I’m Not Scrooge

I’m staggering across a mall parking lot with fluid-filled lungs from the flu, because I have to buy presents even though I don’t have the money. I’ll charge things.

       Over the intercom comes a Christmas song, “It’s the most wonderful time…of the year.”

       “It’s the worst time of the year,” I sing sarcastically, with a raspy throat. After all, who doesn’t enjoy fighting crowds and being sick?

       Are you sick like this in June? Nooooo!

       The potential gift I’m looking at was made in China by a slave laborer for nothing, but will cost me $79.95. The corporate fascists who shipped their company overseas to make the gift eliminated 3,000 US jobs because, why should they pay fair wages anyway?

       I’m complaining about Christmas on the frenetic drive home.

       That night, a ghost appears, the Ghost of my Christmas Past, a beach boy type dressed in cutoff jeans.

       “Gnarly dude!” the spirit says.

       “What do you want Spirit?”

       The ghost shows me daring a first kiss in high school, on Sally Wood. We only dated once.

       “Why didn’t you follow her after that?” the ghost asks.

       “I was out of money. Why spend money on a girl?”

       “Let me show you what you have lost.”

       The ghost shows me Sally and her husband today……..with eight kids.

       “Hey wait a minute,” I say. “This guy is middle aged and balding and looks just as worn and frazzled as me. Eight kids! I can’t afford that. I’m not buying it. Take me back Spirit.”

       “Gnarly dude!”

       Later that evening, the Ghost of Christmas Present appears…….a bill collector with a suit, tie and briefcase.

       “Take my hand.”

       The ghost shows me selfishly saying that I’ll give something back to the community whenever the day comes that the community has given something to me.

       In another scene, I accuse immigrants of coming here for free social welfare handouts.

       In yet another, the ghost shows me a single mother struggling to take care of two children on a low (burger flipping) income.

       “Hey man!” I complain to the ghost. “That’s not fair. I pay taxes for social services. People should pull their own weight. I’m a compassionate conservative. They’re getting trickle-down money from the rich. Take me back Spirit.”

       The spirit refuses and leaves me stranded at a Burger King.

       Later that night, the Ghost of Christmas Future appears. It’s George Bush.

       “You’re the spirit I fear the most,” I say.

       The ghost shows me as an old man slumping in forlorn solitude head-down in a bowl of mush at a rest home. Then, my name appears on a gravestone.

       “Yeah, but that’s what happens to everybody when they get old,” I protest.

       Bush simply points.

       “Okay. Okay Spirit. Take me back.”

       The next day, Christmas, I rush over to Safeway and buy a turkey for a poor neighbor kid across the street.

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