Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Really Not A Grinch, But…

I hate broccoli.  Allow me to expand on that.  I hate all vegetables, at least the green ones, also known as “the good ones for you.”

Reality TV… cannot stand it.  Well, except for the vocal competitions, as long as they do not waste my time with those just looking for fifteen minutes of fame.

Do not call lists.  We either have them and are on them until we take ourselves off due to some masochistic issue, or leave us the hell alone.

But there is one thing that really irritates me, like having sand in your swim trunks.  And yes, I know what that feels like.  I was really not smart at five years old.

To quote Jim Carrey’s “Grinch” character… “I looooooaaaathe” these things!  Reindeer antlers for cars.  The odd thing is, I have seen other decorations on cars that do not antagonize me the way these things do, even cars totally wrapped up in Christmas lights.  But these antlers!  AAAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

Now, I need to give a little bit of transparency.  I am not a big fan of the holiday season in general.  To me, November and December are the grim reaper of the calendar.  I have had to deal with so many crisis and tragedy during these months over my life.  That said, I do celebrate the holidays, and to levels that might surprise you.  And as the things that have caused me such grief in these months, two of the most important people in my life, keep me in the moment of recognizing how each year, this holiday is important to me.

Yes, because of my daughters, I embrace the Christmas holiday.  Just as they helped my father embrace the holidays also.

I fully embraced the holiday.  Look at the smiles on their faces.  I had to keep those smiles forever.  I was fully committed to the role.

Every year I dressed up in a Santa suit.  My fur friend Pollo, always knew it was me under the suit, but he needed to be influenced to stay silent.  Christmas Eve, photos and video were taken of me with Pollo, eating the cookies and drinking milk, even putting presents under the tree.  And then, to reinforce the belief in the big guy, I showed the proof beyond the half-eaten cookies and now warm leftover milk, photos.  And much clearer than the photos of Big Foot.  Unfortunately, this was the final year that I did this, because, I was lazy.  And lazy got me caught.  My older daughter, who can find an earring back in three inches of shag carpeting, something unusual about Santa.  “Why is ‘HoHo’ wearing your sneakers Daddy?”  The gig was up.  I got away with the initial explanation of him having dirty boots, he took them off, and my sneakers were by the fireplace so he put them on, not be rude walking barefoot in our house.

And I am not against decorations.  Quite the contrary.

Every year, the day before Thanksgiving, I was outside, working on the thousands of lights that I would put up.  The picture shown is incomplete, because I had lights along the roof, and over 12,000 lights strung in my huge holly tree.  And there were hand crafted wood ornaments I had not put out yet.  My point is, I am not anti decoration.

But there is something about these things, that I cannot let go.  I am not a hunter.  So it is not a primal urge to shoot at something resembling a deer.  I just cannot explain the feeling.  Making it worse, don’t let me see that stupid red nose on the front grill of the car.

You don’t think these things don’t belong on a car.  Let me prove you otherwise.  Besides the fact that I think they are stupid (I know many will not share that sentiment), they are actually dangerous.


That’s right.  Sure, they may look cute driving through streets looking at houses decorated for Christmas, where you are driving five miles an hour.  But they are not meant for higher speeds.  Allow me to explain, because I actually get joy out of this.

These antlers are not meant for high speeds, unlike Santa’s actual reindeer.  And if these antlers have bells attached for authentic reindeer sleigh bells, even worse.  So, while one Christmas season, driving to the Poconos via the Pennsylvania Turnpike, there arose such a clatter, against my driver side window as I drove on cruise control at 70mph.    That clatter got louder and faster, and then all of a sudden, there was silence.  At least from the driver side of the car.  The passenger side was still noisy, but not as loud with my distance from it.

When we got to our destination, it appears our “reindeer wannabe car” had a mishap.  It broke an antler.  Funny.  Hysterical at least to me, because I never liked it in the first place, nor did I like feeling emasculated driving a car adorned with this crap.  But for the other passengers in my car, including my daughters, they wanted to laugh, because they saw that I saw it was funny, and “daddy is always funny.”  But the other parent was not amused, in fact, actually accusing me intentionally of driving a speed that somehow I knew would cause injury to the antlers.  Right.  Because I obtained secret information from the factory warning of antler stress fractures due to high rates of speed of 70 mph or more.  It was a conspiracy.

Just like in Scooby Doo, I had been caught like Mr. Chaumers.  I was glad that antler broke off.  But now I wondered whatever happened to the flying projectile from my car.  Did it fly into the windshield of the car behind me, either cracking the windshield, or worse, causing the driver to panic, perhaps getting into a car accident?

I may have not been thinking it originally, as to why I did not like these things.  But I do know now why I don’t like car antlers.  They are dangerous.  May not seem like it, but they have the potential for harm.

At the least, once Christmas was over, then the f*@cking Easter Bunny ears, nose, and fluffy tail were purchased next.  And those met a similar fate.  But that is a different story and a different season.


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