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A Holiday Tale

by Alan Benson

The other day* I had an experience that, for me, redefined the meaning of the holidays, and brought the universality of the holiday spirit to life in a true, and meaningful way.

I was at work at the place I work at. (We're off to a thrilling start so far, folks). After tiring of my usual work-shirking activities (surfing the Web, reading pamphlets, wandering idly around the office carrying a piece of paper or a mouse, staring into space), I decided it would be a fine time to head off to the restroom (or, for you ladies in the audience, the boudoir) for some quality doing nothing time.

As I stood at the...

(What's that, Jason? Oh, that's right. It's actually salle de bains for you ladies. And for you men, it's the crapper. Or the bog-hole. I rarely pee in the boudoir any more. Well, I still pee, but... put it this way, I'm living on dividends from my rubber sheet stock.)

Where was I? Oh yes, as I stood at the urinal, I heard the unmistakeable voice of this vice president I work with. Now this guy is a big player in the company I work at. A mover and shaker. An a-number-one, king of the hill, tip of the top, shim of the sham, fandooquel of the quixmsnordlax. I, on the other hand, am but a lowly peon. Truly, I should be thrilled that he ever acknowledges my existence (which he doesn't, so I have limited thrills).

If we were mountain gorillas, he'd be a silverback, and I'd be the scrawny put-upon outsider who shuffles when he walks and coughs into a red handkerchief. I'd probably also have patches of missing hair.

In a more Darwinian world, natural selection would have selected his genes for advancement, and I would be fit only to serve as fodder for his offspring. He would crouch by the side of the path I'd made from years of dull-witted travel (the 134 Freeway, for those of you keeping score at home). I'd be slow from the cold pampas nights, my antlers heavy on my head, and my sad webbed feet sore from hours of walking across the shattered terrain.

He senses my presence, drops onto his haunches, bears his fangs, and slowly spreads his terrible wings. (I'm imagining him as some sort of combination tiger/bird of prey. Or maybe a dinosaur with wings.)

Suddenly, the vice president attacks! His talons rip my soft, grass-besotted sides as I mewl with horror. It's over before it's begun, and he is soon feasting on my soft, warm innards.

Luckily for me, this vice president has yet to slaughter me. Which is nice. Instead, he stands next to me and says something like "that's the only deal-breaker. No, no, no, fuckin' listen to me!"

The man is talking on the phone. At the urinal. While peeing. Myself, I need perfect silence, Zen-like focus, and strong barbituates to pee next to a person.

He notices me, finally, and says "I'm so fucking tired of people who can't do their fucking jobs."

I retort with a Wildean bon mot ("I suppose"), and turn back to concentrating on the job at hand. Then, to my amazement, he says "yeah I'm in the bathroom, what the fuck is it to you?," dramatically zips up, and stomps out of the bathroom.

And it was at this time that finally I learned the true meaning of Christmas: If you're a VP, you don't have to flush. Or wash your hands. God bless us, every one, and may the spirit of the holidays live in your lives all the days of the year.

(OK, now that I read this over, I realize it's not so much about the holidays as it is about peeing. But, in a way, isn't a vacated bladder what's really important? Happy holidays, people who will read this [both of you].)

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