Saturday, November 28, 2015

28 Xmas Stories, 2:

later on that night they all went home and played "Monopoly" and God built hotels on Marvin Gardens

Apocalypse Eve; or, Why Everyone On Earth Woke Up On December 25th To Find A Sweater Under Their Tree Instead
God decided one year to give everyone in the world the greatest gift he could give them: He would destroy the world!

Jesus, St. Peter, and more or less all of the angels were very against this plan, and confronted him on the corner across from the pretzel stand. Let’s pick it up just after God has explained a second time what he plans on doing (he said it a second time in case they didn’t quite get it the first time):

“Are you insane?” asked St. Peter, who felt like this needed to be said.

“Why are you so upset?” God asked them.

“You don’t know?” asked an angel. “You really don’t?”

“No!” God said, getting a bit peeved. “This is a great gift: everyone will end their suffering and have eternal bliss for … well, for eternity,” he said, wishing he’d thought that sentence through a bit more before saying it.  He would have Razeel correct it in the official records. “The promises of generation after generation finally being fulfilled! They will go to bed on Xmas Eve, visions of sugarplums etc etc you get it, and then they wake up… IN HEAVEN!”

“Well, except for the damned,” God added after a moment.

“In HEAVEN!” God said again, this time with jazz hands.

“You can’t do this,” Jesus said.

“Don’t talk to your father that way,” God reprimanded.

“He’s right, this will be a terrible thing,” the Holy Ghost said. Nobody had noticed it sitting there. Truth be told people didn’t want to think about Heaven being kind of haunted, and so tried not to pay it attention.

“It will be a WONDERFUL thing,” God said. “This is what I have been promising all this time. This is WHY YOU ARE HERE,” he said, looking pointedly at Jesus.

“Look,” St. Peter said, trying to calm himself down and bring the emotions back down as well. “It’s true that this is the big thing you’ve been telling people they’d get, and it’s true that it will avoid lots and lots of troubles.”

“Earthquakes…” God said.

“Yes, that’s right, but…”

“- Plagues- ” God went on.

“Sure, well, but…”

“- Volcanoes,” God added.

“I think we’ve covered natural disasters,” said Gabriel.

“…but have you listened to them lately? Really listened to them?” St. Peter plowed on, putting his hand on God’s shoulder. The scent of cinnamon pretzels wafted past them.
“Sure. I listen all the time,” God said. “They’re unhappy. That’s all I ever hear: people asking for help, strength, new bicycles. They’re begging me to make things better. I listen.”

Do you?” St. Peter asked. “Do you really? Because I don’t think you have, for a long time.”


“Just try it,” St. Peter said, quietly.

The pretzel vendor turned down his boombox, which was playing Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.

God listened.

Wow I can’t believe we got that fast down that hill can you believe we went over that jump so high? He heard. Then there was more:

It’s a boy he heard and

I got the job and

look at that sunrise and

don’t worry about it I’m buying  and

I never thought I’d like the art museum this much and

I just read the best book and

it’s only three weeks until the new Star Wars movie and

here’s some toast I made for you I get an extra week’s vacation this year I found five dollars today I bet I can throw the ball all the way across that field race you look the dog is wearing mittens two round trip tickets to Paris then he just took my hand and we sat like that through the whole dinner ooh the water’s cold don’t worry you get used to it soft slippers warm coffee solid tackle hot pizza starry sky warm breeze

There was lots more like that, trust me: When you are God you can listen to a lot of things all at once. “All right all right,” God said finally.

“Do you see what we’re saying?” St. Peter asked. “They like it.”

“A lot,” Jesus said.

“They’ve really made something out of the world, down there,” an angel added. “You should check it out sometime. I mean, when you kicked them out it was just a garden. Since then they’ve just gone to town. You have NO idea. They’ve got smartphones and they’re curing diseases and they built a space station and they invented diet soda…”

“…Plus Seinfeld, don’t forget that show!” said the Holy Ghost. “You’ve got to see that,” it told God.

“NO SOUP FOR YOU!” yelled several angels.

“They’re doing really well,” Jesus said, finally, when things had settled down. “I mean, things aren’t perfect yet, and I know we get a lot of complaints – why’d Grandma have to die, how come Tom Brady, and so on – but overall, I’d say they’re pretty happy the way things are.”

“But… suffering! Hunger! War! There are refugees all over Europe and people are getting shot left and right!” God protested. “All that would end!”

“Sure, sure, it would,” Jesus said. “But who’s to say it won’t end anyway? I mean, at least some of them are working on it.”

“They are?”


God looked down at the world again, over at Mount Everest and the Mall of America and this one town in Kentucky that had sort of a special meaning to him, and at everything else all at once because he was God, and said: “Even still, they would be so much better if I just…”

“Dad,” Jesus said. “What good is paradise if it is just handed to you?”

“You tried that once before,” St. Peter reminded him.

God shrugged.

“I guess,” he said. “I guess you’re right.” He picked a pretzel off the rack, handed the man $5, told him to keep the change. “I guess you’re right,” he said again.

They all began walking off.

“Hey,” St. Peter said, patting God on the shoulder. “It’s the thought that counts.” 


Want someone to read stories to you?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mr F's Third Grade Looks Way More Fun Than Mine Was

People with autism need regulation. Probably all people need regulation -- which is a fancy way of saying coping with negative emotions and impulses -- but people with autism experience more problematic emotional behaviors, higher levels of anxiety, and increased negative emotions.

One way they help kids cope with that is... oh, to heck with the science. Here's how Mr F deals with a stressful day in third grade:

That is 100% the method I am going to use to chill out the next time I'm feeling stressed.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

28 Stories Of Xmas: Story 1

I'm trying a challenge this year: beginning today and for each day through December 25, I will post one short story about Xmas per day.  Check back every day! 

Le Village de Souhaits

There is a village, off to the left of that other place, the one nobody ever remembers, where they do this for Xmas:  On the evening that would be Thanksgiving, if they celebrated that holiday (they don’t), the people all gather at the edge of the lake after dark. It is always starless that night. This is by agreement.

One by one, each person writes down one wish they have for the coming Xmas holiday, on a small piece of paper. It can be anything: a toy, good health, a wife, more sunny days.

One wish apiece, per year. One.

Once the wish is written down, the person then takes his or her candle – they bring the candles with them, I should have mentioned – and goes to the center of the semicircle of people. The candle is used to light the wish with the flame, letting it go in the updraft of wind off the small lake.

The wishes, lit, transform, taking on their nature. Dark wishes become bats, or eels, and dive for cover, sinking into the still waters or flitting off into the night. When this happens, people turn away, embarrassed. 

Regular wishes, the kind most people have, become sparkling fish that leap and cavort, or fireflies winking back at the crowd. Some few become small brilliantly-glowing night frogs that chirrup from the edges of the reeds in a sweet chorale.

The best wishes become shooting stars and rockets, flares that light the sky and send streaks of golden sparks raining down on the gathered villagers, who dance and clap for such displays.

Nobody knows who judges the wishes, and nobody knows why they are transformed. It has always been this way, just as it has always been that on Xmas morning, when they wake, each wish will have been granted.


Inventions We Need

Sledcoats: A winter coat whose front and back are smooth and plasticine so that kids can put on their coats and just lay down and sled.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

This is an amazing version of Pachelbel's Canon In D that will help you have a great Thanksgiving

I can't stop listening to it. I was kind of depressed after reading Gwyneth Paltrow's gift guide but now I'm feeling better about life.  Happy Thanksgiving!

"Police tried to investigate the incident by visiting the club on Sunday night..."

Pictured: Slim Goodbody
(Images from The Smoking Gun)
A South Carolina man was slapped four times by a stripper after he told her to go to a health club and lose weight, Huffington Post reported that someone else reported.

"Police tried to investigate the incident by visiting the club on Sunday night," the story says.

After telling the stripper (who he reported had a muffin top) to lose some weight, the stripper slapped him, and his injuries were 'consistent' with his story as well as backed up by a friend.

"Police tried to investigate the incident by visiting the club on Sunday night," the story mentions.

The man also said bouncers then roughly threw him out, all because he was trying to be a foot soldier in our national war against stripper obesity/fat shaming a sex worker.

"Police tried to investigate the incident by visiting the club on Sunday night," remember -- but the club was closed at the time.

This is the "gentleman's club":

Presumably, the police have been unable to conclude whether the stripper, indeed, needs to visit the health club.

  12 Days of Deals - TV, Video, Audio

Monday, November 23, 2015

I just had to share

From an article about the former editor of McSweeney's trying to reinvent the book:

The restaurant’s actually calledRussian House #1, and it is “culture center of a consciousness revolution,” as its website puts it. When we walk in, there’s a long table with premade salads, and a stunning blonde woman with a thick Russian accent asks, “Are you familiar with our concept?”
The concept, in short, is that the restaurant always has a bunch of Russian food, and you can always come and eat it, and you pay what you’re able. It practices radical business transparency — its daily budget is posted next to the door — and the current offerings include persimmons, borscht, duck, and old-world goblets of kvass, which tastes like prune juice, only richer.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Star Magazine appears to be framing Jennifer Aniston and that guy for murder.

1. At no point does the cover suggest Jennifer Aniston wasn't the killer.

2. That picture certainly makes them look sinister/worried about imminent arrest.

3. Also that picture makes them look kind of like robots, and aren't there like a jillion movies in which robots kill... people?

4. Case closed.

PS so I'm trying this new thing where I can make some money off this blog. If you feel like shopping for stuff by all means do. If you feel like not shopping for stuff by all means don't, only don't blame me when the economy fails and we all have to form bread lines.