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#393437 added December 18, 2005 at 8:07pm
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Bah! Humbug! (Put the emphasis on the Bah)
         OK, I’ll admit it. At times I have a bit of curmudgeon in me… maybe more than a bit. I can be grumpy, surly, obnoxious, and pretty much any one of those other dwarfs also. And if the plural of wharf is wharves then why isn’t the plural of dwarf, dwarves? See what I mean?

         There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that when Mrs. Manley cast me in the roll of Scrooge in the 6th grade play, that type casting was involved. It is true, that at the end of the play, at the cast party, when they raffled off the roast chicken, I won it. And yes I wouldn’t let Mike Liuzzo have any.(Tiny Tim)

         It’s pretty bad when you’re in a school play and they can’t even afford a goose. Of course, that wasn’t the only anomaly. I was probably the largest Scrooge ever to grace the stage. It was, until my recent years of involvement with the Cambria County Historical Society, my only thespian endeavor. Looking back on it, it was also the only time, if the play flopped, that I could blame someone other than myself. I can see the reviews now:

         “Joe Umholtz, in the part of Scrooge, made a valiant and determined effort to hold the play together. If only the writer, one Mr. Dickens, had given him better lines.”

         You see, with the historical society, I not only portray the characters, I write the scripts as well. “As well as what?” you might ask. Well as well as I can, of course. Ouch, that made my head hurt.

         Now where was I? Let’s see. Curmudgeon? Check. Grumpy? Check. Dwarves? Check. Scrooge? Check. Chicken, no goose? Check. Holiday? Whoaaaa! Hold your horses.

         There seems to be some sort of flack about what the correct phraseology of a...of a...of a small rectangular illustrated folded piece of stiff paper with words typically given out at this chronological point of the year should be. OK, you can inhale now. Back when we were in the 6th grade we all wished each other Merry Christmas… all of us of course, except for Jack. Jack is Jewish. At least he was back then, so I’m going to assume he still is. These things tend to stick with you, you know. Now, I’m pretty sure I didn’t understand the nuances of religion at that age, but Jack was my friend and it bothered me that we didn’t wish him Merry Christmas. We said “Happy Hanukah, Jack!” I was pretty sure Jack was getting short changed, what with missing out on the Santa Claus thing and all, but he didn’t seem to mind. I knew I was getting short changed by not being Jewish because for most of the year, a couple days a week, Jack got to leave school early to go to some sort of religious training. Not for once did I think the religious training could be quite as bad as staying in school. No Sirree, Jack had to be getting the better end of the deal.

         The point is. Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving, it really doesn’t matter. They are just words. What we are really saying is, we wish you well, and we wish you happiness and joy. You are my friend and I’m acknowledging that. Think I’m wrong? Well, the next time someone wishes you Happy, or Merry something or other try responding with “Blow it out your butt, sideways.” And see what happens. A word of caution is necessary here. I advise trying this with someone you know. Otherwise, keep the phone number for 911 handy.

         The bottom line is this. If I get a card that says Happy Holidays or a card that says Merry Christmas, or for that matter one that says Happy Hanukah or Happy Kwanzaa or Happy or Merry anything else, I’m not offended, because I know, that at least somewhere out there, is one person who felt I was special enough to remember and that’s a pretty good feeling.

         So GW, Happy Holidays right back at ya! Hope somebody leaves you a present under your Holiday Tree.

         I raise my glass of eggnog to you all.

         “Here’s wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season and may everyone get a Christmas goose.”

         Wait a minute… that didn’t come out right.


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