November 30 - December 6, 1995

Xmas List

B y  T o m  D a n e h y

Danehy I JUST GOT done putting up the Christmas lights on the house. This year I had the wisdom to ask my wife in advance how she'd want me to rearrange them after I'd put them up the first time. Actually, I left myself a note in the box of Christmas lights when I put them away last New Year's Day. And she left me a note to let me know I'd put them away wrong.

Hey, this is cool. I think I'll write a Christmas lights column every year. Since Tom Beal owns the swamp cooler thing and my homie Jeff Smith has the guardrail concession, this is about all that's left.

I am kinda bummed Thanksgiving came so early this year. Christmas lights shouldn't go up until you can actually see December on the horizon. Thanksgiving should go back to being the last Thursday in November, not the fourth.

Did you know Franklin Roosevelt had Thanksgiving changed to the fourth Thursday in November back during the Depression to help stimulate the economy by lengthening the Christmas shopping season? Funny, I don't remember reading about that in The Grapes of Wrath. I would've thought the Joad family would have taken advantage of that by getting in some early Christmas shopping down at the Dust Bowl Mall.

It's good to know that empty, cosmetic political gestures aren't just a current fad.

Anyway, seeing as how we're in the Christmas season for real now, my thoughts have shifted to peace and good will and all that Hallmark sentiment crap.

I started thinking about how we can make this world a better place. Oh sure, peace in Bosnia and a cure for cancer would be great, but we have to start thinking about making fundamental changes. Hit those really important areas currently holding back all of mankind. I have a few ideas (presented in order of importance).

First, we have to get rid of all of those Confederate flag license plates.

Do you think those people know just how stupid they look? What am I saying--of course they don't.

We should get every one of those people who drive vehicles with Stars 'n' Bars license plates, put them all in a giant auditorium and explain to them in one-syllable words that the war is over, they lost, and they should give up on their dream of owning black people.

However, we'll point out this is still a free country, so they still have the right to drive pickup trucks, look like Greg Allman and have sex with all their relatives. Which is why they look like Greg Allman.

But no more of those stupid license plates.

Next we'll deal with guns. I used to be a gun-control advocate, but now I realize it's futile. I came to this revelation last spring when I attended the NRA Convention in Phoenix. I walked up to this display which I thought consisted of very small caliber ammunition. Instead, it was the NRA's traveling display of politicians' testicles which the organization had collected over the years.

No, laws aren't the answer. Here's what we should do. Anybody who wants to buy a gun, can. There's only one stipulation. The new gun owner has to get shot at, preferably with his own gun, so he can see what it feels like.

Not only that, we'll have him get shot at by someone who closely matches his own temperament and shooting ability. I'm sure the NRA will allow us the use of its computer files for this purpose in exchange for a promise of no new laws.

Here's how it works. You go and buy a gun. We use the NRA's files to find your doppelganger (look it up, gun enthusiasts; it's got a nice Nazi ring to it). Then we see to it that he's got two or three or nine beers in him and is really pissed off because his wife switched the channel from Huntin' 'n' Fishin' With Earl to the all-new, 24-hour-a-day Oprah Cable Network.

If you're still standing when he empties his clip, you take your gun home and nobody from the government ever bothers you again. Seems fair to me.

Next we deal with the animal-rights advocates, those people whose lives are so perfect they have the time to "rescue" animals from scientific labs. The solution is simple: Let all the animals go and you take their place.

I had a woman tell me recently that animals have intellect. I told her to go get the smartest raccoon she could find and I'd kick the shit out of it in Jeopardy. I'd even give old Rocky a $10,000 head start.

A woman I knew back in college told me animals have souls. I went out and caught a ground hog, put him in a cage and played Parliament's "Tear The Roof Off The Sucka' " over and over. That dude never did show even one decent dance step.

When I told the woman, she said animals have a soul, not soul. I tried to let him go, but he liked the music, plus he was gettin' all the womens.

In all sincerity, I don't think animals should be used by cosmetics companies. I mean, what good is mascara going to do for a mongoose? But when it comes to trying to find a cure for AIDS or cancer or whatever, animals are needed. And trying to "liberate" them is simply selfish and pompous. But if you want to trade places with the animals, I'll salute your integrity.

My friend Dave Starbuck called while I was writing this, so I asked him what he'd do. He said he'd remove all the doors in Washington, D.C.

See that? A decent idea from a Republican. There may be hope for the world, after all.

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November 30 - December 6, 1995

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