Reprinted with permission from the author’s widow
My Dearest Eva,
I write this from the front lines, where my comrades and I have received word the war is ended and we are victorious. All around me, soldiers and civilians alike are milling about, hefting packages and stacked trays of baked goods. The fighting has been long and arduous, and perhaps it is for this reason that I find myself watching, rather than joining, the joyous rush in the main promenade of the Galleria Mall. Here in my foxhole – the dark, dusty hallway next to Manchu Wok – I am instead plagued by memories of the darker days of battle.
The call to arms came swiftly – too swiftly, in retrospect. I dare say I was so inflamed by the cause that I pressed into service before fully considering what it meant to pledge my life in fealty to such a thing. One moment I was in Target buying the fruit-scented ink-free ink markers from Bubba’s second grade supply list and noticing that there were not yet any Christmas displays set out (even though it was already August and I knew from a Facebook meme that there were only 20 weekends until Christmas) … and the next moment I was in a field, filthy and broken under the demands of battle. Target is a bastion of liberal heathenism, to be sure, but prior to that day my soul had been soothed by simple gestures such that I could bring myself to tolerate it. Random genitalia checks of the ladies’ room stalls, games of “chase the Lady Gaga CD buyers” whilst suggesting they wear my meat, a few maxi pads stuck on the red concrete parking lot balls to call out the aggressive menstrual feminism of their logo – these things were enough for me. Once.
Our early assignments were easy. Nonconfrontational. It makes sense to start things that way, as there is nothing so singularly terrifying as being face to face with a Christmasless thug, staring him right in his barbaric brown eyes. To start with such tasks would surely decimate our army and empty our Supreme Leader’s trains, which would be disappointing indeed, as certain of our comrades have been hard at work retrofitting the diesel and electric motors to run on coal – coal, of course, being central to a peacetime Christmas. It is by way of coal left in socks that we will be more readily able to identify atheists and the debt-free, the greatest existential threats to our American Christmas. And as we’ve entered into partnership with Santa Claus – we provide low-cost, free-market coal and he owns the delivery pipeline – it’s critical that we rebuild a protective smog layer in the atmosphere to shield him from ground-to-air “science” rockets and MSNBC cameras.
But I digress.
The early assignments. Symbolic gestures, mostly; they could nearly be called “fun,” for the furtive enjoyment we took from them. YouTube videos in which we purchased coffee from Starbucks and forced the baristas to call out the names “Jesus,” “Santa,” “Donald Trump,” and “Gary Busey.” Sojourns to Hamilton, Ontario, where we urinated on the town signs and sat most obstinately in seats we bought for local theater productions. How exciting it was, Eva! Truly a gas.
As by then we had rounded into September and there was still nary a Christmas ornament to be found even in the tackle and gun shops, we were forced to escalate our tactics. We undertook a reconnaissance mission of local places of worship. Initially, we intended to spare only those that displayed both Jesus AND Santa, but we found these sanctuaries to be in such short supply that we were forced to adopt an “and/or” strategy: we would spare those places that revered Jesus and/or Santa. White Jesus and white Santa, that is – we were most gobsmacked to discover that some so-called Christian churches displayed Jesuses and Santas of a distinctly darker hue, and since we know that white Jesus died and was raised in the form of white Santa with a white beard to further represent an abiding white adoration of big box retailers and avarice, naturally this could not be allowed to stand. Armed with a list of noncompliant worship spaces, we orchestrated over the course of several weeks a great wave of terror: a rain of Bed, Bath & Beyond 20% Off coupons without end, a flood to rival that of Noah. Bing Crosby dreamed of a WHITE Christmas, heathens, and at its best, white Christmas is acquired at a discount of 20% excluding sale items.
By the time this mission had ended, it was December and finally some retailers had begun to bend under the unrelenting pressure of our demands. Christmas was on display and yet – and yet! – we got word that there remained a particularly stubborn group of the unconvinced who persisted in celebrating Hanu… Chana… Hannau… that Jewish holiday.
Eva, my love, I cannot be but honest with you. We were spent by then. Morale had started to wane upon learning that in Africa, they did already know it was Christmastime, and that the Brits were noncompliant in referring to Santa Claus as “Father Christmas.” Father Christmas! As though Sam Walton never existed!
In any case, it was in this terrible state that we were charged with our most demanding mission to date: the total destruction of the alternative energy sources that power the production of dreidels in The State That Shall Not Be Named (California). Though we were tasked specifically with charging at windmills, we quickly realized that there are no windmills in Buffalo. And so it was that we journeyed to the countryside, our hearts heavy with the impossibility of our undertaking: to bring about the ruin of wind turbines everywhere. We were David, unarmed and facing down our metal Goliath, the symbol of dreidels and dreadlocked hippies and brown Santas and clean-air liberalism run amok. We were rightly terrified, cowering and shaking so dramatically inside our Hummer that I dare say the rubber testicles hanging from the tow hitch must have been swaying like a Newton’s Cradle in perpetual motion.
After what felt like millennia, we slugged some Genny, adjusted our nuts, and ventured onto the field of battle.
Our first plan of attack was to fell the unChristmassy giants through masculinely aggressive merriment and caroling. Oh, how we sang! “Good King Wenceslas,” “Oh Holy Night,” “Christmas Shoes.” Even “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and it must be said, Eva, that that song is so difficult to sing that Charles Lee alone was able to do it justice, and even then only when he took his teeth out. We sang until our voices went raspy and then silent, until our throats were torn and we spat blood – and yet the beasts were unmoved, their arms spinning softly overhead.
With no other choice, my comrades and I resigned ourselves to the reality of physical battle: man versus machine, capitalism versus environmentalism, Christmas versus an unimaginable assortment of holidays without end. What choice did we have? We knew the price of saving ourselves would be paid by our families, in the form of radio stations not playing Christmas music until after Halloween, and presents wrapped in recycled brown paper. Brown! The indignities never end.
And so we charged.
We beat the monsters with our fists, our arms, our faces. The ferocity in us, Eva. We were agents of war, soldiers in the heat of battle. Our hearts beat fury, our veins channeled righteousness, our wallets begged to be emptied. Flesh ripped and bones mangled, and yet we went on, throwing ourselves at the turbine until it was smeared with our conviction and we were broken and weary. Our hands and arms useless, our teeth gone, bowed under imminent loss, it was George Pickett who happened upon our last hope to turn the tide. Being in a cow field, as we were, in his desperation, George kicked at a cow patty and landed a most satisfying splat of manure on the turbine. The sound – that of our dung offensive – was like heaven singing directly into our ears. There was no need for discussion; we immediately followed George’s lead, using our feet to hurl the shit as fast and hard as we could while our damaged arms flopped about like windsocks. It was an exuberant but imprecise plan, and we became so covered in the manure that we were eventually blinded by it and unable to even try to speak for the heft of it on our tongues. And it was in this moment, all of us soldiers blind and mute, that a miracle happened.
The wind turbine stopped.
It was a moment so magnificent, it was as if the entire Earth stopped to observe. There was stillness and silence all around. Even the relentless wind ceased. And in the midst of it we stood: damaged, ravaged … and triumphant.
We were victorious.
This, my love, is the story of how I saved Christmas – for you, for the children, for MawMaw and PawPaw, and for all the good white people who vote Republican, identify as Christian, and tithe at least 40% of their salary to chain stores. Real Americans, who aren’t afraid to Make American Great Again.
Although being away from you fills my heart with agony, now that the war is over I have one final task. The Supreme Leader is having a rally tonight, and I must go to share my tale of the front lines, and to register as a veteran in the War on Christmas. As we are no longer going to be part of the forced socialism of Obamacare and our taxes will be going up in a couple years, I’m eager to provide for us a veteran’s eligibility for healthcare and free college! The future is ours, Eva. Thank the good Trump the dark days are over.
With all my love and affection,
Adolph H. was ceremoniously executed by way of dismemberment and disembowelment, after being found guilty of requesting government entitlements at a GOP gathering. A memorial in his honor can be found on the wall of the second stall of the ladies’ room at the Cheektowaga Target, where he dedicated so much of his life to valiantly checking the privates of urinating women.