December 27, 2003

The Christmas Report

I'm sure you've all spent the last couple of days in nervous anticipation of this letter in which I tell you what I got for Christmas. Creepy! I mean, I know you fans care about me, but it is a little freaky to have you stalking me like this, tuning in day after day and reading the comic, then reading the entry. Can't a guy get some privacy?

My very first gift Christmas Day, the one I woke up to, was a migraine. Ordinarily I'm not plagued by these, so I just thought "oooh. Nasty headache," took some Vitamin I and tried to get on with the day's celebrations.

This particular gift though... it was like an addicting video game, an engrossing novel, or one of those chinese finger-traps. I couldn't put it down. I had that migraine all blessed day (I was going to call the day a different name, but what with it being Jesus' birthday and all I figured I couldn't get away with that). Turns out it was the last stage of an allergic reaction to Monday's allergy shot, of all things. Throughout the week I'd been having hives here and there, and when I finally came off of the antihistamines I'd taken to control those, whammo -- migraine.

Diet Pepsi to the rescue. I just wish I'd figured out the caffeine trick sometime BEFORE 5pm. Oh well.

The good news is that I didn't let my migraine spoil anybody else's day. Sandra and the kids had a great time opening gifts, taking pictures, and making loud noises while I sat in the corner muttering "ohhh my head my head my head."

For Christmas dinner we had a nice spread with a main course of roast'n'fry chicken. My favorite! First, you don't roast the chicken long enough. Then you carve into it, discover it's mostly raw, and in a blind, "don't-let's-ruin-Christmas" kind of panic lop off the meatiest, rawest bits and fry them on the stove. Then, when the kids complain about there not being any crispy bits of chicken skin for them to nibble on (because you peeled the skin and pitched it in your hurry to get the raw birdy bits in the fry pan) you remind them how this and every Christmas there are some people without any food at all so shut up, eat, and be thankful for what you've got you noisy little ingrate.


On the 26th I woke up late, ate breakfast, and went back to bed for three hours. Only then was I fit to wander about the house and assess this "Christmas" thing we'd done. Most of what I was trying to do was piece together memories from the fragments I'd swept into the darkest recesses of my mind along with the blinding memory of that merciless headache. I think I got it all together. The kids were bouncing around together, cheerfully playing with toys that I vaguely remember buying for them, as well as a few things that I still don't remember them getting but that I'm fairly confident they did not go out and steal while I was migrainfully debilitated.

At some point it occurred to me that I needed to do some cartooning, what with the buffer back in single digits again. That killed the afternoon and evening of the 26th, but in a joyous way, much like I imagine neolithic hominids joyfully killed mastodons, happy that there's food on the table rock again, and if you dig deeply enough you'll find a spot that has no hair in it. And after dinner they'd joyfully paint pictures of their hunt on the walls -- pictures that would live for millenia, unlike the schlock I crank out, which we can only hope dies along with the Internet sometime in the next 40 years.

Oops. Looks like it's time to go take another pill.