Sunday, December 10, 2006

Avoiding the Dark Side at Christmas (Or . . . Aliens, Fruitcake and a Jigger of Rum)

By C. L. Beck

It’s a simple fact—you shouldn’t write when you’re stressed to the max because your soul goes over and joins the dark side. With an apology to Stephen King, (and ignoring the money he’s made) I’d like to suggest that writing while in pressure cooker mode invariably gives you a book like “Carrie”. Past experience has taught me that when my strung tighter than a barbed wire fence personality emerges, it concocts stories about heads cooking on barbecues, and aliens poking knitting needles into the brains of uncooperative humans. Hardly your standard, humorous Christmas tales.

My current Christmas to-do list, which gives birth to multiple to-do lists while I sleep, has me stretched like a slingshot loaded with road apples. I have to bake fruitcake so people can use it as a doorstop, cook peanut brittle for the neighbors so the dentist can stay in business, and give the dog a bath so he can roll on the first dead thing he finds on our Christmas Eve walk. And those are just the easy things on the list. Therefore, knowing that I’m liable to turn to the dark side at any moment, I’ve taken steps to relax.

I’ve fixed myself a cup of eggnog. (No, I did not include a jigger of rum, because I don’t need to add ‘throw up’ to my to-do list.) I’ve turned on the Christmas lights, lit a fire in the fireplace and called my dog, Corky Porky Pie, over to enjoy the warmth of the season with me.

Ahhh, now that’s better . . .

Eeeww, what’s that smell? Did the dog find a dead alien with a knitting needle stuck in its head to roll on?

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