Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas in July

This story is based on an idea lifted from one Mediocre Gatsby.

2007 has been a good year but I'm sorry that it wouldn't be very interesting for you to read about. Except for this one thing that happened. You see, I woke up one morning with the sun shining on my face, which is unusual because I usually am unable to sleep as soon as it starts getting light out, at least a half hour before sunrise. Also my room was especially hot, even though I had left the fan on all night long. I was sweaty and uncomfortable and my body was fatigued as though I had been hit by a small bus or had moved sofas all day the day before. I tried to lift my head to look at the alarm clock but my neck muscles were too sore so I had to grab myself by the hair to even move my head. When I finally could see my clock, it was flashing 2:00 as though the power had gone out 2 hours ago.

I realized that not only could I not remember what had happened yesterday, but I also couldn't even think of what my last memory was. Wondering whether I had amnesia, I wondered if I could remember my name. T.R. Yes. I knew my name. Good. I began getting up to get out of bed to figure out what was going on. Maybe I could check my day planner. But that's when I realized that I was already fully dressed in my favorite T-shirt (the blue one with the car on it), my gray corduroys, my cowboy belt, and a pair of shoes that I had never seen before. They looked like Dutch wooden shoes except they were made of stiff leather. They were kind of cool, so I figured that I was ok them being on my feet and would worry about where they came from later.

Getting up was painful. I almost collapsed under my own weight because I was so sore. I stumbled over to my desk to check my day planner to see if it could give me any clues as to what was going on. I flipped through the pages and found them all blank. This shocked me at first until I remembered that I never write anything in a day planner, and that the only reason I owned this one is because my dad had given one to me at christmastime last year hoping that it would help me be more organized. It hadn't.

So no luck on the planner. I reached into my pockets hoping for a receipt or something, but my pockets were gone! Actually, they weren't gone, they were just on the wrong side of my pants. My pants were on backwards, it turns out. I took off my cool leather shoes and fixed my pants, then put the shoes back on, because man, were they cool. If nothing else, I would come out of this with a really cool pair of shoes.

I searched the house for some indication of the date or some reminder of things that had happened recently, but to no avail. There was no mail on table, none of my roommates were home, and I couldn't find my phone to call anyone. (This is nothing new. I can never find my phone.) As I searched, it occurred to me that I might possibly have been abducted by aliens, because:

-They erased my memory.

-My body was sore from going through the matter-transporter beam.

-The electromagnetic radiation from the flying saucer had reset my alarm clock.

-After the standard regulation probing and prodding, they had put my pants back on incorrectly, because they didn't know any better.

Also, at one point I noticed a christmas tree in our front room, which was strange considering it was like 80 degrees outside. I decided not to worry about that either.

That still didn't explain the shoes, but like I said, I wasn't about to question them because they were awesome. Suddenly, I had an idea! I ran to the fridge and opened it, looking for a milk carton that would give me some indication of the what month it was. But there was no milk in the fridge nor were there any milk cartons in the garbage can.

My checkbook doesn't make carbon copies. When was the last time I wrote a check, anyway?

The internet was down too, so that was out.

Alright, I thought. Calm down. Stop freaking out.You're freaking out. Stop freaking out. I decided the best way to get a hold of myself was to go to the grocery store and do my shopping like a normal person, during which I would casually ask for the date.

I stepped calmly out of my car at Smith's and grabbed a stray cart from the parking lot. It was warm out and it felt good to step into the air conditioned store. I walked past a bagger and nodded politely. Over to the dairy section. I put some milk in my cart but intentionally avoided looking at the date on it. I needed to act calm. Normal. Natural.

Cheerios. Oranges. Green Beans. Red Baron single serving pizzas. Tostitos. Other things. In the express checkout line, I tossed a pack of gum onto the conveyor belt after my other items. $31.51 was my total. Also, I saved $3.19 by using my fresh values card. I casually pulled out my checkbook and filled out everything but the date. “What's the date?” I asked. Susan (according to her name tag) just looked at me like I was a moron. There was silence for a few seconds. “It's Christmas Eve.” she said. More silence. I laughed a little. She didn't. “Really, what's the date?” I asked again. “Are you being funny?” she asked. “Don't you know that it's Christmas Eve?” “But it's hot outside! It feels like the middle of July!” I replied. She looked at me strangely, and so did everyone in line behind me.

Something strange was happening. I felt myself freaking out again, and I had to take control of the situation. “Oh, sorry” I said. “I'm from Canada.” A knowing smile spread across Susan's face. Everyone in earshot laughed and nodded. I smiled and shrugged. It had worked. I was safe. For now. I went home and ate some cheerios. I had ended up writing “Christmas Eve, 2007” on the date line of the check. My register receipt said the same thing for the date. This was getting creepy.

I spent most of the day cleaning my house, because I didn't know what else to do. Soon it grew dark and found myself unable to stop. I did laundry, vaccuumed, straightened chairs, wiped windows, and cleaned dead bugs out of light fixtures long after dark.

Around what must have been 1:00 am I heard Something coming from the attic. It wasn't the usual sound of nesting birds either. This was stomping. Lots of stomping. It moved down the area above the hallway to the front room, toward the edge of the house. Then something in our chimney, sliding. Frozen in fear, I saw black boots appear in the fireplace, attached to red legs that shimmied themselves onto the floor. Soon a fat biped in a red suit and hat was standing there in my living room, complete with ray gun and green face.

It was Alien Santa Claus! He laughed a hearty “Ho, ho ho!” Suddenly I understood everything. It all made sense. Everything except the shoes. But who cares, because they were awesome.




Saturday, December 15, 2007


Busking is informal street performance in exchange for money, etc. Like the guy who does the card tricks at Fisherman's Wharf or the Naked Cowboy in New York (He actually does wear briefs).

Anyway, last night I got a $5 bill. Cool. I think once last year I got a $10 bill. Those were exciting. But I've also gotten:

-Canada Coins
-Hong Kong Coins
-Sacajawea dollars
-Susan B. Anthony dollars
-George Washington dollars
-"God Bless You"
-"Happy Holidays"
-"Can you play the Sailor's Hornpipe?"
-"You're not homeless!"
-Solicited to go to an ACN convention.
-A card that said "make $50-150k per year! Call now!"

All of which may have been even more exciting. I don't do this for the money, but it's nice.