Cupid enjoys an extra-large double mocha cappuccino and a chocolate croissant prior to taking flight on his annual quest to spread romance across the cosmos.
Archive for the ‘Myths and Legends’ Category
December 5 was Krampus Day in a number of European countries with Teutonic roots. As many of you know, the fierce horned Krampus figures prominently in the folklore of Germany and Austria, and also in the traditions of Hungary and the countries of former Yugoslavia. The role of the Krampus is complementary to that of the benevolent bearded old man who distributes presents to nice children far and wide on Christmas. The Krampus rounds up the naughty children that Santa has passed by and proceeds to whip them with a switch of birch branches. Those who have been exceptionally bad are stuffed into a sack and taken to a remote location in the woods to be devoured by the Krampus.
This year saw an unusually large contingent of naughty children who disobeyed their parents, failed to do their household chores, talked back to their elders, refused to eat their vegetables and got into fights at school. Disciplining the lot of them kept the Krampus very busy and by the time all of the punishment had been meted out, the Krampus was exhausted.
President Obama was likewise very tired from fighting with the Republicans over raising taxes for the rich, saving entitlement programs and avoiding the looming fiscal cliff. The president had just wrapped up a brief chat with the Chancellor of Germany, Andrea Merkel, regarding the debt crisis in Southern Europe when the Chancellor suggested that Mr. Obama invite Krampus to visit him in Hawaii so that they could both unwind on the beach together. Krampus immediately sparked to the idea of escaping the cold German winter and promptly booked a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Honolulu.
Soon after arrival the pair proceeded to Hanauma Bay where they were served heady tropical beverages while being entertained by an exotic dance troupe recruited by the Secret Service. When the show was over, President Obama approached Krampus concerning a possible future contract with the US Department of Justice to castigate all those individuals appearing on the list of naughty legislators that the president has been compiling. Mr. Obama emphasized to Krampus that certain members of Congress had been very, very naughty.
Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle
After a long cold holiday season of scaring naughty children into exhibiting better behavior, Krampus takes a well-deserved vacation at a warm tropical location. On the beach on Maui, Krampus sips a cold refreshing beverage while enjoying a presentation by a local hula troupe.
In the United States, Santa is taken for granted. It is a foregone conclusion that Santa will always deliver on the presents. Kids in America don’t know how good they have it because no matter how naughty they have been during the year, Santa will never fail to bring them something. In fact, the very worst they can expect is that Santa will fill their Christmas stockings with lumps of coal. This is not the end of the world, because with the soaring cost of energy reaching unprecedented heights, the children can easily pool their lumps of coal and sell them to the local power utility and use the cash to buy the gifts that Santa did not bring due to their naughtiness.
However, in Europe, children have a lot more to fear, particularly in Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Germany. In those countries, jolly old St. Nick hands out gifts on his feast day of December 6th. However, he does not punish children himself no matter how bad they have been. Instead, he delegates that task to a terrifying horned creature called the Krampus, who accompanies Santa on his visits and metes out punishment according to Santa’s instructions.
The children that Santa has fingered as naughty are seized by the Krampus, who whips them with a switch of birch branches or with rusty chains. In extreme cases involving exceptionally naughty children, the Krampus is said to carry them in his backpack to the forest where he proceeds to devour them. Alternatively, the Krampus simply stuffs them into a sack which he then tosses into a stream.
People who have observed the widespread lack of discipline, manners and work ethic that characterizes today’s youth have suggested that a serious dose of Krampus might be in order here in America.
The origin of the Krampus can be traced back thousands of years. It is believed that the Krampus was an evolution of the Norse god Loki that was slowly assimilated into Christian tradition. Many European countries today organize Krampus festivals on December 5th, the day before St. Nick arrives. A number of designated individuals dress up as the Krampus and go from house to house scaring children with their growls and their switches and drinking schnapps with their parents. As the night progresses, it is not unusual to see the Krampus throwing up in the gutter.
If a Krampus should approach you in the darkness of night, you will certainly know him by his long horns and his most unusual characteristic of having one humanlike foot and another that resembles a cloven hoof of a goat.
A few days ago, the respected Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency downgraded Greece’s short-term sovereign debt from “B” to “C” status, effectively reducing it to junk status. The long-term debt didn’t fare much better, plunging from “BB-“ to “B,” making it a highly speculative investment.
Years of overspending. Unsustainable deficits in excess of 10% of GDP. 16% unemployment. Labor unrest. Student riots. Burgeoning public debt. A humiliating $156 billion financial bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and an additional $45 billion under consideration. 10-year bonds yielding 15.6%. Looming default on May 19, when 8.5 billion Euros worth of bond payments come due. Greece’s perennial foe, Turkey, backing Iran’s nuclear swap. Iran elected to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Concerns over their insolvent pension fund, and, to top it off, the embarrassing adulterated olive oil scandal.
All these issues and more have weighed heavily on Aglaea, the Goddess of beauty, Euphrosyne, the Goddess of mirth and Thalia, the Goddess of good cheer. It shows.
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Bigfoot and Chupi Chupacabra met at a bar at an isolated location in Mexico to share a cold beer and tell spellbinding stories about their adventures frightening tourists, hikers and bird watchers.
Para celebrar el Cinco de Mayo, el Pie Grande y Chupi Chupacabras se reunieron en una cantina en un sitio aislado en México para compartir una cerveza helada y contar cuentos apasionantes de sus aventuras asustando a turistas, excursionistas y observadores de aves.
In a small remote village in the north of Mexico, a lovely lady Chupacabra dances to the rhythm of a chicken mariachi band while her husband strums the classical guitar.
En una pequeña población remota en el norte de México, una hermosa Chupacabras baila al compás de un conjunto de pollos mariachis mientras que su marido rasguea la guitarra clásica.
A cryptozoologist who has spent years searching for the enigmatic giant Easter Egg finds that the euphoria of his discovery will be short-lived.