The holiday season does not bring out the best in me because, quite frankly, I’m not a whiner to begin with. I’m at my best 360 days a year, with a handful of I-might-choke-someone days sprinkled here and there.
One of those days is by design, and it’s Dec. 23: Festivus.
A holy prophet, Frank Costanza, started Festivus in response to the fanaticism and frenzy of the holiday season. (For you ignorant souls out there, watch this 60-second explanation of the birth of Festivus.) Of the many appealing features of Festivus, the greatest is the Airing of Grievances, in which a person lets others know just how much disappointment they’ve caused in the past year.
Today, the gloves come off. Most of you are safe from my Festivus-inspired disdain, but others might be caught in a hailstorm of hatred and ridicule. If you’ve got a problem with that, take a long look in the mirror, jerkface.
I consider myself a good person, but today I’m gonna try to make you cry.
Target I — Michael Cera: If I saw this guy on the street, I’d quickly build a campfire and throw him in it.
In 2008, for whatever reason, I decided to grow my hair longer than I ever had. I quickly realized I have a beautiful head of hair that should be fawned over and appreciated by the masses. Sadly, I realized this at the height of Michael Cera’s popularity, which he gained by acting like the same awkward loser in every movie or TV show he’s ever appeared in.
The look-alike comparisons trickled in, but I shrugged them off. Then I became a high school journalism teacher, and those teenage bastards were relentless. I mean, there’s got to be something to the rumors, right? Naturally, I cut my hair and the comparisons stopped.
When Michael Cera dies, entire nations will rejoice. And by “entire nations” I mean me and my beautiful head of hair.
Target II — Vowel-haters: Here’s a quick list of things that won’t exist in 10 years: polar bears, print newspapers and vowels.
The first two are debatable, but the third is a guarantee. By now you’ve undoubtedly noticed how much dumber society becomes each year, and I attribute that to text messaging and Twitter. Several generations of people (mine included) feel the need to express their thoughts as quickly possible, and, apparently, the only way they can do that is by eliminating vowels.
Check the cell phone of any teenager in America, and you’ll undoubtedly see this: “Dnt evr tlk 2 tht grl agn cuz ur myn” or “OMG did u c wht Jstn Bbr jst sed abt ur bubz???”
The problem is that these little consonant whores know their language is intelligible enough to understand, which means it’ll only get worse and dictionaries and spelling bees (of which I’m a two-time winner, thank you very little) will no longer exist by 2025.
Target III — Word-abbreviators: The aforementioned younger generations are most guilty of this crime, in which normal words are cut in half in order to accomplish God knows what. Examples:
- “What’s the situation?” becomes “What’s the sitch?”
- “I’ll talk to my parents” becomes “I’ll talk to the ‘rents.”
- “You’re so special” becomes “You’re so spesh!”
Here’s my contribution to these two language-shortening epidemics:
- “Say the word ‘preggers’ and I’ll cut you” becomes “U guna die.”
Target IV — “White elephant” parties: I went nearly 31 years without ever playing this immoral holiday game, but then I played it three times last week, including once while on the clock at work.
You know the rules: Everyone opens a gift and then has free rein to trade in their crappy present for one they like better. Inevitably, someone gets stuck with homemade mittens or a ballpoint pen.
The underlying lesson is that, for at least one day, it’s OK to take something that belongs to someone else and then laugh in their face about it. While we’re in the process of reversing valuable lessons our parents taught us, I’m going to start a game where everyone has a sleepover at your house and wets the bed.
Target V — Makers of nicknames: In the 1920s, people were so clever that they took a badass name like Babe Ruth and made it even better with monikers like “The Great Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat.” Alas, there is no creativity left in the world, as evidenced by the idiotic formula that is used to devise modern-day nicknames.
Is your last name Jones? You’re now “Jonesy.” If it’s Gardner, you’re now “Gardy.” Have a plain name like Jennifer Lopez? Now everyone will call you “J-Lo.” Even if you have a horrible name like Peter Bartholomew, someone will eventually turn it into “P-Bart.”
Sorry, but if your name is as lame as Peter Bartholomew, you don’t deserve a damn nickname.
Target VI — Life insurance companies: I was denied life insurance coverage this year because I have a pre-exisiting health condition. It wasn’t a surprise and didn’t bother me until the company sent a letter saying they denied me because I have a condition that, y’know, warrants life insurance coverage.
I say we apply this logic — overtly denying people the things they really need — across society. Henceforth, infants will no longer be allowed to wear diapers, zoos must remove all barriers between park visitors and the deadly animals, skydivers will receive a backpack filled with Skittles instead of a parachute, and firefighters must now contain fires using a strongly worded speech rather than water.
Target VII — People who talk or text in a movie theater: This is your last warning. If you negatively affect my moviegoing experience, I will pee on you.
Target Last — Wives who demand that their husbands write another blog post: My wife repeatedly asks me to post more to this blog. She says I’m an entertaining writer and she enjoys reading my stuff and wants to do so more frequently. It’s great to have her support, and we oblige each another at every turn in our marriage.
So Ashley, I really enjoy the spaghetti you make, and your homemade blueberry pie is something I wish I had more frequently. In fact, I’m really hungry right now, so make it happen, OK? You’re so spesh!