1. Merry Christmas and Good Evening.

    Look, it’s Christmas (again!) – yes, yes, Merry Christmas and all that! – but you’ve just found out Aunt Judy’s all alone again today – just like last year! – and she’d really like to see you and the kids again. Sure it’s a pain in the ass, but she still has the first dollar she ever earned so it can’t hurt to spend another few minutes with her – after all, she’s not going to live forever (although it’s starting to seem that way) and she’s got to leave that money to someone…!

    Dare you drop by without a gift?

    No sir! What to do, what to do?

    Jons Grocery stores to the rescue! Not open today (Why, it’s Christmas, after all!), but since when did that ever stop you (and that brick you carry in the trunk)?

    Around the corner from the produce section (you may have to feel your way a bit what with the lights off and all), on a display made of their own shipping cartons, you’ll find these seasonal delights:


    What could be more Christmas-y than chestnuts?

    You’ll just need one pack, but take two to be safe.  They’re 4 for $5, but go ahead and leave a $20 bill on one of the checkouts on your way out – after all, it is the season of giving and your generosity will pay off in spades in just a little while.

    Once at Aunt Judy’s, grab a few of her Good Housekeepings and Family Circles, set them ablaze in her candy dish on the coffee table, and voila, you’ve got the requisite open fire that goes famously with your present! Brother, you’re all set!

    Good heavens!  What’s this on the back of the package?


    …And Aunt Judy, she’s…what is she now, 87…?  88…? Yeah, there’s no way those choppers are going to be able to negotiate these holiday treats. They’re going down her gullet whole! At least part-way!

    So here’s what you do: While you and the missus are roasting them with Aunt J., send whichever of the kids took the CPR class (with the unit on the Heimlich maneuver) out of the room. In fact, send em all – Barney & Ben, Janice & Jen – out back with a monkey wrench and have them turn off the water to the house.

    This way there’s no pesky glasses of water available for a frantic attempt to clear the esophagus, no okay-everyone-let’s-get-our-story-straight (kids are terrible at this!),  and best of all, no worries about the pipes freezing up over the next few months since the place will be empty at least until spring when everything goes through probate and you can unload this dilapidated dog of a charming 2 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath charming mid-century fixer-upper that smells from spoiled cottage cheese and old lady. (Or is that redundant?)

    Merry Christmas!

    Note: Today’s entry was perhaps a bit darker than the season warrants for you see I’ve been watching a lot of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” there on the ol’ Netflix lately. So let’s presume that after the merry little scenario described above plays out, Hitch (or in this case, me – our profiles are quite similar, especially with all this holiday binging) comes back to tie things up and announce you all got caught and went to the electric chair (including little Janice & Jen), even though we all know he’s (rather, I’m) only saying that because the network and his sponsors (or my attorney) are making him. Or me. Feel better now? Good night.

    Posted by on December 25, 2014, 12:06 PM.

  2. Irony, Walmart-Style

    LIKE YOU, I have no ethical problem shopping at Walmart. As long as they keep me distracted by low prices, really, how am I supposed to worry about anything else?

    Well, let me tell you, brother, I was jarred right back into reality- right back into reality! – the other day when I saw a display of these on an endcap (industry term):


    So for five dollars American, you can get a little Walmart shopping basket filled with toy groceries. And who wouldn’t want such an item? No one, that’s who! Look at it, it’s adorable!

    Sounds good, huh? You’d like one, right?

    Not so fast, pal!

    Here’s the thing: This particular location – West Hills Walmart, at 6433 Fallbrook Avenue – famously (or should I say infamously) has no actual, regular-sized baskets in the store! None! Zero! Not! A! One!

    You get that? The actual item on which this toy is based is not available for customer use in the very store where these are sold!

    If that’s not irony, well…  Well, let’s just consider it irony because it’s late and I don’t have the time to look up whatever term might better describe this phenomenon. If such a term exists.

    The idea behind West Hills Walmart intentionally not offering baskets is so that, presumably, customers will instead just grab a shopping cart – a vessel much larger, and in turn with a much larger capacity than a standard hand-held basket – and then they’ll fill that up with all those great Walmart values!

    Which actually came in handy, because I got one of these babies for each of you.

    Look under your seats!

    I got one for you, and I got one for you, and for you, and for you and you and you!  Yep, you got it – it’s the annual Ted’s Favorite Things post!  You came to the blog on the right day, gang!

    Now to head over to Twitter and see if there’s any possible way to edit all this brilliance down to 140 characters, keeping all the wit intact. And if anyone can do it, it’s me!

    Posted by on December 23, 2014, 3:43 AM.

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