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Brian Evankovich

The Hidden Terror of Christmas; or, Granny Go Home
By Brian Evankovich
Dec 16, 2004 - 3:59:00 PM

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surlaw eht si ykraps
I'd like to take a .44 Magnum to the little drummer boy and pa-rump-a-bump-bump him full of lead.

Such an attitude, you say, is hardly appropriate for this Christmas season, but after almost 30 years, hearing that Christmas tune over and over again has finally taken its toll and I'm about to snap.

There are consequences to our actions, Mom always said, and I face such consequences as you read this.

Am I afraid Santa won't bring me any toys this year?


I'm afraid of Santa's twin brother, Black Peter.

The story of Black Peter, as far as my research shows, originated in Holland many moons ago, and is the pink elephant - or the insane aunt in the basement - of the Christmas season. But I, as your humble correspondant (sorry, Bill) would feel awful (you'll see why) if I didn't educate you about this hidden terror.

Black Peter, a crippled dwarf who was supposedly banished from the North Pole for trying to overthrow Santa in a violent coup, lives in a coal mine. Like Santa, he keeps an eye on children all over the world because he, too, wants to see who's naughty or nice - but not for the reasons you suspect.

While the world is watching the skies for Santa on the Big Day, Black Peter treks through his tunnels on his coal-cart hauled by zombie rams.

His mission: to snatch up the bad kids and load them in a sack full of rats before returning to the mines, where the kids become his slaves, forced to dig coal for eternity and to be tormented by Black Peter who will poke them with sharp pins and one day cook them and swallow them whole.

If a child is naughty and in danger of becoming a notch in Black Peter's belt, Black Peter will leave a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking. As a warning. Like in The Godfather with the horse's head. And if said children do not adjust their attitude.... well, the following year, off to the mines they go.

And following that pattern, if my homicidal attitude toward the little drummer boy doesn't change, I'm liable to get coal this year.

Working the mines for eternity prior to being cooked in soy sause can't be any worse than hearing pa-rump-a-bump-bump a thousand times every December.

The little drummer boy must die.

Good-bye, cruel world.


Here's another reason reason why women shouldn't run the world:

Out here in California we have recently been plagued by a group calling itself the Raging Grannies, a bunch of grandmothers who, this Christmas, have dedicated themselves to protesting so-called war toys and violent video games.

Raging Granny spokeswoman Ruth Robertson, quoted in local coverage of a protest in the city of Palo Alto, sums it up: "They are teaching your children to prepare to be military. To prepare to be violent and research has shown that children emulate these action figures and try to be like characters in the video games."

It's a military/toy company conspiracy, folks.

They claim that research backs up their point of view, and they are correct in so thinking. Boys grow up wanting to be tough cowboys or soldiers or cops, and their play time often reflects such wants. Mine always did. If we didn't have access to cap guns or water pistols, any stick magically turned into a gun (we didn't have "violent video games" so we had to make do with our imaginations). We played cops and robbers; our fathers before us played cowboys and Indians. Males are naturally aggressive and those games supply an outlet as boys pretended to win battles and save the world from evil.

I think Dad and his friends and I and my friends turned out just fine, thanks. Because, really, 96% of boys who "play war" are going to be perfectly normal.

2% of males are screwed up anyway, and whether or not they have "war toys" makes no difference.

The remaining 2% end up as one of the makeover experts on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The Raging Grannies are just another bunch of women trying to emasculate males and convince them that their instinctive thoughts and ideas are wrong and that they're instead supposed to be nice and sensitive and good husbands and perfect fathers and put down the drive inside that makes them to want to climb on the back of a horse and ride the open range in search of adventure.

We've spent the last 30 years building up women but in the process have left boys behind. That's why we're seeing more problems with male aggression than ever before. Guys are thinking one thing, but being told another, and they don't know what the heck to do - so they explode. There's a happy medium somewhere, and that's what men have to find and what society must acknowledge. You can't make a lamb out of a wolf, but society has tried; in some cases, succeeded. Two years ago I caught an episode of the the John Walsh Show, a daytime talk program that has since been cancelled, where a panel of mothers were discussing whether or not it was okay to teach their daughters how to shoot guns and protect themselves. In the audience, a boy in his late teens stood up and announced that the idea of those mothers teaching their daughters to shoot scared him. An example of the age of the sissified man. I was stunned. Nobody mentioned that if men were man enough to do the protecting, the girls wouldn't have to learn how to shoot.

Another example includes a fellow from my neck of the woods who refused to ship out with his Marine unit after receiving orders to go to Afghanistan. He thought fighting for his country and killing the enemy was wrong. When he surrendered to military authorities, he was accompanied by his mother and his sister. One wonders why he bothered to join up to begin with.

Western stories have remained popular for over 100 years because they stimulate a man's imagination, bring him back to the days when he could roam the wild frontier, had to be extra tough to survive, and could solve problems with the end of a six-shooter instead of anger management. Sports have replaced the frontier and provide men with the rough activity and camaraderie they seek. That's why some fans are so into their favorite teams - or their own personal playing activities - to the point of obsession.

The Raging Grannies are not part of the solution but instead part of the problem. But it's a free country, so the Raging Grannies are free to express their opinion (a freedom, by the way, that they enjoy because soliders are ready to kill people and break things on their behalf - methinks they miss the point).

And because it's a free country, it's also okay for me to suggest that the Grannies should instead do something more productive and useful, like baking cookies and knitting sweaters.

Brian Evankovich lives in California where he eagerly awaits the reopening of the Paradise Theater at

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