THE BLOG

The Old Rat Bastard's Holiday Greetings

12/11/2007 01:03 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

People gripe about winter all the time and I have to stand there and listen to their petty horse--pardon my French--shit. These dodos in their L.L. Bauer down vests and their North Facial jackets packed all to hell with Winsulate or what-have-you don't know how lucky they have it. I'd like to give them a good quick kick in the seat of their pants with their own Timbalake boots and tell them to "shut your pie-hole."

When I was growing up we didn't have all this fancy nonsense they have today. We found our winter fun where we could.

I go through the big Dick sporting goods store and see all kinds of sleds that do the work for you. Steering wheels and foot controls and a bunch of other garbage. I'm surprised they don't come complete with a flunky to shove these spoiled brats down the hill! For fifty bucks they ought to. And don't even ask about the toboggans.
The rich kids on our neighborhood sledded on their moms' cookie sheets, or maybe a trash can cover. If my mother caught me taking a cookie sheet to go sledding she'd beat me like a red-headed mule.

So I'd sled on a piece of paper and like it. I used those sheets of mimeographed hand-outs from school. The ink came off on the seat of my trousers, and I was called "Blue-ass" by the rich kids. I was young and dumb so I didn't think of sledding on the blank side of the mimeo paper. It usually shredded before I made it down the hill anyway. That was winter sports in my day. As for skiing, only the town pansies "took to the slopes."

We were too poor to make snowmen. There were no carrots available, unless we had a few left over from Halloween trick-or-treating. What we'd do is make a hole in the snow and put a rock in it. If we were lucky we could find a twig to make it more realistic. My brothers and I fought like rabid piglets over these snow-hole twigs. That's why I only have one ear today -- my brother bit the other one off in one of our twig fights. I gave as good as I got, biting off his shoulder in another bout. That was the highlight of wintertime activity back then.

We didn't have these boots lined with Fag-Tex or coats and gloves filled with some other sort of fluff. In my day "down" was the opposite of "up," it didn't exist to keep a bunch of sissies warm. I walked in the snow in my penny loafers and if my feet froze, well, that was just too bad. Both my great toes had to be amputated and I didn't get that done at some fancy specialist, either. That's what dads and hatchets are for. I put a small rock in the front of each shoe and my balance is as good as yours with your big toes still attached.

As for Christmas, it wasn't the big hoop-de-doo it is nowadays. Today kids get electronic gizmos that cost more than I make in a year. No wonder they're all a bunch of slobbering zombies. In my day you had to be on your toes, or you were beaten within an inch of your life, no questions asked. Lambkins and mollycoddles need not apply!

But we had our Christmas traditions. Every year we got a Jim Beam bottle filled with urine, which we kids were told was "elf pee." We didn't know any better. We'd play "Spin the Pee" and whoever the bottled pointed to got smacked in the mouth by the spinner. If it ended up pointing at the kid who spun it, why, that was just too bad. Then the whole family got to smack him. I had all my teeth knocked out in those Christmas Spin the Pee games, and that was all right by me. Teeth are overrated. But of course all the nitwit parents today take their little brats to fancy specialists to take care of their pwecious widdle choppers. Seeing this crap makes my blood boil.

One year I did get a special present which I have to this day. My mother found a Quick Draw McGraw Pez Dispenser in a garbage can and wrapped it up in newspaper and presented it to me Christmas morning. We were too poor to afford Pez so I filled it with pebbles, and those worked just fine, thank you very much. These days, Pez dispensers are all kinds of ridiculous characters I wouldn't cross the street to spit on. And the Pez flavors? Don't get me started. Back in my time it was "regular" flavor Pez and that was that. But like everything else it's all gone to hell.

Maybe in May I'll come back and tell you how summers were back in my day, but I know it'll get your panties in a big old tangled bunch. So up yours.