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Christmas shopping, Zombie Men and Rock 'n Roll

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Message Tracy Farr
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Christmas is getting closer with each passing day, but do you think I'm worried about getting my shopping done? Nosirree! I've got a plan, and as long as I stick to it, everything will be peachy-keen!


My plan? To wait until Christmas Eve to do my shopping and then hit the stores with military-like precision: attack, attack, attack, take no prisoners, and don't charge anything until you see the whites of their eyes. And what is the most crucial part of every successful military shopping operation? Knowing that it's best to "attack before dawn" -- say about four in the morning.


I've found it is much safer to maneuver through Wal-Mart when the only people in the aisles are me and the stock boys. Yes, sometimes I have to "hit the dirt" when they start lobbing potato chips or toilet paper over my head, but that's a lot better than being followed by a squadron of mothers with their screaming children and Zombie Husbands -- following me up and down every aisle until I lose them in the baby food section, because there ain't no way I'm going down that aisle again in this lifetime.


Speaking of Zombie Men -- Beware! They gather at supermarkets and malls this time of year, and they will suck the life right out of you if given half a chance. Zombie Men are easy to spot in a crowd: They'll be hunched over their shopping carts, their feet shuffling as they walk; they'll have blank expressions on their faces, with their eyes downcast in order to avoid eye contact with strangers; and you'll be able to hear them mumble things like, "Yes dear," and "Whatever you say, dear," and "Yes, they look fresh to me, dear."

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It depresses me to see a fellow member of the male species, a gender brother, pushing a shopping cart while blindly following his wife like a Zombie. And those kind of wives are all the same -- agitated, jittery, looking for the best bargain, picking up this can of soup, comparing it with that can of soup, finally putting both cans of soup in the cart, telling her Zombie Husband to speed up, slow down, grab that box of cake mix, "No! Not that one! The store brand because it's cheaper."


Sometimes when the Zombie Men accidentally look up, I see in their faces a wish for me to put a bullet right between their eyes, just to end their suffering. But I have to look away. There is nothing I can do for them. When I go shopping, I leave my pistol at home.


And on that note, let's abruptly change subjects, shall we?

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I'm listening to Christmas music now, The Little Drummer Boy, and it makes me wonder how Mary and Joseph could stand listening to a little kid banging on a drum just moments after the birth of Jesus. If I'd been Joseph, I would have run him off. Who wants a novice drummer practicing rolls and paradiddles near their new-born baby? I wouldn’t -- but that's just me. Maybe people back then were more tolerant, but I doubt it. I practically guarantee that if a Little Trombone Boy had come to play, they would have thrown him to the lions.


Of course, now I'm wondering What Would Jesus Play? Probably lead guitar. And I can see Joseph playing bass, Mary on piano, and the Three Wise Men singing backup. Jesus would be the lead singer, the Angel would be in charge of lights and special effects, the Little Drummer Boy would play drums (obviously), and they'd call themselves The Mary Mangers. All the animals would be roadies, waiting for the show to end so they can pack things up and head to the next gig.


The Mary Mangers would play Rock 'n Roll music because it appeals to the masses and makes "The Man" nervous. And it wouldn't be Soft Rock music, either! They'd play  head-banging, get down and dirty Rock 'n Roll with the volume turned up so loud you can hear it well into the next millennium. When it comes to getting your message across, it's the decibels that really count.


And there you have it. We've covered a lot of ground today -- everything from Christmas shopping to Zombie Men to Rock ‘n Roll -- and I'm pert near positive I have nothing else to say. But if I change my mind, I’ll let you know.


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Tracy Farr lives in East Texas with his wife and three children -- and some goats. He is a member of NSNC, is the columns editor for the site Nights And Weekends, and writes a weekly column which appears in local newspapers and websites.
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