I meant to address the War on Christmas in this space today. As I understand it, you have these big old heathen corporate bullies like Wal-Mart and Target brutalizing the Baby Jesus even worse than the Jew elders and Roman soldiers did the grown-up version in Mel Gibson’s movie. Taunting him with their “Happy Holidays” and “ Season’s Greetings.” Who wouldn’t agree that that’s worse in a psychological way than all the scourging and crucifying and all?

Such meanness has just ruined Christmas for me and mine, and everybody in the Sunday School class feels the same way. I mean, the Reason for the Season is Peace on Earth, Good Will To Men, is it not? And peace on earth is well and good, excluding of course our commitment in Iraq, and those of us of the true faith would have nothing but good will toward these hellbound types if they’d just admit for this one short season that salvationally we’re the saved ones and they’re just screwed. OK, we might expect them to admit that for a few days around Easter too, but that only involves getting up early and belting out a few sunrise verses of “He Arose” and maybe boiling up a few eggs and pretending a rabbit laid them. How hard would that be? They would still have 50 weeks of the 52 to serve Satan or that Hindoo god with all the arms or whoever.

But 50 of 52 is not enough for them, so instead of being seasonally inspired as usual, I’m sitting here just a few days before Christmas mulling the old gloomy seasonal hymn, “In the Bleak Midwinter.” I’m sitting here thinking about the dark side of “Jingle Bells,” where the happy-go-lucky sleigh-driver discovers that misfortune is his lot and overturns in a drifted bank and probably dies of exposure and hypothermia. I’m sitting wondering what one of these modern-day women would say if you told her to bring you some figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer? She’d say, Is there a sign on my back that says Waitress? And if you then said, “I won’t go until I get some, I won’t go until I get some, etc. etc.,” she would say, “I don’t care if you go or not, assmunch.”

Something else I’ve thought about: We wouldn’t even be having Christmas if the Virgin Mary had had an abortion, like all of these tramps these days running off to the clinic and demanding one.

So I’m done with Christmas 2005. I’m moving on to 2006 and not looking back. I’ll give you a preview of my predictions for the New Year, with more to come later.

Predictions for 2006:

• First Lady Janet Huckabee will contend for the middleweight title against Little Rock’s Jermain Taylor at Alltel Arena. She may not win but will acquit herself better than Bernard Hopkins did in his bouts with Taylor. Probably a split decision.

• Sports Editor Wally Hall will pledge to walk barefoot through the snow to Springdale to personally plead outside Mitch Mustain’s balcony window for the young man to enroll at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Mustain will indeed enroll at Arkansas, but also at the University of Tennessee, and at Notre Dame, and will start every game at quarterback for all three colleges, providing that the travel arrangements can be worked out.

• At the urging of his pal the Christmas lights man, Goofy will become the first entertainment-industry celebrity to endorse Gov. Mike Huckabee in the 2008 presidential race.

• Tommy Robinson will describe his philosophy of life as kicking ass, taking names, and declaring bankruptcy.

• The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will announce that in its news coverage hereafter Gov. Orval Faubus will be portrayed as having blocked integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as a way of paying tribute to David O. Dodd, the Boy Martyr of the Confederacy, from whom he learned to defy federal authorities to the max.

• President Bush will extend illegal domestic surveillance of suspected terrorists to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, and gatherings at liberal churches such as the Methodists.

• Republican-sponsored legislation will require that all immigrants from Mexico, legal and not, answer to the name Pasquale, and say “here” or “yo” rather than “aqui” when called.

• Sometime in the summer of 2006, meth addicts will come to outnumber cigarette smokers in Arkansas.

• God will announce through one of his televangelical lackeys that His nerves and general health are much better since He was banished from the public schools.

• The governor will continue to lose weight until, like Kafka’s hunger artist, he just sort of wastes completely away and nobody will think to wonder where he might have got off to.

• New Delhi will officially diplomatically protest Arkansas State University’s decision to knuckle under to Native American pressure and call its sports teams the ASU Little Half-Naked Subcontinent Holy Men and the ASU Lady Mahatmas.

• As a promotional slogan for its news coverage, KARK-TV will adopt this: So it’s not real news. So it’s just a bunch of lame jerking off. So what?



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