Monday, January 3, 2011

Ho, Ho, Hope you can crack a safe...!

The 2010 Christmas Season has said its final farewell.  Hundreds of fragile ornaments have been individually wrapped in their off-season flak jackets and buried in a shallow Rubbermaid grave, a football field’s worth of twinkling Christmas lights have been wound tight to form a Chinese torture puzzle to be solved next December and the Christmas tree is laying prone on the ground like a New Year’s home invasion suspect (for the record, it was an invited guest).  But through it all I learned one very important holiday lesson…Santa doesn’t want anyone jacking his loot!

With two little girls in the house, we were assured that Santa’s generosity would be bountiful.  What wasn’t in the fine print was that each toy, whether it be from F.A.O. Schwartz or the dollar store, would be bound tighter in its packaging than Zed’s basement house guest in Pulp Fiction.  For example...

“Toy Story 3 Barbie” is not an extravagant gift by any stretch of the imagination.  It cost roughly $16.00 and looked harmless enough; no batteries, no downloads and no assembly required.  WRONG!  This molded-plastic Odessian siren called me to her like a ship in the night.  (OK, it was my daughter repeating, “Will you open it dad?” until I could no longer take it!  Humor me!)  I was forced to use a serrated Rambo knife, complete with headband and compass, to penetrate the cryogenically frozen encasement.  Han Solo or Barbie?  Seriously! 

Once the “hull was breached”, this icon to so many young girls had the audacity to lay there motionless with a smug look on her face.  I’ve seen that look before on the last woman I dated before I met my wife.  It was the,“Nuh-uh, you’re gonna have to work for this,” look!  Both were dubiously correct.  

Barbie was lanced to the cardboard by an intricately woven pattern of elastic and twist-ties that would have made a Hopi Indian jealous.  10 minutes of slashing, cursing, pulling and more cursing and my fair maiden was finally free from the chains that bound her.  I was Prince Valiant who weathered the Crusade to present the toy to my little princess.  My daughter held out her hands, hugged Barbie like a lost puppy and looked at me like I was a hero.  With sweat running down my brow and pride welling up inside I watched her as she walked away, hand in hand with her Barbie.  15 seconds later I watched her lay Barbie down, grab her V-Reader and play a “Dora the Explorer” video game.

Wine never tasted so good!

Next year I fully expect to be given 2 keys that must be turned simultaneously, like arming a Nuke, just to open a tube of Lincoln logs.  Or perhaps a retinal scan will be needed to get the no-no words in Taboo.  My point is this Santa, stop being so paranoid!  You fly around in an open cabbed sleigh full of toys, unarmed in the middle of the night!  If that doesn’t make you paranoid you have obviously never visited the South East side!  If you had, your sleigh would look like a Brinks truck!  Next year, I hope that you focus less on loss prevention and more on allowing a dad to open a gift for his daughter without her hearing mommy say those 5 little words…“Ear muffs honey, ear muffs!”  

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