Big Mike: Going Easy On God, Just This Once

December 26th, 2010

This was written in the early darkness, Christmas morning, 2010.

It’s the second thought that separates us humans from the rest of the wild beasts of the world. I had one just a few minutes ago.

Hard To Tell The Difference Sometimes


Let me set the stage for you. It was five in the morning. Steve the Dog had stumbled off the sofa, shaken himself mightily, and proceeded to sit in front of my recliner, waiting. I cannot continue sleeping when Steve sits there staring at me. So, mumbling and grumbling, I pulled on my socks and jeans, tied up my sneakers, threw on my bulky coat, and harnessed the hound for his morning constitutional.

(I should add here that I sleep in my recliner because of my congestive heart failure. If my heart isn’t above my legs –as it wouldn’t be when I lay down in bed, for example — I can’t breathe. So no, it’s not that The Loved One has kicked me out of bed for snoring, tossing and turning, or expelling toxic gases — all part of my usual beauty sleep regimen.)

Anyway, the two of us ventured out into the dark Christmas morning.

And I have to say it was gorgeous. An inch of snow had fallen overnight, turning the outdoors silent. We walked down the road into the more heavily wooded area. The homes up on hills and down in the ravines were blanketed with powdery whiteness. Steve the Dog bounded gleefully through the snow. It was so peaceful and quiet that I could hear a logging truck miles way, winding its way through the curves and inclines of State Road 446.

At one point, Steve the Dog just stood in one spot, staring out into the postcard scene — with me next to him doing the same.

It was at that precise moment I decided not to publish the post I’d finished the night before.

Man, lemme tell you, it was a scorcher. I took off on Christmas like never before. I railed against the crushing commercialization of it all. I lambasted the obsequious Jingle Bell Rock. I savaged It’s a Wonderful Life and its main character George Bailey. (I even fantasized that if I were the creator of the Universe, I’d have let the miserable bastard jump into the icy river.)



I couldn’t be stopped. I ran roughshod over Toys R Us and this year’s hottest fad, the latest Innvo Labs animatronic pet. I went on for several hundred words about people who string up so many lights on their houses and trees and bushes that their property can be seen from Mars.

And still I wasn’t finished. Bing Crosby came in for a brutal beating. I fired every gun in my rhetorical arsenal at The Little Drummer Boy. I even summoned up enough bile for the Tea Party and its nefarious bankrollers, the loathsome Koch brothers. (I even forget how I tied them into Christmas, but, believe me, it worked.)

A Couple Of Big Kochs


I cited the estimate that Americans this holiday season will have spent some $450 billion on plastic crap toys, gaudy jewelry, and mind-numbing tech gadgets.

My post was laden with repugnance for Christmas, winter and snow. By the end, things got so bad that I compared myself to the Daniel Plainview character in the movie, There Will Be Blood. I borrowed his closing line for the coda to my screed: “I’m finished.”

Daniel Plainview, Moments Before Bludgeoning Eli Sunday To Death


Gotta tell you, it was a damned good piece of writing. I was proud of myself. Man, when I sharpen my knives, the object of my scorn is reduced to a blubbering mess. I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised had the putative almighty big daddy-o in heaven issued a proclamation apologizing for giving the world his only begotten son. Or at least for giving the world the myth of it all.

“Really, Big Mike, I’m Sorry. Okay?”


Yet, there I stood on Christmas morning with Steve the Dog, drinking in the beauty of it all. Some of the homes I passed had cars parked in their driveways. No doubt relatives and friends had stayed overnight. I thought of how warm everyone must feel inside, with bellies full and loved ones near.

So I said to myself, Screw it. I’m not posting my killshot on Christmas.

I had my second thought. For a few minutes at least, I’d separated myself from the rest of the wild beasts of this world.

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