But your honor, HONEST; it was temporary INSANITY!

By now I suspect that most people have figured out that it’s Christmas. I say this because sometimes I forget about it. You see; I do ALL of my shopping online!

Virtually all of the major retail chains, as well as the majority of local small businesses, are online. They offer the same deals, often at lower prices, as their brick and mortar counterparts. And their returns policy is every bit as liberal as well.

I can COMPLETE a three page, single spaced, double-sided Christmas list in less than 90-minutes. EVERY item! Bought and paid for! Thank YOU, Google!

Yes, I pay extra for shipping and handling! But for ME it’s worth the price. In less than a week’s time, either a UPS truck, or a Fed-EX, stops in front of my house to deliver the goods… every item Christmas-wrapped—far better than I could EVER do it myself—and ready to put under the Christmas tree.

And BEST of all, I am no longer subjected to retail’s version of cruel and unusual punishment: JINGLE BELL ROCK!” If  EVER there was justification for human rage, it would be this [a really BAD word] song!

Unfortunately, though, circumstances sometimes force us to abandon our hard-held rules; and I’m NO exception.

This is especially true whenever it comes to my absolute love FOR and the protection OF my children, even if THIS “child” is sneaking up on the threshold of her 34th birthday.

No danger is too great to face nor is any amount of torture too excessive to endure when it comes to my kids’ happiness!

This “child” has been star struck by a beloved Sesame Street puppet named Elmo ever since his character’s introduction several years ago. And each Christmas for the past four, an Elmo puppet has hit her “gotta-have” list.

And thanks to my policy of early online Christmas shopping, she has all of them because we’ve always avoided the inevitable mid-season shortages of such items.

This year’s craze was LOL Elmo. But unfortunately, thanks to her burst appendix, which resulted in major surgery, an extended hospital stay, and a protracted recovery period, we had larger fish to fry… if you get my drift.

So by the time I started looking, LOL Elmo was nowhere to be found, not even on the Internet—at least not at a reasonable price—although I would have gone as high as $70.

I had given up finding one before Christmas. But that suddenly changed around 3:00 PM yesterday (Saturday). A life-long dear friend of mine (Anna) called me from Toys (backwards R) Us.

While doing some last minute shopping for her TWELVE grandchildren, she spotted LOL Elmo. It was the last one they had and she grabbed it for me. It was $46.

Given the extent of HER gift list and the amount of money involved, I was not about to ask her to pay for it and let me pick it up at her place later that night.

Instead, I told her I’d meet her at the store and that we could stop for a relaxing cup of coffee and a bite to eat afterwards. She loved that idea but told me that finding a parking space at the store would be a nightmare. I took off for the store ANYWAY!

I exited I-95 at the Stanton exit—10-miles from my house—parked in Delaware Technical and Community College’s parking lot to avoid parking hassles; and decided to walk across the “street” to the store.

It was a dangerous trek getting across the “street:” a major highway—6-lanes in some spots. And on top of this, assuming I made it across in one piece, it was a long walk to the store: about a third of a mile (a distance of approximately SIX football fields).

But danger and over-exertion be damned; I made it and accomplished my mission; buying that puppet doll—batteries needed but NOT included.

The store is huge; and once safely inside, I called Anna’s cell phone to find her, which was at the back of a LONG checkout line no less than 70-yards from the nearest cash register!

“Holy [really nasty word],” I muttered under my breath. Yes, Anna’s a sheer joy to be around; but even with her calming effect on me, I realized that it was going to be a VERY long, and possibly irritating, wait.

And it WAS! I kept track. It took 80-minutes (that’s an HOUR and twenty minutes) to reach a cashier.

And making matters worse, an IDIOT in front of Anna went ballistic when the cashier told him that the system rejected his credit cards… ALL! THREE! OF! THEM!

We finally paid for our items after a “supervisor” canceled HIS transaction and store security, along with a police officer, physically dragged the idiot out of the store.

I’m not a violent person; nor has anyone ever accused me of being violent. But I believe that violence is perfectly justified at certain times.

For example, normal people should be allowed slap the hell out of jerks—or at least hit them with a baseball bat.

And if they threaten our lives, fail to make right turns on a red lights where legally permitted, or they make us wait on checkout lines while they balance their [bad word] checkbooks after hand-writing a [VERY bad word] check, we should be allowed to open fire on them!

I’m just thankful for three things right now: having Anna as a friend, that my daughter never decided to collect baseball bats, and that Toys (backwards R Us) wasn’t playing Jingle Bell Rock during all of this!

Merry Christmas!

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