Monday, December 19, 2005

In Absentia : Red'sThree Christmas Gifts under the Pomegranite Tree

First Gift (The one with the gold wrapping): The golden oldies of the Festive Season............

a. The Humbuggers: Humbuggery is as much Christmas as sleigh bells and wassail ---- or in Barkala Street, Rastas and Samir. But, the humbugger is not even so much our alter ego as our familiar. He participates with us as we play our Christmas games. He searches Christmas out so as to have a venue to humbugger (and to receive generous and copious gifts). The twinkle of lights inspires him as it does us. And, most importantly, he understands and believes that behind Christmas is something greater than what stands before us (such as a wife who demands thsat some money be spent on her).

Modern humbuggers often ramble on about the commercialization of Christmas -- ad nauseum, I am afraid. Of course, they would equally rail against the commercialization of life itself in a larger sense, but that would undermine the special holiday pleasure of taking Santa's name in vain. Modern humbuggers often snicker at all the lights and sweetmeats and specificities of Christmas, averring that it is all hollow or meaningless. But they too line up, demanding, "We all want our prezzies! Where are my prezzies??" just as do dedicated Christmas sprites.

Because humbuggers merely celebrate the season of warmth and giving in a different fashion ... we must be patient with them as one would be with a child, humour them and allow them to find batteries for the lights, not force any Christmas pudding on them - but not forget the chocolates and ice cream --- and give them the same courtesy and acceptance as we give all the various Christmastime celebrations. Let them grumble by the raging barbie fire, and pass them another mug of wassail, i.e. guinness.

b. Charades: Christmas time is of course a time for indulging, binging and bulging -- and the playing of games. At the time of the writing no one has volunteered a main course, so I would like to offer a recipe for a main course in the form of a short play/recipe reading a la Harold Pinter. Sandy was given a book of a complete history of world literature in 14 recipes called Kafka's Soup. On page 82 is the recipe for Cheese on Toast such as Harold Pinter would have written it. John and Nicole can read the play/recipe, while Suzanna and Sandy prepare the actual dish. (Rastas is allowed to say Humbug! as often as he likes and all the other saunaites may applaud and eat the result)

Second Gift (the one with the Tartan ribbon): Frankly, a little cence for you all........

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in...

I've learned that one good turn gets most of the blankets.

I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just jackasses.

I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.

I've learned that whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think.

I've learned that depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

I've learned that it is not what you wear; it is how you take it off.

I've learned to not sweat the petty things, and not pet the sweaty things.

I've learned that ex's are like fungus, and keep coming back.

I've learned age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

I've learned that I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy it.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

I’ve learned that there is a fine line between genius and insanity.

I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away. And the real pains in the rear are permanent.

Third Gift (the one with the big red bow on top): No party is complete without myrrhdering an old favourite!

(This can be read by any volunteer and a little fiddle and even concertina music in the background would add good atmospheric flavour)

Night before Chanukah (keeping in mind the ethnic minorities at this time)

'T was the night before Chanukah, as it is said
And Santa was sitting and hocking his head
He had all the toys wrapped up nice in his zeckel
For naked steamy maidlach and boys to give each one a peckel
The reindeer were saddled and ready to fly
Like a crew of brave guinea pigs all through the sky
But Santa was starving to eat a good meichel
Some regular sauna food that would stick to his beichel
Not seed cakes or green curry or chocolate quails
But some kosher cooking he thought would not fail
So he called to his reindeer, "Hey, kinder, let's go
To a Jewish balbusta and don't be so slow."
The house had no chimney, this is Oz after all,
so he went up the stairs and walked through the door
And kissed the mezzuzah and jumped on the floor
Then the man of the house said, "Santa you devil
Come on, don't be shy and see our split level
The night is still early, there's plenty of zeit
So come in the den and please have a bite
If only we knew you were coming, by gosh
But I'll call out the wife and she'll give you a nosh
A slice of stuffed derma, a few little strudels
Some chicken salami, some flanken with noodles
Some blintzes, some kreplach, some lox and bialy
A bissel chopped herring, an end piece of chaleh
And if all of these goodies don't fill up your gatkes
Last but not least, some Chanukah latkes."
"A latke?" cried Santa, "what is this delight?"
On the outside it's golden and inside it's white.
On the outside so crisp and inside it's yummy
And he gobbled them up 'til he filled his fat tummy.
Then they gave him a dreidel and showed him the plays
And he took a menorah to light for eight days
And to give Santa some spirit and to show how they felt
For mazel they gave him some Chanukah gelt.
He beamed and he chuckled and said "Kine-ahaora,
I don't want to feel like a Chanukah schnorrer
To show you how much I enjoyed your Jewish snack
I'm leaving you everything, even my sack."
Then he called to his reindeer and said, "Luz mir gehn."
And each one got ready as he schlepped on the rein
"Giddyap Irving, Hoo Ha Sidney, Hi ho Sadie, Let's go Minnie,
Onward Gussie, Upward Solly, Ole Becky, Oy Vey Molly."
And they swore that he yelled as he rode out of sight
"MERRY LATKES" to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT."

I know Samir could revert for the durations from Muslim to Jewish, but in case he is reluctant, a Very Rough Translations of the yiddish is as follows:
zeckel= bag * maidlach = girl * peckel = coin
meichel = meal * beichel = stomach * kinder = children
balbusta = Suzanna/lady of the house (usually a very nice description)
mezzuzah = Commandments inside a small oblong ornament attached to right side of the door jam
zeit = life * nosh = snack * stuffed derma = cow intestines
flanken = flank steak
blintzes = rolled like a crepe, but stuffed full with
fruit & cottage cheese (or something similar)
bissel = a little piece * lox = smoked salmon (fish)
bialy = kind of roll, sold with bagels * chaleh = bread
gatkes = guts * latkes = potato pancakes
dreidel = special spinning top, with hebrew letters on the side,
used for a game at Chanukah
menorah = candle holder for symbolic Chanukah candle lighting
mazel = luck
gelt = coins
schnorrer: cheapskate, typically used to descibe someone who always takes, but never gives anything back

Have a wonderful Christmas Sauna, Everyone, and come back safely in the New Year!
----Red Shoes

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