Another Article, Another Print Books Are Dead Headline. Part Two: Elf Boobs and Bastard Swords.

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  When you woke up, you were older and more sentient. You knew everything, particularly what you liked. Elf boobs and bastard swords! You had started reading Choose Your Own Adventures and Goosebumps. Started hanging out with the twins, maybe the Majeres, could have been Sweet Valley High. Damnit if both sets of twins didn’t have a lot of books. All of which looked great on your shelves. The Majeres were all about big muscles and bad attitudes. Regardless if you were the suavest wearer of braces and Z. Cavaricci’s on the planet, the minute the ladies saw those books, you were stonewalled. Something your parents knew all along. Which is why they kept buying you all those Dragonlance books. They were nothing if not the last line of defence in protecting your perpetual virginity.

  You moved out. Maybe you went to college, maybe your parents were crushing your rock n’roll dreams, maybe you just moved out. Either way, there was probably a box of books you took with you. A box that taught you to lift the legs and not with the back. In that new place, your first place away from your parents, nothing felt right. There was too much empty space. Then you unloaded the box onto your shelf and you felt better. Heck, you were home.

  You had roommates who also brought their heavy boxes of books. The weird kid who brought Pratchett, the gothyish kid who brought all the Ann Rice, the english major who brought a lot of shit you had never heard of. You all started trading and swapping. Learning about other works and worlds you had never heard of.

  Maybe you met the one and started to cohabitate. You started getting more money and a burning desire to live with less roommates. Either way, you got more books. Now you had more than one box, but you had it under control because you knew to lift with your legs. “Fahkenbok!” You breathlessly grunt through clenched teeth as you try desperately to not have your spine unravel as you carry the final and heaviest box up the stairs.

  Years pass. You had to downsize or had so many books you were running out of space. Reading is a hard thing to give up, so you get an e-reader. Maybe you held onto your books, at least some of them. You could still always pick up the rare print book. The one that completes your collection. There is always the library, which is like the best bookstore on earth. It’s like shop lifting, but with a return policy. Besides, how many of those damn Dragonlance books do you really need to own? Are you quoting from them? Referencing them in relation to dealing with issues in your own life?  Unless you have a sword, the ability to cast fireball, or know a real life hill dwarf, you may have issues practically applying such problem solving methods.

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Hostess Peach Pie

  My wife and I went out for dinner the other night. One of our favorite places. A place that was once visited by Seventhia. Thankfully, she nor her helicopter parents or their royal – pain in ass – entourage were there this time. We ate our meal and had great conversation. We didn’t get dessert. Although, my sweet tooth was acting up. We finished our tea, paid and left.

  On our way home we walked the damp sidewalk hand and hand. My sweet tooth still beckoned between loving murmurs. Outside the dollar store, I spied a wrapper on the ground. My heart was a flutter, yet my brain denied that I was seeing what I was seeing. Yet it allowed me to start processing a plan for an impromptu trip into the dollar store to purchase what came in said wrapper.

  What was it? Well for those of you who don’t like to read titles. It was a Hostess peach pie. One of my favorite treats as a child and as it just so happened, that for the past few days, I had been craving a fruit pie. No, not one of those things your grandma made. Not some circular tart that you, if you have self control, cut into wedges and eat off of a plate. I mean those things that you buy at 7-11 or for the rural folk, the gas station. They are kind of shaped like tacos, but are tightly fluted shut for lack of a better term. Their crust is dry and crumbly. The fruit was harvested back when Germany was one country, the first time and jam packed full of so much sugar that it will still taste fresh for years to come. As long as your definition of fresh is the coagulated syrupy sugar of a thousand soft drinks.

  They also don’t seem to exist. Sure maybe the cherry and apple are able to be found and other brand names at that. But the peach pie is a rare delicacy in this day and age of frowning upon gluten, trans fat, monosodium glutamate and everything else that makes eating wonderful.

 I have read, on the internet, that Hostess peach pies “are the best thing I have ever tasted,” and that “they are the closest thing to lambdas bread we have in our world.” To that I say, why aren’t elves fatter. Why aren’t there a bunch of fat fuck wood elves huffin and puffin in the forest, ripping their green tights and snapping tree branches?

  Anyway, it wasn’t a peach pie wrapper. I don’t know what it was. Once I was actually close enough to read, there were tears of disappointment filling my eyes and the pains of a breaking heart in my chest. Which is actually better than the chest pains I would have eventually gotten from the pie.

The Elf On A Shelf Can Go Stuff Itself!

  A couple of years ago I walked into Target Canada and saw the horrendous capitalist abortion, The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. Yeah, a tradition of lead paint, smoking while pregnant and hating Russians. Holy crap, what decade is this thing from? Honestly, has opening up a box of Kraft Dinner become so labour intensive that we don’t have time to create our own Christmas traditions? Especially ones not based a creepy doll watching your children and being a jerk around the house. Ones that look as though they crawled out of the rose colored past. Between the aesthetics and the prefab tradition, how could people not hate this thing. If you need swaying, read on. If you don’t, Merry Christmas you like minded bastard. Read on!

  First, the aesthetics. They harken back to a time before designers, polio vaccines and plastic. Which, ironically, that is what the elf’s perfect head is made from. The Elf on the Shelf’s expression is frozen in a “who me?” pose. You can almost hear the officer on the other side of the glass asking number three in the police line up to step forward. The same number held by the elf himself! However, in some cases it could be herself as the elf resources department is equal opportunity, as long as the elves are white or ethnically ambiguous brown. Next, the pointy little feet – as pointy as the seemingly hate group inspired hat upon its arian head – legs pour into feet due to a lack of ankles. Ankles that had to be broken in order to escape the shackles of justice of the Mexican prison the elf was held in. Which was not the last time the elf replaced its stuffing with cocaine and tried to cross the border. Just the only time it got caught.

  Second, the tradition. This is some other families tradition. Neatly boxed up with a book. The lousy movie is sold separately. I am sure, within the last four hundred years, there were other families who did similar things. But these go-getters were all, “I’m tired of being upper middle class on Christmas.” And have since started a new tradition of being rich! There are plenty of traditions and many of  them don’t cost forty bucks. The ones that do should get you drunk! Call me a cheap ass, but couldn’t you just make your own tradition, sans creepy doll? Your pediophobia laden child will thank you! How about a nice advent calendar, some hay for the reindeer or spaghetti sandwiches for Toy Boy, AKA Kakeman.

  Seriously, standing under the mistletoe, screaming the lyrics to “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” while sloshing what little is left of your eleventh Jack, with all of your friends and family standing around you doing the hokey-pokey is a Christmas tradition. It is weird and possibly creepier than the damn elf, but it is one you made on your own! You did it! And when you look up to that shelf – as the oxygen deprived tears well up in your eyes, as you belt out the third rendition, as you find yourself  profoundly moved by your friends shaking it all about – and you spy that mother-stuffing elf on your shelf. The one you bought to be ironic because you are such a hipster. Grab it! Make it quick and clean. Hold it firmly so it doesn’t run. Have a friend open the door. And lastly, look it straight in the eyes say “I voted for Dukakis!” Then punt it out on the freshly fallen snow. Boom! Elf punting! New tradition! Merry Christmas!