza place? Comet doesn't even have a basement. And what is the coded meaning of pepperoni and sausage? I'm just ordering an effing pizza. It's one thing to install a Kremlin stooge atop our government, but messing with someone's pizza is asking for a fight.

America has seriously lost its mojo. At least we have gloomy Christmas songs to cheer us up. I love "Coventry Carol," though it unfairly brings to mind a notorious Nazi bombing. A college professor friend said over his cappuccino that there should be a narrow time window outside of which Christmas music is banned. He should get the president-elect to tweet that.

The saddest-ever Christmas song was sung by Judy Garland. When she finished "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," her little sister Margaret O'Brien ran outside and smashed the snow people while crying inconsolably. That always gets me into a holiday mood, as does It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart's beloved Christmas classic about suicide.

I once read in Robertson Davies's Deptford Trilogy about the grim long-term effects of throwing a snowball with a rock in it. So I try to rid myself of dark thoughts like creating a Golden Elevator Shaft Award, to be given to the public figure most deserving of ending up like Rosalind Shays on L.A. Law. Nothing but gold for You Know Who.

Republicans last week stripped a Buy America provision from a water infrastructure bill, leaving lumps of coal in American steel workers' stockings. Thanks, Hillary! (I realize sarcasm won't help, but it is cheaper and less fattening than a tin of pumpkin seed brittle from Williams-Sonoma.)

The coffee shop this morning was playing Bing Crosby's Christmas album from the Forties. I wondered if Crosby believed all that stuff. I myself enjoy "Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming" despite being a nonbeliever, just as I enjoyed reading Lemony Snicket's The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming years ago to my nephew Sam, even though I oppose the West Bank settlements.

My mother admonished, "Think of the starving Armenians and eat your vegetables." Today it would be refugees from the bombing in Aleppo. I also have African friends who are seeking asylum and fear being sent back to oppressive countries. Of course the Holy Family twenty centuries ago were refugees, something liberals love to bring up. Real Christians share Christ's love by starting Crusades or burning people at the stake. And I don't want to lose the next election, so I'm crying over white people's problems and displaying a picture of Euro Jesus.

Kelly Osbourne, whose fame fittingly comes from reality TV, says we have to give Trump a chance. Why give fascism a chance? I watched Trump's charm-filled campaign, and I'm sorry but I cannot wish him success in carrying out his promises. This "Love Army" approach advocated by the lovely Van Jones leaves me cold, and it was cold already.

Mom once complained about my "creepy friends." Granted, vampires are a bit over the top. But they had nothing on Trump's cabinet. What is this, a pirate convention? Once, on a cruise ship, I saw a gay AA meeting listed under "Friends of Dorothy." Now we have a virtual coup by Friends of Vlad. Sorry, Dorothy (and Bill W.), but I'm spiking my eggnog.

Addendum: In response to a reader who took one of my lines seriously, I offer the following clarifications in a spirit of journalistic accuracy and Yuletide reconciliation: I do not run a meth lab. I do not care about the Kardashians. My college professor friend was not drinking cappuccino. Margaret O'Brien is not Judy Garland's little sister. I do not care how fattening or expensive pumpkin seed brittle is, because it is delicious and I can buy three tins of it with what they're paying me for this column, though I am not that gluttonous. Latkes have nothing to do with the West Bank settlements. I do not favor starting Crusades or burning people at the stake. I would prefer that terrible people jump off the George Washington Bridge because that is far less messy than falling down an elevator shaft. I am not crying over white people's problems. I am not displaying a picture of Euro Jesus. I had no vampire friends as a child. I am sorry for writing so many untrue things. That last statement is a lie.

This piece originally appeared in the Washington Blade and Bay Windows.

Copyright © 2016 by Richard J. Rosendall. All rights reserved.