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The Tentacle


December 4, 2005

Prepare Thyself for the Season

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

I was sitting on my exercise bike reading the Wall Street Journal about their perception of Black Friday, the great shopping day after Thanksgiving. They said the merchants were all trying to get money before the customers (you and me) get their first heating bills.

According to them, after we open our envelopes or start bouncing checks because we hadn't a clue about the size of the automatic withdrawal, the economy will come to a grinding halt. Scrooge will have arrived in the form of a cloud of propane, a figure doused in heating oil or a Frankenstein of electricity.

The repercussions will be felt far and wide. Immediate results will be the outdoor holiday lights will be shut off. Next, the water heaters will be turned back allowing a bath every other day. Health Spas will do a brisk business as customers by pass the exercise equipment and head for the warm showers.

Hospitals will prepare for a large number of August and September births as baby doctors will note a sizable increase in business. Day care centers will be swamped in late 2006 and early 2007. College will begin to prepare for the class of 2015 as the Cuddle Boomers mature.

The smell of mothballs will permeate offices, schools and the malls that are left open, as Grandma's quilts and blankets are brought out to sleep under. Large hounds will be purchased for under the blanket body heat. Yorkies and other tea cup yappers will be relegated to the bottom of the bed as toe warmers. Families will fight over the cats with even hamsters coveted.

The new clothing will be the habit worn by Mother Angelica on the Catholic channel. We always seem to see her when channel surfing wondering how many converts she manages.

The new clothes, copied from her large array of styles, will come in different colors as Martha Stewart and Pierre Cardin begin redesigning outfits. Vogue and Gentlemen's Quarterly will have to stop the presses as the monk who plays opposite Mother Angelica will also become fashionable. (I am a Catholic, so I can get away with this.)

Meanwhile, the library will begin to go into the fireplace. First are the Readers Digest condensed books in those fancy covers that were used to impress people and purchased at yard sales for 50 cents each.

Next comes that soppy Dying with Morrie book ( or whatever its called) followed by that monumental bestseller where Jesus is supposed to have a few kids and the lineage is protected by a bunch of wild-eyed, murdering, radical fanatics who are in no way related to Mother Angelica.

Stephen Hawking is next, probably the most widely read and the least understood - or fathomed - author in history. The wife refuses to allow the Nora Roberts signed editions so carefully acquired at her store in Boonsboro to see a lick of flame. If you touch them again, she warns, you may as well forget to even consider contributing to the class of 2015.

Meanwhile, Sunday service will be packed to over flowing as crowds huddle for warmth listening to the real message of Advent, realizing the profound dedication of Mother Angelica (got out of that one didn't I?) and trying to walk the walk of the true Christ.



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