The Morbidity Before Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve, and is there ever a time when it’s more appropriate to give a gift? Especially if that gift is the wrong size and colour and can’t conveniently be returned to the store for a cash refund? Well I have a very special gift just for you (and whoever else in the world happens to have an internet connection – but really, this one’s expressly from me to you). That’s okay, you didn’t have to get me anything. I’m hard to shop for. An envelope stuffed with cash will do in a pinch, or you can always go hunting for my well-camouflaged donate button, hidden and misnamed at the bottom of my About page where no one will ever stumble across it, even accidentally. No pressure, no guilt.

The present? Oh right, the present. I wrote you story – my new-to-the-public short story, It’s the Thought That Counts – a heartwarming family history that begins, conveniently enough, on Christmas Eve.

Crickets? Do I hear crickets? It’s freezing cold and the snow is ass-deep out there. It seems terribly unseasonable for crickets. I’ll have to look into that.

Before you go diving under the tree for another gift-wrapped box with your name on it, hoping against hope that the next present in line will be way more awesome – something along the lines of socks, underwear, or a tie perhaps – take a closer look at what I just gave you, you ungrateful asshole. It’s free internet content. Okay, it’s not a YouTube video of a cat trying to act cool after pulling down the Christmas tree on top of itself, or your adorable second-cousin’s nephew belching “O Holy Night” after downing three Red Bulls in less than thirty seconds. It’s a bunch of text, which requires much more intellectual heavy lifting to appreciate than a video you can stare at and zone out to. Reading is hard, vegging to viddies is easy. But engaging with the written word is so much more rewarding. And after all, how likely are you to find something as troubling and morbid as one of my stories by randomly surfing YouTube or following the links of your Facebook friends? Well, I guess that depends on your friends. But if you’re looking for some more of that Eyestrain-brand gallows humour for the holidays, it’s only a click away, right here, right now.

Mood-setting clip art in the sidebar aside, the story is, admittedly, a solid block of prose. If you want something with more pictures – of a sort – you can also check out The Awfuls under my new Comic Strips section. I stealthily threw that up on the site a few weeks ago and never made an official announcement here. More strips will follow just as soon as I can be bothered to dig them out of deep storage and fire up the scanner.

When looking for some well-earned time away from your family, their awkward drinking, and their baseless alcohol-fuelled accusations this holiday season, feel free to seek a brief respite here at Eyestrain Productions. Because I’m not going anywhere. The gears of western commerce may have ground for a halt for the Christmas-to-New Year stretch, but I’m still working away late into the night – even though I’m owed money and everybody who can sign their name to my cheques has gone on vacation. The chains to my desk remain locked and my bony fingers still scratch away at the keyboard, day after day. Who has the time for such trifling things as seasonal cheer?

Call me Scrooge if you must, but I’m really only one gimpy kid away from being Bob Cratchit.

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