high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas cheer! And rage!

Silver bells are ringing.  If I was rich, it would mean that my dinner was ready.  If I was a cat owned by a rich person, it would mean that my Fancy Feast dinner was ready.  I am neither of these things, so it means that Christmas is here.  Come n' get it.

Indeed, probably the best part about coming up to Mom and Dad's house for the holidays, where I now sit and type this, is the variety of Christmas foods that will be prepared, smelt, and consumed over the coming days.  Those two separate two-hour naps I took on the couch today are a close second, but you can't beat things like ham, taters, and the numerous Christmas breads that are sort of Mom's "thing."  I've always been intrigued by the concept of a Christmas goose, as seen in The Blue Carbuncle of Sherlock Holmes fame, and at some point I'd like to go to market, select a goose, and carry it home.  Something about the concept just makes it impossible to drive the goose home in the car.  It must be carried.  Given that we come to Mom and Dad's house for Christmas rather than staying in Columbus, the mental image becomes a bit different than the traditional scene of someone trundling through the snow on a brick street through town, bundled up against the cold in something that could accurately be referred to as a "muffler."  Mom and Dad's house is separated from the closest grocery store (which would have to substitute for the market) by a couple well-traveled, two-lane, 45mph thoroughfares without sidewalks, so the previously drawn picture is replaced by one of me leaning into the wind, goose slung over shoulder, as cars swerve to miss me moments after their headlights pick me up on the side of the road.  It would totally be worth it for the Christmas goose though.

Something infinitely less appealing is the oft sung about "figgy pudding."  I've never had figgy pudding, but I envision a sloppy mess of runny figs.  That's what the name suggests, right?  This becomes even more gruesome when the sloppy mess is surrounding by a group of rosy-cheeked Brits, delightedly digging in with exclamations of rapture.  What is wrong with people in England?!  Here's the description of figgy pudding, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The history of figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England.  Its possible ancestors include savory puddings such as crustades, fygeye or figge (a potage of mashed figs thickened with bread), creme boiled (a kind of stirred custard), and sippets.

Crustades?  Sippets?  Potage?  You know that show Man vs. Food?  Well, I've never watched it because the concept kind of disgusts me, but I have to believe that figgy pudding is like food's champion, sitting back and watching while other foods are defeated one by one, then rising with a sneer at the appropriate time, removing its robe to reveal its disgusting figgy body, and summarily incapacitating the human challenger.

Before driving up to Austintown this morning, I performed the requisite check of the car fluids to make sure everything was in order.  I go through this exercise before any trip of greater than two hours duration, mostly out of a sense of obligation.  It's definitely an activity done grudgingly.  The reason I don't like checking the fluids on my car is not because I have a problem with checking the fluids on my car, but rather because the fluid check is sort of a package deal, and the other half of the package is checking the pressure in my tires.  There are few things I hate more in this world than checking my tire pressures, because I am simply incompetent at the task.  I finish checking the oil, the windshield washer fluid, the radiator fluid, etc, and then shut the hood, sigh, and get out the tire pressure gauge.  I go to the first tire, remove the little valve stem cap, position the gauge over the valve stem, and press down.  Immediately there is a hiss as air is released from my tire.  I quickly remove the gauge, reposition it, and press down.  Hisssss.  Frustration mounts, and I figure that I'll "just come back to that tire."  Next tire, same thing, more frustration.  I quickly reach the point of wanting to hurl the tire pressure gauge out into the street, but reason wins out and I conclude that this could only end poorly, most likely by smashing through the window of a fast-moving car, which would lead to an undesired confrontation right there in the Marathon station lot.

I don't know why it is that I'm unable to do this simple task of checking the pressure in my tires.  Something about the gauge and the valve stem (make that all gauges and all valve stems) seems particularly ill-suited to being able to perform their intended function.  The thing is, if there's one thing I hate more than checking the pressure in my tires, it's knowing that I quit on something, so I continue going from tire to tire trying to get an accurate reading.  Eventually I get it right, and there is no annoying hiss coming from the tire as I put the gauge down over the valve stem.  Unfortunately, the reason there is no hiss is because by this time all the air has been let out of the tire and the gauge is reading 0.

The main appeal of carrying home the Christmas goose is that I wouldn't have to drive, which means there would be no reason to check the pressure in my tires.  


  1. Excellent airing of grievances, Jay- happy Festivus!

    In my life, the lyric is "Now bring us some fricking pudding..."; not that anyone listens or obeys my summons.

    Happy Holiday.

  2. Happy holidays Chuck! You need to exercise some King Wenceslas-like authority and bend your subjects to your will. Step one in achieving this is to begin referring to your children as subjects.