by Don Two
Defining Boxing Day.
Call me curious, call me uninformed, call me a babe in a lush meadow of human
understanding, but I was keen on knowing what this Boxing Day was all about.
My first association with it was something Mom said, long ago,
something she claimed her grade school English teacher had
said in class: I stood on the box and watched the men box.
An obvious illustration of the way the English language
can tweak our noses. Yet whether this little anecdote
is specific to the reality of Boxing Day matters little;
it just seems germane to the telling, and caresses
gently, I believe, the tender cheeks of said topic.
Embarrassment now swells as I come clean,
as I admit what was my interpretation of Boxing Day.
It was obvious--it was about boxes. Not so much to honor
or appreciate them, but to focus our attention on their recycling.
To wit, we have all seen those metal compactors in back of stores
and plazas, and we have all seen the bundles of cardboard boxes metal-
banded, awaiting their eminent departure to plants whose business is regeneration,
whose bailiwick it is to birth new cardboard housing from the spent carcasses of old.
Therein new rectangular, pulp-born domiciles rise like phoenixes so you and I may
live and dress and scour the kitchen sink. Praise be to economy, praise be to
the wizardry of waste not, to the cycle of unconditional come-around
that motors civilized man.
Alas, my ken of said day was in error--I was at sea, I was derailed, I was plucked
from the air of correctness to dangle, headlong, off the granite cliffs of misconstrue.
How could I have been so punch-drunk? How could I have been so cumbersome
in my analytical two-step? When it hit me, I was down, almost for the count.
For men don gloves and bob and weave and go three minutes till the bell.
Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Tyson, the Rumble in the Jungle and the closest
thing to death, the styptic pencils o’er the eyes to staunch the flow of
blood. This pugilistic tour-de-force whipsaws the wants within, so
why then should it not be given its due?
I was so young and short on height, so I stood
on the box and watched the men box.
For it was Boxing Day.