Wanted: Christmas in July

Amazing! With only nine days left in the month, what did I spot yesterday in the street but this joyous scene?!?

All right, all right, I’m lying to you – again. This photo was actually on the Globe and Mail website yesterday. This was the caption:

Santas gather to make their way in a parade through Copenhagen on Tuesday during their annual three-day congress. Now in its 51st year, the World Santa Claus Congress brings together 136 red-clad delegates, mostly from Scandinavia but also as far away as Russia, Japan and the United States.

Now, there’s a new one for me – a Santa Conference. How come I don’t get to go to fun conferences like that? The last one I got to attend was called, I believe: Feudalism in the Modern Age – How to Deal with Ontario’s Many, Many Landlords – or something along those lines. Not a red suit to be seen or “ho ho ho” to be heard. Sigh.

Oh – a little Christmas in July tip, while I think of it? Do yourself a favour and read The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris. It’s his account of working as an elf in Macy’s department store in their Santaland one year. Hilarious. If you’re a podcast type, you can also listen to him read it here.


Another example of the Christmas in July spirit in Europe – they’re giving away Vauxhall cars at the Tower Bridge in London!!!

Um… not really. Actually, this appears to be a publicity stunt for yet another new model of car. But my explanation of the photo is far nicer, no?

Personally, though, I think that this is a far nicer shot of the Tower Bridge, with a very rare sighting of one of Canada’s most esteemed intellectuals and artisans.

(In seeing this photo again, I hasten to say that I am not one of those pretentious wankers who insists on wearing shades all the time, even in winter. Instead, I have those eyeglasses which get dark in the sunshine. This was a bad move on my part in retrospect as I can no longer pretend I’m in the washroom 10 minutes every 45 minutes hour and a half when I’ve actually snuck – sneaked? – outside for a smoke. Sigh.)

But not everywhere in the world is lucky enough to have me and my benevolent presence strolling around, sadly. One place that could really use some benevolence right around now, not to mention a few Santas – Zimbabwe.

Apparently they just issued new money over there because their currency is completely in the toilet. This means that one egg costs $35billion Zimbabwean. This $100billion note is not enough to pay for the three eggs depicted in the photograph.

My math is horrendous – but this must mean the new Vauxhall car would cost… er… something like $200billiontrilliongazillionandquadrillion in Zimbabwe. Sigh.

Considering this, we really don’t have it all that bad over here. However, one thing I’ve noted – the cost of gas has risen well more than a quarter since the real Christmas month in 2007. Witness this photo I took in mid-December:

The blur is due to me shaking with rage because the price of gas refused to go under $1 (CDN) per litre.

And today? That same litre costs between 126.9 cents and 134.7 cents per litre, depending upon what part of the city you’re in (I like the way they still use “cents” to make you think it’s not all that expensive. Well, that little trick, I’m here to tell you Big Bad Gas Companies, doesnae work.) Apparently in some parts of the country it is nearing $1.50 and a couple of weeks here in good old TO it was $1.38.

In other words, not billions – but I find it very difficult to understand how the prices have gone up more than a third in the past seven months, really.

It’s enough to make me want to rush back to London. Forget Tower Bridge (although I can think of a few dozen top-level people who should perhaps be taken across it in legchains and left in the old prison there!). I’ll be looking for this place:

Will I find some answers there? Will I, hell. But I’ll be able to work up some guid big old rants, I should think.

Happy Wednesday and may Santa be kind to you all.

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4 thoughts on “Wanted: Christmas in July

  1. tracyb says:

    The best is the bumper stickers that are showing up over here. All they say is “When Bush took office gas was $1.46 per gallon”. Now? It’s over $4.00 in most places. David Sedaris is awesome and you mentioned one of my favorite essays! Love when he tells people they can see Cher through the peephole! As I was typing this, I glanced up – did you notice that Anna Nicole’s boobs are very uneven? 🙂

  2. barbara hurd says:

    Coincidentally I am reading Sedaris’s “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” . The cover features a skull smoking a cigarette. I heard about him when he was being interviewed on CBC. He is funny. One of his essays is about “Stadium Pal”, a device for men who don’t want to bother walking to a washroom while an exciting game is happening and the beer is flowing. It comes with a “freedom leg bag”, though I am pretty sure that isn’t the same freedom as in “freedom fries”.

    Later…

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