Thursday, December 27, 2012


This post is a couple of days late, but that is usually the story of my life. A day late, and a dollar (or a lot more) short.  Those few, remaining, faithful readers that I still have will remember last christmas, and the debacle of gift giving that it entailed.  This post will not revisit that painful experience any more than is necessary, but is a post to show contrast.

That contrast is provided by this christmas, and the one gift I received.  It was a gift that came in a package of twelve, though there are smaller, and larger packages available. I will eventually need more than a dozen, but for now a dozen will do. It is also a gift that comes in many, many varieties, and I got a package of 4 different types. Some of them are close to my favorites, and some of them I could probably do without, but that is the nature of variety packs. You win some, and you lose some. I will still consume/use eventually. Like all things they have a expiration date, but I am fairly certain that they will be long gone before that future date arrives.

The further joy of this gift was that it was delivered to my house after one simple question being asked. That question, a question that is a solid precursor to any gift giving occasion was 'do you have any of these?' Upon my reply of 'No' the gift giver stopped and purchased the gift without further ado. That is a model of gift giving that we would all do well to follow, no surprises, no gimmicks, no guess work, just a simple question do you have X?, if not then do you want X?, if so then I just bought you X.   This gift does actually require sharing, but after all if a gift is good enough, why not share it. On some level the gift is good for me, and then on other levels it is bad for me. I like versatile gifts, gifts that have the ability to be different things to different people, me included.

In some circles in the world, some circles that I do not subscribe to, the gift is forbidden. That is fine that makes the gift even more perfect. It isn't illegal, and probably never will be, but certain parts of the society in which we live have expressed their extreme displeasure at the gift. However, me and society have never really been on the best (or even speaking) terms, and I could give a tinker's damn about any forbidden aspect of the gift. I am also fairly certain that the gift giver shares my position on this particular subject.  Regardless of our anti-society position, we will at least enjoy some of the gift together.

Therefore, all in all, this gift, this asked for and received gift, has been the one gift that I have received this christmas, and that is fantastic. I am not a good gift receiver, and getting me a gift can be, as you can read for yourself, can be a very tricky proposition. It is not that I am ungrateful, that is what most people would tell you. People who know me, but still just people. People, some quite close to me, that I have not (and probably will not) explain the real, true reason that I do not like getting gifts. That reason is buried in the forests of my past, and I have no intention of excavating it anytime soon. Perhaps, the reason is a silly one, and perhaps it is a valid one, either way it is my reason, and my reason alone. A reason that I carry around with me daily, and one that, like all good secrets, need not be shared. I am very protective/selfish of my reason, and for today just let it suffice to say thanks for the one gift that I have received.

P.S.  I have not divulged what the gift actually is on purpose. My loyal readers are encouraged to guess what it is. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


"Sure" my reply to a lot of questions. One word, one simple word, that I believed provided an answer to whatever question I am attempting to answer.  This particular question that I provided my 'sure' answer to was about as mundane of a question as a question can be. However, to the person asking the question, the word 'sure' took on a whole different, an not pleasant meaning. This person didn't like my answer, and therefore decided to provide me with a shining example of how that one word would make things go to hell pretty quickly.

The first thing they did was withdraw the question/invitation that had provoked my answer.  This holiday season was, it appeared, about to turn out like most of my holiday seasons. That is to say disappointing. I am not a fan of the holidays, and everyone who cares to know me knows this. It is best to avoid me on days like today that are holidays. I am not quite Scrooge, but I'd certainly give him a run for his money. Actually, in some ways I am probably worse than Scrooge, eventually Scrooge redeems himself, I have no intention to reform my ways. The only spirits that visit me in the night come in a glass with ice.  As I realized that my answer was going to lead to what could be considered a 'relationship' disaster, I did try, for reasons passing understanding, to explain what I meant by that one dangerous word, sure.

To me, and to me alone it seems that sure is a prefect substitute for the word 'yes'.  Other people have pointed out the error of my belief. Other people since that particularly bad day when I first found out that 'sure' to me is a sign of indifference to others.  Trying to explain myself using the Webster's dictionary's version of the word, proved fruitless. It only made things worse, if that was possible. It certainly did not help matters, and matter quickly went from bad to worse. And another christmas miracle, as I like to call them, took place.

I've suffered, and yes that is the correct word, several christmas miracles over the years, and they almost always are my own fault. It is just something that I have grown accustomed to. Like the weather, there appears nothing I can do to prevent these little miracles from happening annually.  These disasters are so similar (expect for some minor details, one involving a relocation to Kansas City), that I could probably go ahead and predict next year's disaster today, and just get it over with now.  Though the latest one, the one we are describing today did teach me a very good lesson.

That lesson the only positive outcome of the latest disaster (disasters usually don't have positive outcomes) is that I now understand the power of just one word. One word of merely four letters can change the entire course of a relationship, a horse, a spaceship, or a rampaging animals. You just have to choose those words with extreme care, it also probably helps to stick with the more obvious words that most people have a tried and true definition already agreed upon.  That one word that you sometimes formulate without so much as a second thought, that you don't even realize will be taken the 'wrong' way, a way you couldn't, even if you tried, fathom. 

These words, our words, my words, and your words, are the only way we can communicate. And, when they go potty then all sorts of things start to go bad. The amount of words you will have to use to 'rescind' that one wrong word you used without any malice will bury you.  And buried for the holidays is not something that is a whole lot of fun.  Presents can get unwrapped, and all that crap, but once disaster strikes, it stays struck, and that is something that your Santa Claus can not fix. god jul!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Pants On Fire

Many, many, years ago I knew a person who lied all the time. And when I say all the time I mean that if they told you the time you could be certain it was anytime but the time they told you. If they said the sky was blue, you could probably wager that it had suddenly changed colours.  To be fair to this individual, when I was introduced to them, the person providing the introduction did say 'this is X, don't believe their lies, and they lie all the time.' I laughed at the time and X just shrugged, as if they were used to this introduction, and were resigned to it being the way they were described.

Over a couple of years X and I got to be fairly close friends, and I begin to realize that the person who introduced us was correct. X lied ALL THE DAMN TIME. Sometimes, a discernible reason was there, and I could almost understand why they had lied. We all lie, and we all lie a lot. We lie to other people, to the cops, to the taxman, to our significant others, and to ourselves. We tell, what we consider 'white lies', just to get through the day.  These lies are just part and parcel of being human beings in contact with other human beings. Some of them are truly white lies, lies that we tell to (at times) protect the feelings of the people we are lying to.  No, that dress does not make you look fat, of course it wasn't your fault that something you were working on fell to pieces, I love you more than anyone else in the world. These types of lies, the lies that we tell each other daily, were child's play to X.

X would tell those types of lies for practice. In many ways, those little white lies that X told was probably the closest that they ever got to telling the truth. The dependable everyday lies, usually told in short sentences, were not really worthy of X's skill. You see, X was a consummate liar, a liar that lied for the sake of lying. X told so many lies that I was fairly certain that they had to have some whiteboard of lies pasted to their bedroom wall just to make sure that they didn't lose the plot. And X was a plotter of the first order. A person who always took the long way to get what they wanted, no matter how simple it could have been accomplished. In many ways, watching X 'work' was a thing of beauty, that is until you realized that everything they said was a blazing lie.

Eventually, like with most things, X's lies got old, real old real fast.  The major problem with X's lies is after a while they started getting sloppy. And a sloppy lie is just awful to behold. I begin to realize that by putting just a tad bit of effort into things I could unravel X's lies, and begin to realize that X was just a complete and utter bastard of a human being.  It wasn't overly difficult to figure out that X was working all sides of the street, just a couple of chats with other people who knew X, and a little comparing of notes made it very clear that X was exactly what our mutual friend had told me they were all those years ago, a liar. And not only was X an liar, but it appeared that X was a bad liar. It is an long held belief of mine (if I hold to any beliefs at all) that if you are going to do a thing, you should do it well. What is the point of doing something badly, and X's lies were badly done. It would not have taken too many brains, or too much effort for X to arrange their lies to 'fall into line.' Lies that would stand enough scrutiny to be believed, or believed by the right person for the right amount of time. Lies that you could be proud of, lies that would stand the test of time, but X wasn't that type of liar. Their lies were shoddy things, built on the cheap by a charmer of snakes that couldn't be bothered to make sure their lies were consistent. 

Lies are like that, they like milk, have an expiration date. And like milk, you need to keep gallons and gallons of them around just in case you need to either make a cake, eat a lot of cereal, or convince someone you love them beyond compare.  An expired lie is as useless as useless can be, and once X's lies started to expire things only got worse. X became unable to renew their lies fast enough, and those among us who still cared began to pull the string that unraveled all those lies.  It didn't take much, because as I said, once we started sorting it out, we really realized what a poor liar X really was. A charlatan that promised us the tonic to cure all our ills, but was just merely selling us sugar flavoured water. Sweet tasting at first, but ultimately bad for our teeth, our stomach, and everything else we had. 

Therefore, I had to cut X out of my life. What distant shore they washed up upon, I do not know, nor do I particularly care. It is not something that concerns me over much. X was never going to be one that stuck around, even before I started to no longer believe their lies. There were some nice lies in the amongst the regular detritus of lies that X spouted, but they were just simply lies. Lies that we chose to believe until we figured out that they were not true. We always had that sliver of hope that X would reform, or the belief that X lied to everyone but not to us. That is the foolishness of mankind writ large, to believe that someone is going to put you in the 'special bin', and treat you differently (i.e. better) than they treat the rest of the world. That is fool's gold, and you might as well try proving that Santa Claus really does exist while you are believing in miracles. However, like the rest of the known world I will still hang my stockings with care in the (vain) hope that X and Santa do not have as much in common as I think they do.