Art and commentary by Kimberly Harris

Posts tagged ‘beer’

No Free Toy Hidden in the Box of Life

: An elderly sailor is enjoying a beer and a tasty snack

After a hard life at sea, aging sailor Jackson sips a beer and munches on candied popcorn snacks while slowly coming to accept the sad reality that there is no free prize hidden in the box of life.

Throughout the happy-go-lucky days of his childhood growing up by the sea, young Jackson always looked forward to discovering the prize traditionally included in every box of tasty popcorn snacks given to him by his mother. After a long career traveling far and wide aboard ships, Jackson retired by the seashore. One evening he sought to relive the nostalgia of the carefree days of his youth when he would wait with so much anticipation for his mom to bring him his favorite treat all the while speculating as to what exciting new treasure might be revealed among the candied popcorn and nuts in the box. However, as he sipped his beer and savored his favorite snack, he suddenly became cognizant of the sobering reality that life was no longer just a bowl of candy coated popcorn with peanuts and even worse, that there is no free prize hidden in the box of life. Nevertheless, he has not given up hope of unearthing that secret decoder ring that would unlock the mysteries of the universe and that might just be at the bottom of the very box he had just opened.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

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How the Government Grinch Overregulated Christmas

The children watch Santa's reindeer drinking at a bar

After the Government Man in Green canceled their appearance at Murdoch’s, the reindeer retreated to Mingle’s Lounge for a snort

Management at Murdoch’s Ranch and Home Supply had a great idea! Why not invite Santa’s reindeer to visit Laramie, Wyoming and entertain the city’s children, many of whom had never seen a real live reindeer. They advertised far and wide for this exciting event, and many looked forward to attending.

It will be a fun occasion for both young and old!
A festive way to forget about the cold
So Murdoch’s emailed the North Pole with a request
Santa, please send out your reindeer at our behest

Santa replied with a chuckle that was hard to hide
My reindeer could use a trial run during Yuletide
My trusted elves are rated in this sleigh type
I will accede to Murdoch’s request via Skype

Well, Santa had crossed swords with the regulators in years past
When the FAA rejected his flight plan as traveling too fast
And then cruelly ordering him to maintain Flight Level two-fifty
Heartbreakingly overflying the homes of the neediest kids in the city

Old Saint Nick summoned his attorneys across the nation
The same ones that deal with defective toy litigation
The lawyers all echoed in concert with conviction
“Magical flying reindeer are not subject to any known jurisdiction”

So, a ground crew of elves preflighted the sleigh
Making sure it was airworthy to soar away
The team was hitched up and in scarcely a flash
Reindeer and elves arrived at Murdoch’s in a dash

When the elf crew went in to announce the arrival of their flight
Murdoch’s store management could hardly contain their delight
That was until confronted by a gruff figure standing by the sleigh
Who brought tidings that would certainly ruin the group’s day

“No so fast,” said the Government Man all dressed in green
“Trafficking in reindeer is a crime most obscene
It constitutes a violation of Game and Fish regulations
Read Chapter 10, section 5(d)(ii)(F), if you have the patience”

“As sure as I stand here in my green galoshes
You are all dangerous vectors of deadly brucellosis
You will not set hooves on this pristine pavement
Begone at once or I will quarantine you in confinement”

For Rudolph this was the very last straw
This time the regulators really stuck in his craw
He had guided his team to this godforsaken town
Only to have a petty bureaucrat shake them down

Newspaper ad announcing the cancellation of the reindeer event

The Government Man in Green wishes: “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Then Rudolph suddenly blurted out:

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!
Trot across the parking lot to Mingle’s Lounge
The first round’s on me, no need to scrounge”

They took seats at the bar and summoned the serving lass
While the children all pressed their noses to the window glass
The kids were speechless as they watched the spectacle inside
And beheld the reindeer as they began to imbibe

Rudolph bemoaned the absence of Christmas cheer
Prompting him to cry out, “Barman, another round of Reinbeer!”
Soon Blitzen was blitzed and Comet had lost consciousness
Both of them casualties of regulatory excessiveness

Eventually the barman said, “Gentlemen,” pointing to a sign
“You’re a delightful gang, but it’s now closing time”
So they gently lifted Comet’s face out of his plate of nachos
And carried him back to the sleigh like a sack of potatoes

Weeks later on Christmas Eve, Santa alighted on the roof
Of the residence of a ranger widely regarded as annoyingly aloof
Down the chimney he shimmied, stealthy as a mouse
To place lumps of coal in all the stockings in the house

Santa ate all the cookies and gave the milk to the cat
Who scorned the gesture upon realizing it was nonfat
Then Santa helped himself to the household’s best scotch
Before hurriedly exiting while glancing at his watch

Relaxing at home with Mrs. Claus in the wake of a busy Noel
Santa said “Honey, I haven’t seen my American Express card in a spell”
She promptly replied, “I gave it to Rudolph to fuel your sleigh
And before I could ask for it back, he was well on his way.”

A reindeeer is holding Santa's American Express Card

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer says: “Don’t leave the North Pole without it”

EPILOGUE:

The reindeer are planning to graze on a faraway hill
On the day that the mail carrier delivers Santa’s bill
For the gentle bearded old man will surely throw a fit
When he sees the large balance he is instructed to remit

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

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