Monday, December 06, 2004

Feast of St. Nicholas

Poor old St. Nick. Obese. Pipe-smoking. Harnessing endangered species as beasts of burden. Using up vital habitat in the fast-shrinking northern polar cap. Running a sweat shop on the backs of the vertically challenged. Wearing a garish, fur-lined outfit.

Are you surprised that you've been banned from some Christmas parades? What could now recommend you to the children of the world? Pure jollity? Come now. When was the last time anyone felt appropriately "jolly"?

The way I see it, you have two choices:
  1. get the patch, go vegan, raise consciousness, become a goddess, and travel in a solar-powered vehicle; or
  2. return to your roots.

The latter's probably better.

P.S. I've been good this year.


Blogger palinurus said...

I think it is significant that St. Nick did not reach the heights of his popularity, either within the Church or out, until the Italians got a hold of him.

He was a force within the Church. He was at the Council of Nicea. "Manna" from his tomb apparently healed people. But it was only after Italian sailors took his bones to Bari that the Cult of St. Nicholas really took off.

Next thing you know, his tomb is a shrine, he becomes the patron saint of pawnbrokers (the three yellow neon balls in the window of most pawnshops recall the three bags of gold he gave as dowry for three poor sisters), and cartoonist Thomas Nast draws a Monty Wooly character to illustrate Episcopalian Clement Clark Moore's "A Visit from St. Nick." Before you know it, you're going to the mall to pay $20 for a few wallet photos of your kids with a guy who you know makes maple syrup and wears birkenstocks and wool socks in the off season.

May all of us be so embraced by some Italians somewhere.

12/07/2004 01:26:00 AM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

"May all of us be so embraced by some Italians somewhere."

I know it's bad form to comment upon one's own piece, but I believe that -- in the spirit of decency -- this wish be given some clarification.

12/07/2004 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

Codicil to Will:

After a suitable time, I hereby give my bones to the Italians in the hope that they might embrace them.

12/08/2004 10:16:00 PM  

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