Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This post was engendered by my thought that, to a fir tree, Christmas must seem a pretty savage and barbaric custom. Originally this post was about three times as long, but I removed some stuff that might have been in poor taste. - The Management

Now that it's 2017, I was just thinking about how weird it is that the year number is always the same as the number of years since Jesus was born. I mean, how do they do that? Personally, I have trouble remembering how many days are in a month -- just when I think I've got it nailed, they go and change it the next month. Whoever they are. Bastards.

But that's not what I want to write about. I thought I'd share my story of the holidays with you, in the hope that if for some reason your holiday story was not as joyous as mine I can make you feel even worse.

This season I have to admit I was a little poorer than I've been the last few years, so instead of buying a Christmas Puppy from the kennel the Boy Scouts set up in the corner of the grocery store parking lot every year, I just swiped the neighbors' Shih Tzu. I figured they wouldn't mind; I already knew they were fellow Christians from the plastic shit they put out in their yard. Plus, no more midnight yap-yap, win-win for Hulles.

I'm not sure how it works in your family, but in mine we always called the Christmas Puppy "Fluffy". So in keeping with tradition, I kept murmuring, "Nice Fluffy" as I stapled the fucker to the piece of plywood. Somehow over the years I managed to lose the red-and-white Christmas Napkin we traditionally used, probably an ex-wife swiped it, so this year I had to make do by stuffing some plastic grocery bags into the dog's mouth. I could still hear it trying to bark however, so I kept stuffing more and more plastic bags into its mouth. No matter how many I stuffed in, they just didn't muffle the sound as well as the Christmas Napkin, so I suppose that next year I should just go out and buy a new one. Grumble grumble, call me Scrooge.

And this year I made the same mistake I always make, I stapled the Christmas Puppy's rear legs to the plywood before sticking the plastic angel up its ass, so for yet another year I had to pry the bottom staples out and pop in the angel. As I did it I could hear my father saying, as he did every Christmas, "Is this plastic angel getting bigger or are puppies' assholes getting smaller?" He would completely crack up, the rest of us would politely laugh, and my mother would always mutter under her breath, "There's one asshole who hasn't gotten any smaller." I love Christmas traditions.

Anyway, I jammed the plastic angel with the light bulb in its head up the puppy's ass and plugged it to make sure it still worked, then I re-stapled the dog's legs to the plywood. I guess I haven't told you about the plywood yet -- one year my dad found the plans for a Santa Claus decoration in Popular Mechanics, so he painstakingly transferred the pattern from the magazine to the plywood by drawing on a grid of squares somehow, then he cut out the pattern in the plywood with his jigsaw and painted it. It looked like Nick Nolte. We used that plywood Santa every year after that for our Christmas Puppy; there are bloodstains on it that probably go back 60 years or more.

Once I had Fluffy securely fastened to old Saint Nick, I was ready to move on to the decorating phase. Normally I go the traditional route and get out the hot glue gun and glue colorful vinyl snowflakes and stars onto the Christmas Puppy, but this year I decided to try something different, so I went to Dollar General and bought eight cans of flocking. Wow, it was amazing. Just hearing the ball clacking around in the can took me right back to the Christmas my dad flocked my mom and set her on fire. At any rate, I cut out little cardboard glasses for Fluffy and taped them on him, then I flocked the shit out of him. I know a lot of people skip the cardboard glasses, but I think it's cruel to flock a puppy's eyes.

After flocking it, I removed the Christmas Puppy's cardboard glasses (and some fur with the tape, sorry Fluffy) and examined my handiwork. I have to say that Fluffy looked a lot like a toilet bowl brush without a handle, which wasn't really the look I was going for. However, instead of pouring kerosene all over the dog to remove the flocking and starting over I just hot-glued a vinyl snowflake to his forehead and called him good. I left him in the kitchen to dry and went into the living room and put plastic down to catch any leaks, then I brought out the Christmas Puppy, stuffed tinsel in his ears, and propped him up in the corner. I arranged my presents to myself around it (a pair of boots and a hand grenade) and... it finally felt like Christmas!

To complete the tableau I got out this little spotlight with colored lenses that rotate so it shines red, blue, green, and white; red. blue, green, and white; red, blue, green, and white; red, blue... you get the picture. I put the spotlight on my Christmas Puppy, and it was mesmerizing. For the next two weeks I watched Fluffy instead of reality TV. Every once in a while the tinsel in his ears would catch the light and you'd swear that the dog's head moved, even though it had been dead the better part of a week.

But all good things must come to end, so just a couple days ago I pried Fluffy off the board (ick, by the way) and removed the plastic angel (double ick). It occurred to me that it was probably good that the puppy had been dead a while -- those angel wings looked like they'd hurt a lot more coming out than they did going in. Then I dragged my Christmas Puppy out to the curb and put him in a pile with the other dead Christmas Puppies for the city to pick up in the morning. I wasn't sure the upstairs neighbor's Christmas Weimarauner was 100% dead so I kicked it in the head with my Christmas boots. I didn't want it to suffer.

Speaking of suffering, I know there are a few bleeding-heart liberal whiners out there who think the whole Christmas Puppy thing is cruel and barbaric. Well, not to worry. After this year puppies will no longer need to suffer at Christmas so the rest of us can enjoy the holiday season. Now that Trump's elected, next year we can go back to using minority children.

- Hulles

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