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Have a very merry ‘Concerned’ Christmas


December 1, 2011
By Ian Robinson

So Christmas is coming and that means ….

If you thought I was going to say: Fun and good times for all, you’d be wrong.

If you thought I was going to say: Feasting and rich food and fine liquors and spirits, you also would also be wrong.

Hanging stockings for Santa to fill on the fireplace mantle as a roaring fire beneath crackles and pops and wards off the chill of winter?

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Nope. None of the above.

Like you, I remember when Christmas was fun. When it was about making little kids happy and grownups drunk.

But that was before Concerned Citizens took a run at the holiday.

I know. Nothing worse than Concerned Citizens. Given the choice between an infestation of Concerned Citizens and head lice … pick the lice.

Trust me. I’ve had both. At least you can get rid of lice with a special shampoo.

As the Occupy Wall St./Toronto/Calgary/Vancouver movement has proven … you need court orders to get rid of the Concerned.

Hell, if you’ve got Concerned Citizens, you can’t buy shampoo for anything, unless they first ensure that it wasn’t tested on bunnies or that any living creatures were harmed by it. Which means shampoo designed to kill lice is probably somehow immoral.

Not that the Occupy movement is into shampoo—or any variety of soap for that matter.

Anyway, there are ways to know if you’re suffering an infestation of Concerned Citizens.

You can pick the Concerned out of the crowd by the vertical lines between their eyebrows that come from worrying about what the rest of us are doing. Their lips are kind of pooched together, because once they figure out what the rest of us are doing, they disapprove of it. At length.

They look like they never had a moment’s fun in their whole lives.

These are people who have never driven an eight-cylinder automobile really, really fast. Thrown a punch in a bar. Had sex standing up—outside. Run a rapids in a canoe. Crossed the street against the red light.

The reason the Concerned don’t have time for fun stuff is they’re busy worrying about the fact we’ve apparently been doing Christmas all wrong for all these years because Christmas is about capitalist consumption which is evil because …. well, I can’t really tell you.

The minute people start dropping terms like “climate change,” “ethical shopping” and “sustainability” into the conversation, I start thinking about the Victoria’s Secret website and that’s me done for the day.

Here are some “environmentally friendly” and “socially responsible” suggestions for the celebration of Christmas that—as God is my witness—I am not making up.

A Concerned Citizen in my workplace overheard me talking about how happy my son was that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was out, and was dropping serious Christmas present hints.

His response was to tell me about a video game put out by the United Nations called Food Force that I could get my boy for Christmas instead.

Kids play an unarmed UN food worker who takes to the air to evaluate the needs of a starving populace beset by civil war and famine, assembles food packages that balance nutrition and local tastes and then distribute them.

“Does anything blow up?”

“No.”

“Does it teach kids how to fire rocket launchers and employ defilade to their advantage in a combat situation?”

“No, but it’s been downloaded six million times!”

Which is the answer to the question: How many kids have parents who totally suck at understanding children?

Six million.

Other Concerned Citizens have suggested that war toys are terrible and disgusting and should not be purchased for the little boys who have been clamouring for them since time immemorial.

I’ve tried to explain to these people that there’s a name for small children who don’t have war toys lovingly purchased for them.

Generally, we call them “girls” and buy them Barbies.

But Concerned Citizens don’t like Barbies, either, because their boobs are too big and their legs are too long and they’re made of plastic and plastic is bad because it’s made from petroleum and have you heard about the carbon emissions from …. sorry. Wandered off and wound up on the Victoria’s Secret website again. There’s this model wearing the “Lacie Cheeky Panty. Smooth and invisible under clothing…”

Sorry again. Really. I’m back this time.

But the best suggestion, from a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, is that instead of getting the woman you love a Tiffany necklace, you get her worms.

That’s right. Worms. A bunch of worms to go into the box under your sink where you keep your used coffee grounds and stuff. The worms will apparently eat your garbage and poop compost which will mean you’ve got a lot of worm poop for your garden come spring.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’'t even like to think of the look on my wife’s face if, on Christmas morning, we got up and she opened a brightly wrapped gift to discover a wriggling mass of worms.

I’d be kind of interesting to see the look on some other guy’s wife, though. So if you’ve decided you’ve had enough of the marriage thing, get your wife worms for Christmas and be sure to catch the moment on camera and e-mail the photo or video to this magazine.

Just remember to wear a cup and enjoy your divorce.


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