Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Tag" or "Cooties" ... Is There A Difference?

Alas, I've Been Caught For The Second Day In A Row!

I recall a game of my youth!

No, it wasn't tag.  Tag was something you played when you were very young.

The game was called 

I have no idea where or how it originated, nor care.  It really doesn't matter.  

What I do remember was someone would come up to you, touch your body somewhere (usually not where one would want or appreciate) and holler, "Cooties, Cooties, you've got Cooties!"   We would then do the same to another, generally of the same gender for fear of visiting the Principal's office for inappropriate touching.  (Hey, some of us knew how to use opportunity, even way back then!)

In adult life, the premise of tagging is again taking place.  Chain letters were bad enough, as you had to wonder if the person sending it to you actually had an agreement with Satan and would send terrible things your way if you didn't comply.  

However, this tagging is taking place under the guise of "holiday spirit" and makes one simply feel guilty if they do not return the favor.  (I guess Christmas brings out the youngster in all of us ... well, most.)

I awoke yesterday to having been tagged.  So, I complied and wrote a blog about the experience.  If you missed it (whether intentionally or not), I welcome you to view it here:

Today, after going to bed at 8 a.m. this morning, I awoke to guess what?   Yep!  Once again, I'd been tagged!

This time, Cyndi Calhoun, another friend of mine, found her normally extremely functional brain to be somewhat demented (it's nice to see others visit the mental state in which I live) had listed me in this continued version of sadistic, oops, continued version of Christmas cheer.   

"Tell us your secrets and make them clear,
we're all friends there's nothing to fear!
Rah, Rah, Zis Bah Boom!"

Can you still do the splits?  I never could.  My voice was too low.

Getting back to Cyndi Calhoun ... here's a person that everyone loves.  (No, not literally, she's not that type of girl!  Shame on you!)  Cyndi is a photographer extraordinaire and creates visual masterpieces with both the camera she uses and the words she pens.  She’s constantly experimenting with various techniques to bring the photo to life for all to enjoy, and is damn good at it.  

Of course, it comes honestly as she got much practice in her previous life.  She fine tuned her skills decades ago as a photographer for the Marquis de Sade.  I think that’s where she picked up this sadistic “tagging” art.   None of those photos still exist (she’s spent most of this life searching them down and destroying them to keep her looking sweet and innocent in the eyes of this life’s friends), but you can visit a tremendous array of her current offerings at:  

Okay, now to the task at hand.  I must go through the questions in her post and try to find those that I have yet to answer.  (Oh, the humanities!  More work!)  Let’s give this a shot:

1)  What makes Christmas such a special holiday to you and your family?  
It comes after Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Third time’s a charm!   No, in all sincerity, I first need to say I’m not a “church” person.  I don’t usually go to church because I’ve had many negative experiences as an adult with men preaching what they can’t show in the Bible.  (I once had two deacons visit my home and start knocking rock music.  I played them a couple of James Taylor tunes, and then some shit kicking Country selections to compare.  Then, when I asked them to show me any reference to Rock Music in the Bible, it was suddenly time to pray and say goodbye.)

However, I do hold religion very sacred in my heart.  This is the celebration of the birthday of Christ, not a competition to see how much one can spend on gifts.  I think that is lost most of the time.  It is a special day for a very special birthday boy, and recognizing that should make it the most special of days for all families.  (See, I do have a serious side.  Disappointed?)

2)  Were you told the truth about Santa by your parents or did you find out some other way?
You might say I’ve always been the inquisitive ass.  It was always funny to me that my parents needed to know what I wanted Santa to know, and how most of what I wrote in my letter to Santa appeared under the tree.  So, one year, I think second grade, I went snooping.  In their closet I found a vast amount of gifts prior to Christmas Day.  So, either Santa was visiting early (which made me wonder why we left out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve), or Santa was a myth.  When I approached my teacher about it, she said to ask my parents.  That told me a conspiracy was in the air among the adults of the world.  A few weeks later, when Christmas Eve hit, my parents asked me if I wanted to leave out the standard cookies and milk.  I said, “Why?  Santa’s already been here.  He left all the presents in your closet!”   (Have you ever been punished on Christmas Eve for looking in your parents closet?)

3)  What’s your favorite Christmas movie to watch?  Or, Christmas song?
Typically, I’d respond “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  But whoever said I was typical?  Actually, I enjoy “A Christmas Story.”  I won’t watch it over and over and over all day on TBS, but once is okay.  Not only does it have it’s humorous moments, but it’s about a time that I grew up during, when life was much more simple and family oriented.  Plus, I begged for a Daisy BB gun myself one year, and received it.  For years, there was a BB hole in the basement window of my parent’s home that was blamed on a neighbor’s kid that also got one.  I wonder how it got there?

As far as Christmas song, “The Christmas Song” by Jose Feliciano is a tremendous version that I never tire of.  Others have done it well, but Jose’s really comes from the soul.  And, I can never forget one of my first records ever, when I was a child.  It was the Three Stooges singing, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”.   (God, I was a comedy junkie even further back than I originally remembered!)

4)  If you could spend Christmas anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve moved so many times in my life, I’ve found it doesn’t matter where you are, but who you’re with.  As long as my wife is by my side, it doesn’t matter.  Christmas is a personal time when emotions run high.  I don’t care about the background scenery, I just want to always see her eyes looking into mine on that day.  (Of course, if Victoria’s Secret called ... there’s always computer cams!)

5)  What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
My heart’s discovery of what the day really meant.  After serving in the military, I was living in a cold garage apartment with no funds.  Eating once a day was done only by splitting up a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese into three days of servings.  I knew there was a feast to be held with all of my father’s family only 17 miles away, but I remembered how Christmas had become a competition of who got the most expensive gift.  I wanted none of it, as I felt something was amiss in feeling that way.  I stayed home with my two cats of the time (Avatar and Blackwolf), and watched Christmas programming on a 19” Black & White TV.  I had even restrained my inhaling that day to make sure I kept it holy.  

The next day, I recognized how good I felt.  I had restrained myself from the competition, and strengthened my belief that it was Christ’s day, not ours to taint with petty egos.  I vowed to never compete on that day, but to give all I could in the spirit of the heart and love, instead.  I’ve never been sorry about that decision.  (But, if you'd like to compete, you can send all Christmas gifts to me at ......)

Okay, enough is enough!  

To all that have not been tagged, you’re now tagged!  You’re not getting out of it this easily!  Share your tales of Christmas with all of us!

And remember, I WILL remember you next year if you try to tag me again!  : )

Merry Christmas to all of you, my friends!

May you be blessed with the joy and warmth of eternal love and family togetherness!

(Except the "family togetherness" part in Mississippi and Eastern Kentucky, 
where it has a whole different meaning!)


  1. This is such a beautiful hub describing about your thoughts on this festival.

    I agree with you that the amt you spend on it, should not matter. It is the thoughts that count since it is the Lord's b'day and we ought to remember that.

    I am glad that your sense of humor got through your most difficult times esp when splitting mac n cheese in three portions for a day in this cold winter.

    Good to know you, and wishing you the best, Rich.

    1. Ruchira - So good of you to visit! Humor is the key to life! Without it, survival is boring. To smile is to live. Anytime that statement is doubted, just look in the mirror and see if you're smiling or not. : ) It is a pleasure and an honor to call you my friend. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  2. Phew, Amy tagged me earlier so I'm excused from this again I think...just posted my Christmas tagging as well. Yours was great...Happy Holidays!

    1. Emily - I thought I was until I got the second tag. I don't think I have anything left to write about me (that can be told in public, at least). lol May you and your family have the best holiday season ever! Many thanks!

  3. I did my tag on Thursday = done. I love The Christmas Story. I think it's my favorite Xmas movie, that and Elf. Enjoyed reading your list. Funny! Have a Merry Christmas!

    1. Kate - I wish I'd have known we only had to do one! I was under the idea you had to do one each time you were tagged. Oh well, who needed to watch basketball this afternoon anyway? lol I hope you and your family have a great and Merry Christmas! Many Thanks!

  4. I did mine today, so I am off the hook here, too. But I truly loved your post on this and your sense of humor always shine through wonderfully. Thanks seriously for that :) :)

    1. Janine - This made my #2 list, and I'm going to have to step aside now. I've written four blogs this week which is three above normal. I'm ready to retire! : ) Keep smiling and you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

  5. What a freakin' cool post! I'm glad I tagged you, by golly. Hehe. Thanks for the mention - schnikes, you are so generous with your words and I am undeserving - but your answers to your Christmas questions were really run to read. And I have to say that you give your cats the most interesting names. Here's a secret: my other favorite Christmas movie is the Christmas Story, too. My cat Ralphie is named after the kid in that movie cuz I think they have similar personalities. :)

    1. Cyndi - Good to see you! Now I can blast you for tagging me! lol I survived, so I'll let it go ... until next year. : ) You are a great photographer, and don't believe otherwise. My words were true (except for the Marquis de Sade bit). Avatar and Blackwolf were named after two wizards in the cartoon movie, "Wizards." Since them, I started the alphabet over with Roman or Greek names and had, Antonius, Bernadette, Caladonius, Demetrius, Eurydicina, and now Faletame and Gabriela. I have a feeling these two will out live me, so that's probably it. I hope you and yours have a great Christmas! Many Thanks!

  6. I'd love to see someone else tag you after this one...heheehe! Loved your answer to number four about spending Christmas with your wife anywhere in the world :)

    1. Melanie - And I thought we were friends! You are the sadistic little devil, aren't you? lol The older I get, the more I appreciate what I've got. My wife's been through a lot with me, much of it more than most would have stood for. In comedy, I was gone most of the time, so even though the money was coming in, she had to completely do everything in the home and with the girls. She's a tough lady, not a model, not a genius, and not the best cook, but she's more than I'm worthy of. Much more. I wish you the best of Christmas seasons, in all three of your celebrations! : )

  7. Avatar and Blackwolf! Wow. Faletame and Gabby had interesting predecessors! and I love the answer to your last question. Christmas should not be about who gets the most expensive diminishes its true meaning. Thanks for the cool read, as usual!

    1. Michelle - Thanks so much for stopping by (especially after tagging me in the previous one). lol I just wrote down the complete listing of my previous cats names above in Cyndi's comment. I try to keep them unique, as "Snowball" or "Fluffy" just isn't my cup of tea. : ) I've believed that about Christmas gifts for many of years now. It's just my way ... not for everyone ... but I think it's right. Thank you for visiting! Have a great holiday!

  8. I really enjoyed reading this! We have a lot in common in many ways... (I am sort of being a Scrooge myself right now and crossing my fingers that I *don't* get tagged. ;)

    Merry Christmas- time to back and read your first "tagged" post!

    1. Stephanie - Ah, but you have been! Remember, I tagged everyone that hasn't yet been tagged! : ) I'm glad you enjoyed this! Feel free to write one if you wish, or not write one. I know things are exceptionally busy at this time of year. I do wish you and yours to have a very Merry Christmas! Many Thanks!

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