Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Best Present You Ever Got

As you get older one of the things you can’t help but do is hearken back to earlier times, when snowball fights were serious business and Santa’s famous list was a real concern. So in keeping with that theme I was wondering, what’s the best present you ever got? I know mine…

One of my earliest and fondest childhood memories is staying up “late” one Christmas Eve with some of the older neighbor kids ( I smell a set-up ) to try catching a glimpse of Santa. Being adept as spies, we staked out the living room, for what seemed like hours, behind the center island in my kitchen. We were about to give up when… “are those sleigh bells outside?” “Hey, someone is rattling at the back door…quick….hiiiide…shhhhhh”.

…And there, plain as day, was the jolly ole’ Fat Man himself. Relying on my stealth and surveillance skills, I carefully peered over the counter top observing Kringle doing his thing. Every once in awhile he would look in my direction and I’d pop back down with all the speed of the fastest prairie dog ever.

Eventually, this 5 year old spy couldn’t maintain his steely composure any longer and belted out a huge “Ho, Ho, Ho!” When addressing Santa it is important to speak his language, I figured. Santa responded with a big “Ho, Ho, Ho!” of his own.

I thought I would burst.

To this day I have no idea how (or if) I slept at all that night. The next morning I tore into the gifts under the tree. After the initial flurry I headed to one of my favorite spots in the house to play. This spot was a little corner ledge, in our sunken living room, where a heater vent was located. It made an excellent HQ for action figures to hide out in their super lair (vent) and repel down the cliff (ledge) in order to save mankind. Hey, it was before the Internet and 24 hour cartoon channels so we used what we had, mainly our imagination.

And there he was, an extra present, a stuffed bear, Henry. Henry wasn’t even wrapped, so you knew he was different. Santa put him directly in one of my favorite spots instead of under the tree, so it truly was a special delivery. The Big Guy knew I liked to play here, so clearly this was his little nod to me. Henry had music box inside him with a key sticking out of his back.

He was a musician.

Even though Henry was awesome, he could not be my favorite stuffed animal. That position was already taken by “Snoopy”. Snoopy wasn’t really that Snoopy, but it hardly mattered. He had seniority and, in matters of plush toyness, seniority is everything. Henry was happy to fall in along side, as Snoopy’s sidekick (my Woodstock was a hairbrush and even kids with great imaginations have trouble playing with a stupid brush).

I’m telling you, it takes a lot for a special delivery present to be willing to play second fiddle, but Henry was a team player and his attitude about the whole thing made him even specialer.

Henry, Snoopy and I had lots of good times together until several years later when his music box quit working. I was very upset at this, probably more than I should’ve been. Looking back now I can connect it to my Mom being sick and having medical tests done in Iowa City, but back then I just knew the music had stopped and I needed it to come back on, pronto.

My Dad took Henry in for some “surgery”, a musicboxectomy of some sort. The procedure was a success and all was well for awhile. When Henry’s music faded again a short time later I was more prepared to accept him becoming a silent partner. We had many more good years together, Henry and I.

In this day and age, with all kinds of whirling do-dads and thingys to do kids’ imagining for them I wonder if they can have any special bond to a gift. Just when I’m about to give up hope I hear about my neighbor kid. He’s about 7 and this Christmas Eve his mom spotted a large 10 point buck in her back yard, so she rushed to take a picture of it. His Dad is a big hunter so this boy has seen lots of deer up close, but when she showed him the picture he didn’t see a deer in his yard, like she expected. He saw a reindeer, one of Santa’s of course. He was just as geeked out as that 5 year old spy was about 35 years ago.

There may be some hope for us yet.

A belated Merry Christmas to all.

More Sweater Related Content

Readers have "demanded" it, so CDNM proudly brings you more sweater content...

We begin our discussion today with the origins of this noble garmet. Sweaters are believed to have begun with 19th century English sailors who found the wool kept them warm. The brightly colored patterns helped to identify their sorry asses if they fell into the sea.

The cardigan sweater gets its name from the 7th Earl of Cardigan who is the bad mofo that led the infamous charge of the light brigade. How 'bout that?

You still reading? Wow, you're either a glutton for punishment or you really love sweaters.

I expect my sweater induced traffic bump will be culled now that the Christmas season has passed, so I thought I'd get one last harrah out of the deal.

Moving on...

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Sweater Effect

It’s a relatively familiar concept, the butterfly effect. This metaphor, born from chaos theory, tries to elegantly convey the fleeting, fragile and intractable nature of – well – everything. In other words: is it possible, theoretically, for a butterfly flapping its wings in South America to be the root cause of an eventual tornado in Texas (yes, really).

The butterfly itself is really just a poetic substitution, a symbol for any number of possible catalysts. Nearly anything can cause a ripple - a bird, a plane….a sweater.

From looking at a graph of monthly visitors you can see that my blog chugged right along, being perused by a handful of regular readers and occasionally an internet passerby or two.

Then The Most Interesting Sweater In The World was introduced.

Visits swelled, bandwidth strained to keep pace. All this new traffic must have some consequence, some…..effect. I wonder, what is in store for me now?

I think it is possible, likely even, that one of these new visitors will be a powerful publishing titan. Mr. Titan will undoubtedly recognize my flair for the dramatically mundane and sign me to a heavyweight book deal. There’s nothing left to do now but pull in that sweet, sweet JR Rowling money.

Flush with cash I will rush out to buy myself a fancy G6 luxury plane, because - after-all - I deserve it.

Logically, my next move will be to jump straight into piloting that bad boy. Buoyed by my new-found self confidence I am sure to be at the helm for multiple circumnavigations of the globe at supersonic speeds, spreading joy (among other things) everywhere I go.

Tragically, during a particularly important humanitarian mission, I will miscalculate my azimuth (or some-such thing) and crash into the side of Mount Ararat.

The crash will trigger an avalanche that decimates several of the area’s villages. As if that’s not bad enough, bands of the once reclusive Yetis are disturbed by the avalance causing them to maraud, nightly, through the alpine countryside.

It’s ok folks, don’t panic, my international health foundation will take care of it.

Lives will be saved from the donation, and effective distribution, of free sweaters (we have them stockpiled for just such an occasion). The locals are predictably grateful but also can’t help but mention how their homes, schools and businesses are still destroyed and the sweaters are “itchy”.

Unfortunately, just like Ashton in the movie (spoiler alert – oops too late),

I don’t make it. The planet shall mourn the loss of a great writer, humanitarian and terrible pilot. In the wake of this overwhelming tragedy a silver lining is found.

The avalanche has uncovered Noah’s Ark. Millions of Christians and Jews the world-over will rejoice at the discovery. I shall be posthumously lauded as a revolutionary figure of biblical proportions.

Plus, hey guys, Yetis.

All of this would make a great book.

Too bad I’m dead.

Damn sweater.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Diamonds should not be brown.

Calling them "chocolate" changes nothing.

That is all (for now).

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It is – The Most Interesting Sweater in the World.

It’s the sweater other sweaters look up to.

Heathcliff Huxtable could eat Jello puddin' all day wearin' this sweater.

The Dos Equis guy has two of them.

It is…The Most Interesting Sweater in the World.

A few months back I made a mundane little post about coming up with wearing ugly Christmas sweaters to the Spooky Woods ride. To illustrate my point I went to the all knowing Google Images and grabbed one of the ugliest sweaters that I could find. This one:

As it turns out, if you blog about “ugly Christmas sweaters” - and include an example photo - the Internet will find you. For awhile if you Googled "Christmas sweater" or "ugly sweater" images my blog was one of the first hits. I have this web tracker thingy that records hits and tells you things like country of origin etc. I don't check it often, so one day I was astounded when my trickle of traffic turned into a bonafide flow of visitors. Everyone wanted to see what this sweater was all about.

Its an international sensation, one day The Sweater was big in Iceland. I'm kinda a big deal in Iceland.

Over the past few months I’ve recorded more blog hits because of this stupid sweater than I have from all my witty banter combined. I know, I know it’s The Most Interesting Sweater in the World but c’mon man! That’s some BS right there.

I feel used.

You know the sad part? It’s not even my sweater, just some random sweater and my Spooky sweater was a way, way better sweater (check me, spittin’ rhymes like TuPac). Here's the real deal:


If Chuck Norris were a sweater, he would be this sweater (represented here by Chuck Norris Cat)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sometimes You Need A Big Shovel

I'm lame, feeling no bloggy...

This is funny. Clicky to blow up.