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Happy birthday Santa Claus!

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

December 25 marks a special day for Christians. It’s the day Santa Claus was born. Two thousand and seven years ago, God created the sun, the earth, and chocolate pudding. A number of years later, God’s son Santa slid out of a magical frozen vagina in the North Pole and began giving people presents.

God bequeathed Santa unto us from the thick of His loins because God likes people, and He believes we deserve to have widescreen TVs and Xbox 360s. “Let my son giveth unto them George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machines and golf balls with their names printed upon them,” God belched from upon a mountaintop deep in the wilds of heaven. “Let my only son, whom I have named Santa Claus, stuff their stockings with TJ Maxx gift cards and holiday-themed boxes of Lifesavers that will be banished to a drawer and never consumed.”

Santa Claus has upheld this duty for over 2,000 of His birthdays, using the power of The Lord to deliver gifts to everyone except really poor people (Santa wisely understands that someone has to remain poor in order for this economy to work). Even though all the presents are from God, Santa puts His own name on the gift tags, because God is modest and “doesn’t want to make a big deal out of things.” (Leviticus 18:407)

You may have heard that I’m a fatty

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

Don’t believe the rumors you’ve heard. I haven’t turned into a fatty. Your favorite columnist – whom you’ve always loved not because of his humor, but because of his rugged good looks and thin, girlish profile – is as sexy as ever. Perhaps even too sexy.

I may be 28 years old, the exact age when most people’s metabolism comes to a screeching halt, but that doesn’t mean anything. I may also eat grotesquely unhealthy food nearly every meal of the day, and may have a fridge full of frozen burritos, frozen corn dogs, frozen pizza, and frozen lard loosely shaped into hamburger patties right now, but that doesn’t mean anything either. I may also drink enough beer each day to send average men into diabetic comas, but that doesn’t mean I’ve become a fatty either.

However, I have gained 11 pounds in the past year, so that’s probably why people think I’m a fatty. But they fail to note that I used to weigh 158 lbs, so instead of looking like Brad Pitt, I now just look like Brad Pitt with a slight beer belly. Sounds pretty sexy when I put it that way, doesn’t it? A Brad Pitt you can drink with?

I went to the doctor for my annual checkup, and he informed me that I weigh 169 lbs. It’s probably a good thing that I gained some weight. I no longer fall down when children sneeze. But gaining 11 pounds in one year opened my eyes to the fact that I’m getting older and I’m not very healthy. I don’t work out, I eat garbage three meals per day, I drink more beer than water, and I haven’t eaten lettuce since 1986. Up to this point, my body has consumed and processed all 16,000 calories I’ve force-fed myself each day without any weight gain. Sadly, I think those days are over.

It’s not December yet, you son of a bitch

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

Hey jerks, guess what today is?* It’s November! Not December. Not “The holiday season”. Today is just plain old November, so put your Christmas tree back in the garage, take down your lights, remove your candy cane tie, and stop being merry. I forbid you to smile, laugh, or be full of cheer until December 1.

I don’t care if Thanksgiving is over. The Christmas season doesn’t begin until December. Have some self-control, you filthy animals! Stop trying to force it upon the rest of us a week early. It is November, and you will act accordingly, or I will take off my shoe and throw it at your face.

What happened to self-restraint? I know everybody wants everything right now, but “right now” gets earlier and earlier every year. Patience is a virtue, you twats! Can’t you monkeys keep out of the banana factory for one lousy week? Have some willpower and discipline. Pretend you have a personality inside you instead of just an endless stream of selfishness and indulgence.

If you’re not selfish and you just genuinely like holidays, then why don’t I ever see you trying to celebrate Columbus Day early? Why don’t I see you a month beforehand listening to Columbus Day music and baking Christopher Columbus shaped cookies? You don’t like celebrating holidays at all, do you? You just like getting presents. You’re a liar and a bastard.

How to impress your friends by pretending to can vegetables

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

When I’m at the supermarket, I shop as if I were living through the Great Depression. Chef Boyardee for 99 cents? Never! The generic brand is 94 cents! Diet Coke? Never! I’ll get Diet RC Cola – which has the slightest taste of dental filling paste – for 30 cents less per case.

I purchase my breakfast cereal in gigantic horsefeeder-sized bags. If there was an illegal immigrant sitting at a card table outside the supermarket, selling even cheaper bags of cereal that were obviously pulled out of a dumpster, I’d probably buy those instead.

I blame my parents for this. From a young age, they planted this idea in my head that buying inferior products is worth the miniscule amount of savings. Didn’t I go to college so I wouldn’t have to eat generic cheese? “It all adds up!” my parents always say. Never mind that it only adds up to 30 cents each shopping trip. Since it all adds up, why don’t I start working nights and weekends in a Chinese sweatshop?

The generic brand of spaghetti sauce I bought the other day was so cheap that the label fell off during the drive home from the supermarket. Now it’s literally as generic as can be: Just a glass jar full of sauce. I actually like it better this way. It looks nicer and also gives the false impression that I made it myself. I’m going to remove the labels from all my food products, so everything in my kitchen will appear to be homemade.

E. coli sounds like an ice cream flavor

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Tuesday I post a new column.

Is there anything left for me to eat that doesn’t have E. coli in it? Anything at all? Can I eat Werther’s Originals? How about ketchup? Can I use Listerine breath strips, or did somebody dip those in animal poop too? Should I eat Thanksgiving dinner this year, or just enjoy the aroma and then toss it in the garbage?

Every month something different is infected with E. coli: Hamburgers, spinach, apple juice, dead rats, Lucky Charms, condoms. Now five million Totino’s and Jeno’s frozen pizzas are being recalled. I’m pretty sure I ate that many over the course of my childhood. Why does it have to be Totino’s? Isn’t it bad enough that I’m too poor to buy a real frozen pizza, now I have to get sick too?

What kind of a world do we live in where I can’t trust companies to kill things and feed them to me? And Totino’s doesn’t even involve farms or animals. There’s not a natural ingredient in a Totino’s pizza. It’s just cardboard with fake cheese on it. The pepperoni is rubber from discarded shoes. It’s all engineered in a lab, like Viagra and Courtney Love’s face.