I tried and failed before Christmas to weave a festive narrative with the following elements; you will see the difficulty almost immediately.

1) A week to the day before Christmas, I was a micron away from a trip to the emergency room with food poisoning, apparently from a bowl of pho from a local Vietnamese restaurant.  Clearly delayed revenge for my participation in the U.S. military during the Sixties.

2) Someone backed into our new car in a parking lot causing a couple of thousand (not remotely difficult to do) dollars damage and just left.  Perhaps they didn’t realize they had struck a solid object when their own automobile stopped moving through space.  I don’t want to judge…

3) I was living on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean as part of an Air Force unit eavesdropping on North Africa in 1968, so this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the first time I’d spent a Christmas away from family.  It was a breath of fresh air at age twenty-one.

4) On the Winter Solstice, I wallowed in my annual viewing of ‘Scrooge’, the 1970 musical version of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’.  This time I noticed that after the Ghost of Christmas Present and Scrooge walk away from peeping through the window at Tiny Tim, the ghost says: ’What an unpleasant child!’

In this case, the line was delivered as a sarcasm, but I considered for the first time how someone viewing this movie might simply agree.  I hope someone backs into their car.

Happy New Year to the rest of you!

Photo clickable.