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Loot. Swag. Plunder. Booty. STUFF!

weasel's christmas tree

Do you know why Christmas is so all-consuming crazy-making to your typical seven year old? Because a seven year old might — just might — find the thing he wants most in all the world tucked under the tree on Christmas morning.

Imagine for a moment you could have come down stairs this morning to find Santa Claus had paid off your mortgage, or left you a villa in the South of France, or fixed your teeth or made you a rock star or…you know, brought about world peace or some junk. Yeah, you bet you’d’ve been up at the crack of dawn today, pissing yourself with excitement.

You didn’t outgrow the magic; your wish-list simply got unreasonable.

This holiday time of year, when our society is battered from the right and the left (respectively) for its irreligion and shallow commercialism, please join me in remembering what Christmas is really all about: it’s about the STUFF, man! It’s about the swag, the booty, the sweet treats under the tree. It’s about giving each other useless toys and silly gadgets and some very nice things we can’t really afford, too. It’s about eating things that are costly and bad for us and having a dram or five of the good stuff from the back of the liquor cabinet. It’s about self-indulgence.

You know I’m right.

We’re in a happy, astonishing time and place, the first of our kind to be free of the constant grubby preoccupation with mere survival. We are scouts, explorers in this new world of post-evolutionary luxury, and this is the one day a year we give ourselves over to it utterly. Don’t feel ashamed. Don’t — on this day of all days — feel guilt.

Stand with Uncle Badger and me and say “fuck it — it’s Christmas!”

And have one more slice of something roasted in lard.


Comment from Dawn
Time: December 25, 2007, 6:19 pm

So are you gonna tell us what’s in all that shiny wrapping paper?

My hubby got me the most beautiful handcrafted mezuzah. Oh the irony.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2007, 6:27 pm

A mezuzah! I thought you were evangelical Christian or summat?

That big bag is a metal detector — because I’ve always wanted one and I can only imagine what’s under the ground here at Badger House. Sadly, there was a steady drizzle here in Jollye Olde today, so all I got was wet and a couple of pieces of rusty iron. The whole damn yard lights up for iron, so it’s either iron-y soil, the failing septic system (happy happy, joy joy) or there’s iron shit all over out there.

I bought Uncle B a variety of fine-quality weather instruments.

Comment from Lokki
Time: December 25, 2007, 6:33 pm

I got the bestest thing in the whole World for Christmas! It was exactly what I wanted!!!! You’ll want one too, after you read the The Reviews!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 25, 2007, 6:35 pm

Ohmigosh! You got a Bic pen?!?

Sandy Claws likes you better’n me.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 25, 2007, 6:38 pm

Yeah, stroo! So y’all watch your step. Badger’s going to be in the kitchen making batches of weather all week!

Comment from Lokki
Time: December 25, 2007, 6:56 pm

Don’t worry, Weas; I’m sure Uncle Badger got you a Bic pen too…. no doubt though, he buried it in the yard somewhere for you to find with your new Metal Detector! Of course, given the gift you gave him ( I always like to say that) I’d expect that you’ll have to search for it in snow and hurricane winds….

Comment from Lokki
Time: December 25, 2007, 6:58 pm

And Dawn, I’m sure that the verses in your mezuzah were scribed with a Bic, so don’t you feel jealous either, OK?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 25, 2007, 7:27 pm

Hey, Badger? See if you can whip up some Virga in your country kitchen. Virga always makes me smile! If you happen to be in the right place at the right time it tickles the skin, too!

Now I remember, Weaz. You’re gonna find a 42.4 squeezillion dollar cache of rare Roman or pre-Roman coins on the Badgerbugger Estate. In mint condition. And the Grail. And Excalibur. Oh, boy! I can’t wait.

In case anyone is interested, I got the usual – a shitload of Borders and B&N Books gift cards. Everyone who knows me knows this is the premiere gift for me. Always appreciated, and always used. I will go spend some of ’em tomorrow.

‘Course, none of this measures up to a Bic pen.

What the fiddly-phoo is a mizuzah? Is it a traditional snack food? A game played with no clothes by consenting adults? Even my spellchecker doesn’t know.

It sounds like a moderately uncomfortable medical condition:

“Ms. Dawn, you have a herniated mizuzah, and a bruised big toe. Take these opiates and call me for some more.”

Comment from nbpundit
Time: December 25, 2007, 7:58 pm

You need to find Excalibre, England is in need of
it. With that, you won’t be missing your guns…
Lovely tree.

Comment from iamfelix
Time: December 25, 2007, 11:57 pm

Happy, happy, Stoaty and Uncle B! I had a visit from the Christmas Stoat yesterday (thanks ever so 🙂 ) – and I’d be thrilled to join the Mayo militia. Merry Christmas to all the weaselly minions!

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: December 26, 2007, 2:09 pm

A mezuzah properly refers to a scroll of Hebrew which contains portions from the Hebrew Bible (aka Old Testament), specifically Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. This is attached to the doorway: in some places an alcove would be made and the scroll placed in it, then covered but made obvious that something is special about that part of the entrance.

However, the standard form of affixing is via a tube or other such container, usually metal or plastic, in which the above-mentioned scrolled is rolled. The container is then affixed to the doorway, usually slanting towards the room (there was a dispute over whether it should be horizontal or vertical, which was resolved by affixing it slanted). Nowadays, the container is also called a mezuzah. (One almost never buys the container without the scroll anyway, so lumping them under one word is not too outlandish.)

This is in obedience to the commandment (in the latter portion inscribed on the scroll) to put “this” (the words) on the doorposts.

Traditionally, there is a window through which the letter “sheen” (a trident-like letter) can be seen, part of “Shaddai” written on the back of the scroll. (This “Shaddai” and another “code” in Hebrew are traditional and for protection; they are not mandated in the Bible.) Alternatively, a large “sheen” is written, drawn, inscribed on the mezuzah-case.

The mezuzah-cases can be very elaborate and decorative. It is customary to kiss one’s fingertips and then touch the mezuzah-case when entering or leaving a room where there is a mezuzah.

For more, behold!, Wikipedia: mezuzah.

Comment from Muslihoon
Time: December 26, 2007, 2:11 pm

Your Grace: who would pull the sword, you or Uncle B?

Comment from porknbean
Time: December 26, 2007, 2:45 pm

I got a block of wood.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 26, 2007, 4:09 pm

So that’s what a mezuzah is.

I’ve seen those li’l thingy’s over at a few friends houses who are – come to think of it – jewish.

Hell, I thought it was their Deed of Title for the house, or Proof of Insurance, or sumpin. Nobody told me….

What kind of wood, PnB? Maybe you can whittle something – a Last Supper, or something by Bosch.

Comment from Dawn
Time: December 26, 2007, 4:29 pm

Ohhhhhhh a metal detector. FUN – I hope you find something shiny.
My husband would love me forever if I got him a weather station. I must remember that for the next gift giving season.

My grandmother was Jewish. My mom “converted” to Christianity in the 80’s. One of those scary Oklahoma preachers got to her and promised her she would be healed of her cancer if she sent him most of her money. I was raised secular until I went to live in the Methodist children’s home. No offense, but that’s almost the same as being raised secular. I became a Christian in my 20’s.
My husband heard me tell someone that the Tree of Life draws me everytime I see one. He found one inscribed on a mezuzah. It is made of stained glass and very beautiful, but I think he paid way too much for it. Deep down I am very Jewish.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 26, 2007, 5:14 pm

Yes, so far, I have found a hinge, a nail and a small rusted…something. The whole backyard lights up for iron, which I fear is the ruined septic system. So I’ve been selective in my digging.

You certainly have an interesting autobiography, Dawn.

Holy cow, Felix — I can’t believe it was that quick. And I can’t believe book rate was so cheap…I’d’ve emptied my shelves at you.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 26, 2007, 6:17 pm

If you bring the nail back to the States, will you have to pay duty on it?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 26, 2007, 7:25 pm

It’s not the import duty coming in that gets you, it’s the antiquities smuggling coming out. They’ve stopped detector hobbyists at Heathrow before.

From the ruined bits I’ve found so far, you can’t tell if they’re from 1978 or 1789.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: December 26, 2007, 7:54 pm

Nice haul Stoaty! I got a frog.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 26, 2007, 8:24 pm

Keep some of those nails and slip them into disliked relatives luggage when they visit. Be sure to drop them off at the curb and not accompany them into the terminal. And leave your cell phone at home so they can’t call you.

Buddy of mine used to slip dead scorpions into his sisters luggage every time they visited him in AZ, ’cause he didn’t like her husband. They stopped visiting. I think it was the dead scorpion in the shoe that did it.

Comment from porknbean
Time: December 26, 2007, 11:43 pm

McGoo, it is a big hunk of bass wood. I want to carve gargoyle-like faces and nail them at the top of our bookshelves.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 26, 2007, 11:56 pm

PnB – that’ll be neat. Do you carve? I seem to recall that bass wood has a fairly straight grain. But I used it for model airplanes – small pieces.

Comment from porknbean
Time: December 27, 2007, 3:02 am

um…not really…I’ve tried it before in a one hour class and my rodent came out halfway decent. Since I had borrowed the tools for the class, I never gave it another go until now. The husband is encouraging me to dust off my talent and do something with it….as in something to dress up our bare walls with.

Comment from Princess Bernie
Time: December 27, 2007, 10:52 am

I didn’t get a Bic pen or a mezuzah or a metal detector. But I DID get an engagement ring. Hooray for me!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 27, 2007, 2:13 pm

Oooooo! Congratulations, Princess B! Perhaps you’ll get a Bic as a wedding present…

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 27, 2007, 4:34 pm

Now let’s not get too hasty, Weaz. You know the old saying:

“There’s many a slip ‘tween a ring and a Bic.”

..or sumpin like that.

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