All I want for Christ­mas 2016

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Harold Wal­ters Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever Af­ter in Dunville, in the only Cana­dian province with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at gh­wal­

I have given my Christ­mas Wish List some se­ri­ous thought. I have re­flected on Wishes Past, Wishes Present and Wishes Yet To Come. I have trod the floor at mid­night, the undi­gested fat of a Mary Brown’s thigh play­ing havoc with my phan­tom gall­blad­der, and pon­dered the empty length of my Santa Claus stock­ing.

Other than the an­nual pair of worsted vamps from dear old Mammy, and p’raps a tin of Qual­ity Street candy from Dear­est Duck — oh, and peace on Earth and what­ever — I’ve de­cided all I want for Christ­mas is an ap­ple. Not just any ap­ple though. Not a bruised and al­ready half-rotty McIntosh from the pro­duce aisle.

Not a tart green Granny Smith sub­sti­tut­ing for a Johnny Ap­ple­seed Red. No sir. I want a tra­di­tional Christ­mas ap­ple as per­fectly formed and as Dis­ney red as the witchy fruit that sent Snow White beddy-bye.

Only not poi­sonous, course.

“Harry, my very own handy candy man,” says Dear­est Duck, lodg­ing a hand on my shoul­der, “I have never given you Qual­ity Street candy for Christ­mas.”

“Al­ways a Duck,” say I.

“Be care­ful what you wish for,” says Dear­est Duck, as in­scrutably as Con­fu­cius, or pos­si­bly Kurt Von­negut, an­other dead wise man.

I wish my Christ­mas ap­ple first of time, my My Im­per­fect Slant to be iden­ti­cal to the ones that upon many a Christ­mas past, Santa stogged into the toe of the wool sock I’d hooked on a four inch nail driven into the wall be­hind the stove.

I s’pose I’m wish­ing for some lost part of my bay-boy past, eh b’ys?

While trudg­ing back and forth our hall at mid­night, and de­spite the lin­ger­ing pres­ence of Mary Brown’s oleagi­nous thigh, thoughts of my teeth crack­ing into the crunchy flesh of long-gone Christ­mas ap­ples caused me to drib­ble and drool on my chinny-chin whiskers. Truly. An aside about ap­ples. We’re all fa­mil­iar with the adage re­gard­ing the health ben­e­fits of ap­ples and their abil­ity to keep doc­tors at bay.

Well, just look at what Mr. Google has to say: Ap­ples are of­ten eaten to pre­vent di­ges­tive prob­lems, although sometimes they can con­trib­ute to con­sti­pa­tion. Like all fruit, ap­ples con­tain fruc­tose, and too much of this sugar at a time pro­vides your in­testi­nal bac­te­ria with a sub­strate in which to fer­ment, which leads to gas pro­duc­tion, bloat­ing and ab­dom­i­nal pain.

In ef­fect, ap­ples of­ten give sex­a­ge­nar­i­ans the gas...

…which — dare I wax crudely? — if re­leased, might shed dif­fer­ent light on the like­li­hood of a doc­tor ap­proach­ing, eh b’ys? “Harry, you are dis­gust­ing!” Aside ended. Lis­ten, you know what hap­pens when some­one says, “Don’t think about an ele­phant,” or a duck-billed platy­pus, for that mat­ter. Right. So, don’t think about that Fisher- Price Happy Ap­ple toy that in a pre­vi­ous cen­tury Santa used to hide be­neath Christ­mas trees to frighten the be­jab­bers out of un­sus­pect­ing tod­dlers.

“Harry,” says Dear­est Duck, “that is not a nice thing to say. Santa would never in­ten­tion­ally frighten chil­dren.”

“P’raps not, my Duck,” say I, “but are you for­get­ting Daddy’s Boy?”

“Oh my,” says part­ing.

Nigh onto 40 Christ­mases ago, Santa pre­car­i­ously bal­anced — in­ten­tion­ally? — a Happy Ap­ple on the tippy-top of the pyra­mid of toys un­der our tree.

Daddy’s Boy, usu­ally a’feared of noth­ing — worms, nor drag­on­flies, nor those big ol’ black bee­tles that dwelt in the potato patch — tod­dled to the foot of the pyra­mid, pulled out the bot­tom pack- she, de- age …

… and lanche.

Happy Ap­ple, it’s face a sav­age blood- red, rat­tling and shak­ing and jan­gling bells, to­bog­ganed down the avalanche di­rectly to­wards Daddy’s Boy’s fright­ened face.

As the avalanche broke around Daddy’s Boy’s tod­dler toes, Happy Ap­ple leapt from the pile and at­tacked. trig­gered an ava-

“Wwaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” said Daddy’s Boy.

He’s mostly over the trauma nowa­days.

Fam­ily ru­mour claims, how­ever, the Happy Ap­ple I bought on eBay and sent him for Christ­mas last year caused him to break out in blotches.

You know, in the sober­ing light of day, Mary’s thigh long gone the al­i­men­tary way of all food, maybe an ap­ple, in any form, isn’t a par­tic­u­larly com­fort­ing thing to want for Christ­mas.

On fur­ther thought, I’ve changed my mind. In­stead of a munchy Christ­mas ap­ple, I want some­thing top-of-the­line, some­thing state-of-theart, some­thing as brightly pol­ished as a freshly-minted Toonie — Mr. Ap­ple’s MacBook Pro! Truly. Oh, and frig Street candy. Thank you for read­ing. HAPPY Hol … AH, FRIG IT, MERRY CHRIST­MAS!

Nigh onto 40 Christ­mases ago, Santa pre­car­i­ously bal­anced — in­ten­tion­ally? — a Happy Ap­ple on the tippy-top of the pyra­mid of toys un­der our tree.

the Qual­ity

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