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THE IDLE AMERICAN
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 • Posted December 29, 2010

Looking Back at Christmas…

Post-Christmas feelings are vastly different from the warm fuzzy dreams fluffing up our nighttime slumber leading up to the festive holiday. Sort of like confetti. Views of folks dropping it from tall buildings to the parade below are at variance with the clean-up crew wading in the stuff on snowy streets.

Among many sobering thoughts are:

1) Adornments, both inside and out, must soon come down. (And much "disassembly" is required.)

2) Pounds added at sumptuous meals—enlivened by "we-only-live-once" banter that drowns out reason’s flimsy voice—will be voided only by exercise and dietary drudgery shrouding long stretches of time. Pyramids went up faster.

3) Attitudes of resolve are not easily mustered. One guy remembers a Christmas past when post-holiday depression tugged mightily. "I was so low I could walk under a bathtub with a fireman’s helmet on," he groaned….

* * * * *

Fans of the Texas Rangers are still moping about pitching ace Cliff Lee opting to play henceforth (or at least for five years) for the Philadelphia Phillies. And a Philadelphia newspaper "rubbed it in" with headline cleverness: "Merry CLIFFmas!"

Lee’s decision to retreat to the National League saves would-be mathematicians a bunch of work. Had he stayed around, they’d be buzzing about how many thousand dollars he makes per pitch, etc.

My Uncle Mort claims he knew from the "git-go" that Lee would join a National League team. "I’m satisfied he wants to become the first modern day major leaguer to set the standard for both pitching AND batting."…

* * * * *

Many of us can lay claim to memorable nuggets meriting laughter throughout the year simply by noting grandchildren’s animated conversations. And this doesn’t cost a thing.

I’m particularly fond of the banter of 3-4 year-olds. With minds like sponges, they "want to know" and are not hesitant to ask. (A few years up the way, feeling already "in the know," they’ll be far more into telling than listening.)

Our four-year-old Kedren, learning that seeds become plants, kittens grow into cats, colts soon are horses, etc., is wide-eyed at processes of growth all around him. He dreams of reaching "tall enough to" goals. The other day, he inquired about the age of his family’s suburban. Learning that it was three years old when acquired two years ago, he questioned, "How big was it when we got it?...

* * * * *

Equal time department: Grand niece Avery, at Christmastime last year, was asked to name her favorite among the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh. "Olive," she answered.

Her family explained that when Santa’s reindeer are harnessed for their annual flight, there’s nary an "Olive" in the bunch.

The then three-year-old wasn’t convinced. "Yes there is," she maintained. "You know, Olive, the other reindeer."…

* * * * *

I’m reaching back a couple of months for this nugget. My wife and I were in Brownwood for homecoming at Howard Payne University. (They let presidential "has beens" ride in the parade, in a convertible yet!)

Four grandchildren accompanied us, three of them yelling "HPU!" with the cheerleaders.

Addison, age 3, failed to grasp the concept. Besides, her mind overflowed with memories of media broadsides heralding the opening of a new grocery store in our town. A trio repeated yells of "HPU!" and one lone voice proclaimed "H-E-B!"…

* * * * *

This year’s final tale is attributed to Uncle Mort, my 98-year-old kin down in the thicket. He’s bragging about successfully completing a short course he called "computers for old people."

On top of this, he may make Guinness World Records for having the longest computer password. Taught that the passwords require eight characters, he chose "curly/joe/moe/gabby/daffy/goofy/mickey/minnie." I’m satisfied that my wife will be valedictorian of a similar class in our town. She has a distinct advantage, since she already knew the keyboard going in.

Happy New Year, one and all. Keep an ear out, and when you hear a good ‘un, write it down! And then, share it….

* * * * *

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Metroplex. Send inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.

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