Thursday, December 23, 2004

Renouncing Christmas

It's not that the mainstream media types have won the battle. Far from it. However, if any day of the year could possibly make me renounce Christmas, it's the night before we travel up to visit family for the holiday.

I have a physics problem, and I'm certain some few of you Dads out there are familiar with it. I have a Saturn. I'm not complaining; it's been a terrific car for our small family, and the miles I've put on it have been hard-won. Still, it's a Saturn, and the trunk is - how shall I put this? - a tad larger than Michael Moore's hat size. Not much larger, but you get the picture. Here's the physics problem: How to stuff approximately 159,000 cubic yards of gifts and luggage into a roughly 5 cubic foot trunk.

Now, for those pinko-athiest weirdos out there who don't believe in miracles, let me assure you: I face this problem every Christmas. Every December 23, I stand in my living room, survey the presents and luggage that my sweet Mrs. Woody absolutely insists must be transported to Ventura County, and pronounce in my most authoritative voice that it cannot be done! Then my sweet, lovely, and (did I mention?) extremely patient Mrs. Woody smiles her lovely smile at me, and I melt and mumble something about making it work somehow, even though I know in my heart of hearts that it simply cannot be done!

Then I begin the task of working this 3-D puzzle that is our Christmas cargo, and, lo! it all fits! Miracle, indeed!

So, let me assure you that even though I am this close to renouncing Christmas for the rest of my natural life, I am also still hopeful that the Miracle will occur right on schedule tomorrow morning when I begin actually putting all this stuff in my tiny Saturn trunk that was actually designed for Little Old Ladies from Pasadena who only drive it to the store every fifth Saturday and buy, maybe, two bags of groceries, because they're afraid they'll have to put the milk and eggs in the passenger seat, for Pete's sake, and their insurance probably doesn't cover anything like smeared egg yolk on a passenger seat, which would also attract insects because this is, after all, Southern California where it never dips below 63 degrees in the dead of winter, and her silly husband wanted to retire to Minnesota, of all the forsaken places to retire, where he'd have to make her shovel snow out of the drive because you can't afford even to pay some snotty-nosed kid five lousy bucks when you're living on a fixed income, even with Social "Security," which is a joke because those danged politicians in Washington keep spending the money on "fact-finding" trips to Bangladesh, which reminds me that...

Oh. Sorry. Got a bit carried away.

Anyway, I have little doubt that come tomorrow morning I will once again defy the laws of physics and turn my Saturn trunk into a sort of black hole. Just as dense but less likely to allow light to escape.

Which also means, by the way, that unless I get some time on my Mom's computer while we're there, I won't be blogging for a few days.

Merry Christmas!

UPDATE: I failed to mention that the Miracle works both ways. We loaded the car up this morning during a lull in our rare winter storm in order to make the trek home. To my astonishment (like this hasn't happened every Christmas...) I discovered that we had even more stuff going home than we did coming here! Still, the Miracle was with us, and I only had to put two things in the back seat with the girls.

Can't wait for next year!

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