And Gutenberg Lived Here: New Year’s- Bring On The Medal


Bring it on

Haul it out

Polish up the gong

and ring them bells.

In the last couple of days,

I went to three rehearsals

where no one came-

it was clear,

at least to me,

we were working,

but here in Gutenberg land,

they take things a bit slower.

As in:

nothing functions but hangovers

until the sixth of January,

when the camels and wise men

who have to be marched over the tabletop every day since day one-

the day of the partridge-

reach the manger,

along with the Star of Bethlehem singers

from the Catholic church,

who appear,

write CMB

for Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar,

the three kings,

(or some bizarre corrupted latin form of Christ bless this house,

if you are the more or less scientific type)

and the date,

over the door-

in chalk-

did I mention this is a Catholic city?

and sing songs that,

to me,

have a definite semblance to the sound of camels dropping

uhm-camel droppings,

but are blessedly covered up by the sound of a very young and energetic priest,

and three small children in fake beards,

and turbans made out of fancy towels,

diversely playing a loud acoustic guitar-

with metal strings no less,

and shaking a can-

for the donation you have to give,

for charity,

so these faithful servants may depart in peace.

And you can get back to clearing up the pine needles,

and discovering what it is in the living room

somewhere near the rubber tree,

that smells distinctly

of unwanted salted Christmas herring

in onions and cream.

(No, I don’t like herring, but I also don’t kill rubber trees.)

So what is the gong for-

aside from all of the above-


there were lots and lots of very nice family style tv shows people wanted us to watch with


live and on the tube,

with lots and lots of very nice people,

who just can’t sing-

and I didn’t say a single word.

Not one.

I just ate my three-year old gingerbread,

(over here they are kept for years,

to spice the sauce of a strange local meat concoction,

called “sauerbraten-”

a roast made of horse meat)

and smiled,

and enjoyed being among people who I like.

I did notice that Harald drank more than one glass of egg nog, though.

And I sent out lots, and lots, and lots of Christmas cards,

cooked a couple of birds,

with things like one cup salad so no one notices that it still has pin feathers,

because it was still more than slightly frozen when it went into the cooker-

and I thought I would have time to remove them when it had slightly defrosted,

which I didn’t-

Let’s just call it deko, shall we ?

(Ps- one cup salad:

take a large cup-

fill it with pineapple, orange slices, almonds,

anything you can find that looks remotely colorful,

then toss on a cup of sour cream,

so you can’t see it is plain old fruit salad,

then a cup of coconut,

so you can’t see it is plain old fruit salad

under a layer of sour cream-

then you toss on a sprig of parsley,

in the hope someone thinks it is mistle toe,

and starts kissing people,

at which point you can put the pies on the table,

turn the coffee maker on,

and leave them alone for a while

and go off to help a friend directing a Messiah,

who has only three tenors-

one drunk,

one a woman who yells,

and one a diva who can’t hit a single tone if someone doesn’t sing in his ear.

Easter is only a few months away.

Ho Ho Ho

So where is my gong?

copyright 2017

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