It’s Christmas season and I’m not sure I’m that happy about it.

   I once got a puppy for Christmas.

   He urinated on my fire truck and bit my sister’s ankle.

   I think I would have preferred it the other way around.

   I named him “Hot Stream” because he urinated so much but my parents didn’t like that, so I called him “Old Yeller” whenever they were around, and even though he was a black lab, that seemed to make them happy.

   Have you ever seen a puppy fly?

   Hydrogen is an odorless colorless gas, oxygen is an odorless colorless gas, but when you mix them together you get water.

   Go figure.

   Christmas trees drink a lot of water but I’ve never seen one urinate.

   I like to give presents but I don’t like to shop.

   Shopping seems like something only women should do.

   It’s an endless, thankless task that requires a kind of long suffering endurance that women are famous for, like when they wash dishes or go through pregnancy and child birth.

   Men are good at short dashes and hanging around, not fighting crowds and having to sort through endless racks of things that look an awful lot alike.

   I wish someone would scratch my back.

   Why does Santa put presents under the tree?

   What is he trying to hide?

   Why not put them on the kitchen table?

   I like the kitchen table.

   It’s where I drink coffee in the morning and read the newspaper.

   No one ever urinated on my fire truck at the kitchen table.

   Why are fire trucks such a big deal as Christmas presents?

   Fire extinguishers would seem to make more sense.

   I’m hungry.

   One of the things I like best about Christmas is spilling eggnog on my shirt.

   It’s always good for a laugh and my wife likes telling me I’m an idiot, and I like making her happy.

   Who invented eggnog?  I don’t think it was the Indians, but they planted fish with their corn, so they could have mixed eggs and milk together and made a big deal about it.

   Some people put nutmeg on their eggnog, but I think it just makes it look dirty.

   I need a nap.

   If you get red socks for Christmas, who washes them?

   My mother wore red socks but I never asked her who washed them.

   I think my father once walked past a washing machine and then he opened it looking for a beer.

   Beer makes me urinate.

   I’ve never urinated on a fire truck, and sometimes I wonder why not.


Dear Major Ashpole,

   I urinate on fire trucks all the time, and I can tell you, you’re not missing anything special.

Lt. Waylon Moonshower

3rd Battalion

New York City Fire Department

Dear Lt. Moonshower,

   Thank you for your expert comment.

   Now I have one less thing to worry about.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   It’s too bad you think shopping is “an endless, thankless task” that requires “long suffering endurance.”

   Many people find that “there’s a lot of joy to be found” in “searching racks and shelves” for  “something that you really need or want.”

Tim Zagat

“New York,” NY

Dear Tim,

   I’ve always wondered how long it takes you to write all of the reviews in your books.

   Anyway, I hope you don’t think anyone really believes normal people take the time to write in. 

   I’m glad you write it, though, because it’s very entertaining, even if the reviews usually turn out to have nothing to do with the actual food and service in all those places. 

   But if you write it, we believe it, no matter what experience we may actually have.  You have raised societal wish-fulfillment to an art form.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   Maybe you should learn the joys of shopping on the Internet, where there

are no crowds, and you can shop in the comfort of your own home.

   Just a thought, it doesn’t matter to me either way.

Jeffery Bezos

At A Huge Highly Automated Warehouse Somewhere in

Dear Major Ashpole,

   re: “Why does Santa put presents under the tree?

“What is he trying to hide?

“Why not put them on the kitchen table?”

   If I may explain:

   Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

Tom Brokaw

Elder Media Statesman

Blowharder, Montana

Dear Tom,

   And sometimes, a pontificating has-been is just a pontificating has-been.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I wish someone would scratch my back, too.

   Getting unconditional back-scratch is in some ways equal to receiving unconditional love.      

   Maybe better.

   Just ask Dubya.

Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice

United States Supreme Court, Washington, DC

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I’ll give you long suffering endurance.

   Women suffer because they are oppressed by men into seeing themselves as workhorses.

   Also, Eve should have left the apple alone.

Gloria Steinem

Former Under-Cover Playboy Bunny

(anyone still believe that “under cover” baloney?)

(although, I’ll tell you, I went under plenty of covers in those days, and across a few rugs, too, if you get my drift)

Still Conflicted, New York

P.S. Back scratches are nice, but I’ve always preferred a good ego massage.

Dear Gloria,

   After reading your letter, I can only say that whatever you’re full of, it isn’t surprises.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   Not only did American Indians not invent eggnog, it is such a stupid drink we could not possibly have even imagined it.

   Now: you mix well-boiled corn meal with buffalo suet and bury in it a crock for a week, then throw in some salt, creek water and a few sour wild blackberries: you’ve got something!

   So instead of besmirching Native Americans, who tried to save pathetic white people from starvation before they infected us with smallpox, measles, cholera and other “old world” joys, why don’t you stick a fish in a hole where the corn don’t shine, and make a big deal about that.

Mary Stunning Feathers

Asst. Chief, Nutrition History

Chipaputt Nation (and Casino Spa/Golf Resort and Tax-Free Cigarette Outpost)

Dear Mary,

   Thank you for your informative note.

   I hope your recipe works with cattle suet, since you folks seem to have hunted all the buffalo to near extinction, although, as you know, what you call “buffalo” are actually “bison,” and, come to think of it, I guess I could always get some suet from Ted Turner.


Dear Major Ashpole,

   Instead of besmirching Native Americans who tried to save pathetic white people from starvation, perhaps you’d be interested in a real old world recipe for a drink made with bison suet

that our Indian friends relish to this day.

   Call me.

Ted Turner

Restaurant Entrepreneur Who Had Billions Stolen By Steve Case, The Greatest Scammer In American Business History, Even Bigger Than Bernie Madoff, By A Lot


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