Herry Hallowmas Giving Everybody!

If you just recently noticed the large, seven-foot spruce tree standing guard in your living room and thought it was merely Mother Nature finally staging her forceful takeover of human civilization, it means you were as unaware as I was that it's already Christmas time again. It also means you're clinically insane and that you should work on taking those pills on a more consistent basis. Here's a tip: Don't choose which pill to take based on the color of your magic hat.

However, I feel that the season snuck up on me more so this year than ever before. I personally blame corporate franchises. In the past, there existed a lame duck period just after Thanksgiving when one could kick back and relax before Christmas rolled around. It was a sort of holiday limbo when one could enjoy all the benefits of both holidays without any of the awkward family engagements or itchy Cosby sweaters. Christmas hadn't yet arrived, but it was acceptable to come home wreaking of eggnog; Thanksgiving was over, yet it was still okay to eat turkey and watch Uncle Ted make fun of Indians. Alright, maybe it was never okay to make fun of Indians— that is, unless Ted reeked of eggnog. Regardless, it was a glorious couple of weeks when one could procrastinate getting a tree at least long enough to watch your pumpkins rot into a fine slush and the decorative squash become a pile of exactly that.

Tragically, this period of time no longer exists. It has been gobbled up by the franchise sharks that surround us, waiting, salivating, for one of us to stray from the school. I know that sounds like hyperbole but seriously, my friend Jeremy lost his pinky toes when he walked too close to a strip mall Starbucks. On a side note, the term "strip mall" is a tad misleading. I find strip malls get just as angry as regular malls if you, say, waltz into the Banana Republic, drop trow and try on a few neckties:

Employee: Um" sir? (gestures towards my pasty, exposed legs)
Me: Well I can't pick out the pants until I have the tie nailed down.
Employee: I understand completely. Security!

But let's turn our attention back to stories that don't end with being tazered in a food court. Every winter, with renewed spirit and revised tactics, these franchises campaign to begin Christmas just a tad bit earlier than last year. And we all fall for it hook, line and sinker. It only takes two, 30-second Old Navy ads to convince us that it's winter. After the first one, we think "A dog with a beanie and ski goggles?! They're crazy!" And after the second one, we think "I should buy my dog a beanie and ski goggles. In case he goes skiing with supermodels."

Gap put up several large posters of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing various winter outfits and I, blindly following suit, began wearing jackets, rubbing my hands together and breathing heavily as if I'd be able to see condensation in the air. It was only when a friend of mine showed up to my apartment in sandals and a tee shirt that I realized it was still 70ยบ outside. The following realization took place:
Me: What're you, crazy? You're dressed like it's early Fall!
Friend: It's October, Dean. There's no need for Gortex. What's the ice axe for?
Me: October? But" Sarah Jessica" Parker" said— SHE LIED TO ME!!
Friend: Dean! Dean! Jesus Dean, put down the ice axe!

And that, folks, is how to lose a friend and a pint of blood in under a minute! Seriously though, we must resist Sarah Jessica Parker and the rest of her corporate mascot goons. This includes, but is in no way limited to: Jeff Goldbloom, Lebron James, the Coors Lite Twins and all four members of U2. I said we should resist U2. However, I think your with me when I say that while resisting U2, I wouldn't mind if we also happened to throw them out of a moving airplane.

If this trend continues unhampered, there is a very good likelihood that Christmas will continue to expand until it eventually swallows both Thanksgiving and Halloween You laugh now, but when Hallowmas Giving is the only holiday for a six-month span and you're being force-fed fruit cake and your grandmother is wearing a Ronald Raegan mask and carving scary ghost faces into a turkey, you'll turn to me and ask what year it is. At that point, I will tell you that I have no friggin' clue, because Christmas engulfed New Years last year and I'm drunk shouting countdowns just in case it happens to be, unbeknownst to everybody, the eve of the new year. The entire scene is intensified by the fact that, sometime during the Christmas assimilation process, all clothing choices were eliminated and replaced with Cosby sweaters— including shoes and pants— and I've taken mine off because they were getting itchy.

So, in closing, have a wonderful holiday season and don't be too heavy handed with the eggnog ladle. If you need some great proof of why not, begin reading this column again from the top.

If you've got questions, responses, or you'd like to comment on my driving, please feel free to email me at comeydean@yahoo.com