Killer balloon and lost wigs ring in $-Mas
'TWAS the month before Christmas when a fat lady got trampled by a crowd flooding into Wal-Mart to buy cheap, Chinese-made toys, and a giant M&M balloon in the Macy's parade knocked over a lamp post, injuring a woman in a wheelchair and her 11-year-old sister.
Who says the spirit of Christmas has been lost?
If you could have seen that fat lady raise herself up off the floor of Wal-Mart, resolutely pull her wig back onto her head, stand up, elbow a few other frenzied shoppers out of the way and continue her race to the bargain aisles, well, it would have brought a tear to your eyes, as it did mine.
Other than two minor human casualties and a slight drop in M&M candies stock, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade was a resounding success and the perfect way to launch a season of introspection, love and peace in memory of the birth of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago.
At least, I think that's what Christmas is all about. There wasn't a Jesus float in the Macy's parade, which I suppose is a good thing. The last thing you want to see at the beginning of the Christmas season is a giant Son of God balloon knocking over lamp posts and conking out a woman in a wheelchair.
A LOT OF PEOPLE are bemoaning the lack of Christ in Christmas these days, and even the lack of Christmas in Christmas. Christmas trees are no longer called Christmas trees. They are called winter solstice vegetation or seasonal shrubs or something.
Towns have banned Nativity scenes unless a chipmunk and a purple dinosaur are included in the display. Schools don't allow kids to sing any Christmas carols that actually mention Christmas. And department store greeters no longer say "Merry Christmas" when you enter. They say, "Just give us your money, buddy, and don't ask too many questions."
That's if the greeters haven't been plowed over by the surging crowd. Which brings me back to the CNN coverage of the fat lady pulling on her wig before standing up to resume her shopping. People were stomping on her as they rushed past, and she was in danger of being seriously injured. But instead of panicking, she calmly re-donned her headgear, brushed herself off and rejoined the fray. And that, apparently, is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Charles Memminger, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org