The Curse of Santa

I am pickled.

After two days of non-stop boozing pausing only to shovel cheese into my piehole, I am done. I am done eating. I am done drinking. I am done.

From the homemade ginger liquor to the margaritas that temporarily gave me the power to speak fluent Portuguese to the whiskey highballs to the DABC and Montana beer to the Strongbow and the shoe polish strained from a Xmas stocking, I am done drinking booze. We started our rampage against my liver early Xmas morning with Bailey’s and coffee that deadened the senses and made the world a little more magical. A properly pickled day was spent with the in-laws opening presents and eating questionable cheese covered in jelly. By the end of the day, I looked like WC Fields drinking kerosene and tonics out of a stilettoed heel.

Consequently, did you know WC Fields died on Christmas in 1946?

I am not lactose intolerant. I save my intolerance for other things. However, I am not a big fan of dairy. I always think of milk and milk-made products as being liquid beef and who enjoys Kobe slushies? I am not one to put cream in my coffee or eat a bowl of Cheerios. I rarely eat cheese during the year and if I do, it is at Lucky 13 with blue cheese crumbles guaranteeing my breath will smell like a dumpster. For the record, Lucky 13 is Utah’s best burger followed only by the Copper Onion. Hunkering down at the cheese platter at a party is out of my character mostly because I don’t like seeing cheese sweat.

With that said, the second the calendar gets flipped to December, I turn into a crazed Frenchman and hook up an IV of brie to my veins. I am constantly plopping smoked cheddar and pistachio goat into my mouth. It’s embarrassing to think that I survive the holidays by injecting every form of fromage into my body. While creamy and delicious going in, I usually put something into the toilet that Auric Goldfinger would want to put back into Fort Knox.

Tis the season to over-indulge and I am done. When my body is craving water, exercise and sleep, I know the holidays must have done their damages to my mind, body and soul. To those that gave me liquor for Christmas, I want to offer a heartfelt thank you for your generosity but forgive me for not dipping into the whiskey and tequila anytime soon. I need to savage what I have left of my liver for St. Patrick’s.

Christmas is not my favorite time of the year. As an unoriginal thinker, I join the masses that hate the masses that congest stores, roads and restaurants during the month of December. Everything is crowded, loud and obnoxious. It is painful buying presents for people simply because there is a genuine fear that your gift will be unappreciated or thrown to the wayside. Money is always tight and you want to thank those that have been kind to you throughout the year. It’s the perfect equation for depression and if you’ve survived off of a diet of Gouda and Manhattans, there is definitely a need to ease back into society. Apache warriors were sent off to the hills to reacclimate with society before rejoining the tribe—Christmas consumers should have to do the same. Send them to Walmart and have them wash the feet of the employees. Jesus would do it and there is no way you think you are better than Jesus?

I hope not. Cause you’re not.

Be careful for wishing for a white Christmas. Sure, it is all fun and games looking out into the backyard with a blanket of white reminding us the purity of Jesus’ birthday and where the dogs have gone to the bathroom but a white Christmas is ridiculous. There are way too many drunks on the road to be driving though snow banks and parked cars. Also, there is nothing less romantic than watching bulbous, hungover fathers shoveling driveways on Christmas morning. I usually feel like deep fried cat poop the morning of the 25th and I can only imagine what the neighbors thought of me as I moved around a bunch of snow.

I don’t miss much about Las Vegas but there is something to be said about Christmas afternoon being in the low 70s. Pickup basketball games at the park are always available and there is no fear of being assaulted by a barrage of snowballs while walking to the truck. On the brightside, snow falls keep carolers away from the house. Some people like travelling Christmas carolers and I call these people insane. I don’t like organized panhandlers beating at my door all throughout the day. There are a lot of upsides to living in Sugarhouse but the packs of feral carolers are not one of them.

If this makes me a Scrooge or a jerk or somebody who made up the pack of feral carolers then so be it. I’ve made peace with my maker.

In closing, thank goodness Christmas is in the rearview mirror. I am glad that we survived and my arteries haven’t been completely blocked by cheese and bourbon. I am making a Xmas promise to myself to start exercising again if only to keep the curse of Santa from bludgeoning me from the inside out. I am staying away from anything stronger than Miller Lite until Super Bowl Sunday and will keep my cheese input to a wartime rationing levels.

To those that sent wishes and gifts to the Casa de Beavergoat, I thank you very much. As the only Raskin in the state (go ahead and give it a Google—I do every day), I have made my friends into my family. It’s the connections I’ve built in Utah that have given me the greatest joy in living in Salt Lake. Erin and I are lucky to have a great group of people surrounding us. Through good times and bad, life is pretty good even if I act the role of the curmudgeon.

By the way, did you know you can spread curmudgeon on almost any type of cracker?

Ben Raskin bartends at Keys On Main Wednesday through Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. Podcast, smodcast. He really is done with cheese but will continue to whine throughout 2013.

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