Mack was accused to being a “cranky old Scrooge” the other day, by none other than Ms. Daddy.
It’s not that my heart is too sizes too small– oh, wait: that’s the Grinch. Sorry. But there may be a little of him in there too, Ms. Daddy may be thinking.
Call me Scrinch. Wait, that’s not all that catchy. Grooge?
Anyway, it’s not because I’m tight-fisted or want to steal the presents of everyone in Whoville.
It’s just that I absolutely, positively, know, right down to the ends of my high-top Victorian boots with the curled up toes, that I don’t want ANYTHING this year. For me!
What does that make me? A self-Scrooge? An auto-Grinch?
I’m feeling sick of stuff. To tell you the truth, lately I’ve been on a sick vendetta to spend my cheddar, and I’ve got so much STUFF all of a sudden. I’m sick of stuff. I’m sick of spending money. And I’m feeling like there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing tangible in this world I need.
Not only do I not want anything, I actively anti-want anything. I am vehemently opposed to receiving presents, at least nothing substantial.
But try telling that to Ms. Daddy. I begged her just to get me a book, The English Major, by Jim Harrison (I read a review, sounds good, plus I’ve liked a lot of his stuff, particulalry the early novel A Good Day to Die).
But will Ms. Daddy listen?
“Oh, no, I’ve got a present in for you– something pretty expensive, actually.”
“But that’s what I don’t want! I don’t want you spending money on me! That’s exactly what I don’t want.”
“You’ll like it, trust me.”
“But you don’t get it. There is nothing in the known physical world I want, if it’s something I can point to and touch I know I don’t want it!”
“Dave, I know you’ll like this. I know you better than you know yourself [her frequent boast]. And I know you’ll like this.”
“I know I won’t. And it’s so arrogant to say you know me better than I know myself! For one thing, I change! I evolve! I’m a moving target! And for another thing I think I know me better than you do and I KNOW I don’t want anything.”
Around then: that’s when she called me a “Scrooge.” And said: “Why don’t you just let me get a present I want to get you?”
And sure: what’re you supposed to say to that? I told her I would print up two speeches and put them in an envelope marked “If I like it” and “If I don’t like it.”
If I like it then my apology will be abject and without caveat, the highest form of apology; moreover I have agreed that if I like the present, I will concede that she does indeed know me better than I know myself, and whenever she trots out this card in future I will defer to it.
HOWEVER, if I don’t like it, I have a speech for her, conceding she doesn’t know me better than I know myself, that I know myself better than she knows me, and blah blah blah.
But how am I gonna get her to read that speech? I’m going to force her, on Xmas day, to read that speech because I don’t like her present?
Man, I’d really have to be a Scrinch to do that.