Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ungrateful Santa

The scene: It's Christmas morning at my home. 1:15 a.m. I'm awakened by a series of footsteps from the floor below. I listen closely; I hear a tremendous thud, followed by a man whispering loudly to himself, "Damn! Damn damn!" I carefully slip out of bed and make my way downstairs, bleary-eyed, unshaven and in my pajamas. What I see surprises me: Santa Claus, on the carpet, lying on his side, reaching for his cellphone.

"Santa, what on earth are you doing?"

"Shane...I wasn't expecting to see you awake at this hour. Ho, ho, ho, merry Christmas!"

"Why are you on the ground?"

"I'm afraid I was a bit clumsy. I'd just left presents underneath your tree and was attempting to take a selfie when I tripped over a cord."

"Why were you attempting to take a selfie?

"Why, for my Instagram page, of course. You didn't think I was going to cross the globe, break into everyone's home and not take pictures of myself, did you?"

"I suppose not. Since you're here...what did you bring me?"

"Oh, you'll have to wait and see later this morning. Suffice to say I brought lots of wonderful gifts for you and your children."

"Santa, I don't have children."

"You don't? I thought for sure you'd be a father by now. Huh. Well, you can just split the presents between yourself and your wife."

"I don't have a wife, either."


"No, Santa."

"Really? How old are you?"

"I'm 34."

"34? Isn't it time you find someone and settle down? You're six years away from middle age. I mean, if you want to start a family, now is the time to do it."

"It's complicated. I'm busy with my career, and it's so hard to meet someone here in the city and...wait, why am I even having this conversation with you? Just...thank you for the gifts. And please help yourself to the cookies and the milk I left for you on the dinner tray over there."

"Are those chocolate chip cookies? Excellent! I must say, I am famished from all my travels so far. I certainly could use a snack. [Santa picks up one of the cookies, adjusts his glasses and inspects it closely.] Say, is there gluten in this cookie?"

"I'm not sure. I bought the cookies at the supermarket. I didn't look at the nutrition facts label on the container."

"I see. Listen, I am very appreciative of your kind and thoughtful gesture, but I'm currently on a gluten-free diet. Gluten causes me digestive issues, especially on long flights."

"You're gluten-free?"

"Yes. I haven't told anyone other than Mrs. Claus. I don't publicize it. I don't like to make a big deal of it."

"I'm truly sorry, I had no idea. At least you can drink the glass of milk."

"Is it soy milk?"

"Is it soy milk?"

"Yes. I'm off dairy. Again...digestive issues."

"I'm fresh out of soy milk, Santa. My sincerest apologies."

"Maybe you can run out and buy me gluten-free cookies and soy milk?"



"That's an awfully bold request to make at 1:20 in the morning, isn't it?"

"Perhaps. But I did bring you all of these wonderful gifts for you and your non-existent children and spouse."

"Well, Santa, I don't think the supermarket is going to be open at this hour. I have granola bars, if you like."

"I come all this way, and all you have to offer me are granola bars?"

"I'm sorry, Santa. I thought you'd enjoy the milk and cookies. I was obviously unaware of your dietary restrictions. I assure you I will make a note of them for next year."

"OK, no need to get bent out of shape. Do you have any eggnog?"

"Eggnog? This early?"

"Sure, It's Christmas. My longest workday of the year. I am stressed out."

"I don't have any eggnog. I don't drink."

"At all?"


"No wonder you're so uptight."

"Alright, get the f--- out, Santa."

"Fine. I'll head next door to the Myers home. I bet they have gluten-free cookies!"

"Merry Christmas, Santa."

Santa leaves my home. Two minutes later, the doorbell rings. I answer the door. It's Santa.

"Does your offer of milk and cookies still stand? The reindeer said they're interested."

"Goodbye, Santa."

I close the door on Santa. I walk up the stairs and to my bed, where I fall asleep to the sounds of sleigh bells ringing. I have a smile on my face, knowing that I'll have presents waiting for me in the morning. Not to mention gluten-filled cookies and dairy milk.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Race Against Time

This Sunday is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Sunrise is scheduled for 7:17 a.m., sunset for 4:32 p.m. Only nine hours and 15 minutes of daylight. That does not leave me with much time to wear my sunglasses outdoors.

I have owned these sunglasses for six months. They are the first pair of sunglasses I have ever owned. They are not the first pair of eyeglasses I've owned, mind you. I'm nearsighted, so I've worn prescription eyeglasses since I was in the fourth grade.

I purchased the sunglasses at the urging of my optometrist. He insisted that I start wearing prescription sunglasses because they would offer better protection against UV radiation than my normal pair of glasses. Those glasses had come with UV-coated lenses, but apparently the coat wasn't heavy enough to ward off the sun's powerful rays.

The sun could seriously damage my eyes with prolonged exposure, my optometrist warned me. Really? The sun? The star at the center of our solar system? The star around which all planets revolve? The star that inspired one of my favorite Beatles songs, "Here Comes the Sun"? 

Before I could make a firm decision on whether I should purchase a pair of sunglasses, I had to determine whether the sun was really as evil as my optometrist was suggesting.

I created a list of pros and cons for the sun in my head:

Provides us with warmth and light.

Fails to provide us with warmth and light 24 hours a day.

Supports life on Earth via photosynthesis.

Supports celebrity gossip in British tabloid that bears its name.

Delivers two scoops in every box of Kellogg's Raisin Bran.

Had a real attitude problem in Super Mario Bros. 3.

This was not an easy call to make. I needed more convincing that I had to have sunglasses. In comes the optometrist's assistant, a petite brunette with an impossibly adorable face who smiled in my direction from behind the counter. She told me I'd look good in sunglasses, and then winked at me. And there was the convincing that I needed. I handed over all my cash and walked out with a new pair of sunglasses.

My optometrist stressed to me that I should wear them whenever I would be in contact with the sun. Fortunately, I'd picked them up in the summertime -- sunglass season. A perfect time to ease into my new shades.

Except I was still reliant on my other pair of glasses. I would need them in times when I'd be indoors, or when I'd be outside at night. Ideally, I'd have my prescription eyeglasses and my prescription sunglasses in my possession at all times, so I could easily make the transition from one to the other when out of the house and as the situation warranted.

But that would be a major nuisance. There is no practical way for a man to carry two sets of glasses at the same time. I do not own a purse. All I have are pockets, and there are no guarantees that I'll be able to fit either pair of glasses in any of them.

What are the other options? I could tuck one pair inside the collar of my shirt while wearing the other. No, that would look silly. I could keep the pair not in use on the top of my head, but that would look dorky. The most sensible solution, I've discovered, is to simply carry one pair and leave the other behind.

Unfortunately, this solution raises another problem that I frequently struggle with. Too often I've worn my sunglasses out on the town, only to have to rush home as darkness starts to fall in order to retrieve my regular pair of eyeglasses. Otherwise, I'd stick out to others as the bozo who wears sunglasses when there is no sun. It's a race against time.

That's why I'm concerned by the impending winter solstice. I'll have a very limited window in which I can wear my sunglasses in public before I'll have to dash home. The race against time will start too early this Sunday.

Maybe it's time I start carrying a purse.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tiny Bits of Nonsense: Holiday Season Edition

It's a special holiday season edition of "Tiny Bits of Nonsense"! Here are some tweets to get you in the mood for Christmas:

Other bits of nonsense:
November 2014
Thanksgiving Edition
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014

April 2014
March 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Tiny Bits of Nonsense: November 2014

Here is the November 2014 edition of "Tiny Bits of Nonsense," featuring 10 of my tweets for the month:
Other bits of nonsense:
Thanksgiving Edition
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014

April 2014
March 2014