You'll notice that I managed to relate the joy of Christmas to the evils of Anti-Semitism before "South Park" did. Now I deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. So there.


featuring the great Jim Varney
as Spunky, The Token Special-Needs Elf,
singing the hit song,
"If It Were Christmas All Year We'd Never Have Any Wars"

by James "Kibo" Parry
Copyright © 1996

Spot was on an Amtrak train, the Lake Shore Limited, which used to be known as The Twentieth Century in the olden days when people thought it made the train sound more futuristic. Back then they thought if you travelled over five miles an hour, you'd die of a nosebleed, which is why the train went so slowly. Spot was reading the colorful yet blurry Time magazine:

In Israel, Palestinian detainees are frequently tortured
by being forced to watch "Super Sabado Gigante" until
they develop brain lesions. Israel is the first country
to fund torture with a scratch-and-win lottery.

Time had gotten too right-wing for Spot! He hurled it out the window, shouted "BAH! ANTI-SEMITISM!" and went back to playing with his Groucho glasses while deciding that yes, Dick Van Dyke was funnier than Carl Reiner.

"Mmm-hmm. Anti-semitism. That's nice," said the man sitting next to him, who wasn't paying much attention because he was busy typing. He looked up and saw Spot's Groucho glasses. "Hey! Can I borrow those? You see, I'm incredibly important, and I don't want the evil people to recognize me!" He grabbed the glasses and put them on.

Spot thought his face was familiar. He had a ring of bright red hair, sort of like Larry Harmon only older, with a large bump protruding from the middle of his forehead and holes in each of his front teeth. He was wearing a Commodore's uniform covered with gold braid and insignia showing triangular snakes crawling through the wall of fire atop a pyramid. To conserve paper, he was typing onto a loop of erasable bond. Spot knew he must be one of the world's most prolific writers because he had a custom-built typewriter with single symbols for common words like "and", "dollar", "number", and "a". He was writing this:


by L. Ron Hubbard

Freddie Fracken woke up with the horrible realization
that he was trapped in a terrible story written by
a talentless hack writer who was riding on a train
next to a stupid little puppy named Spot. Meanwhile,
a giant flying brain was...

Spot still couldn't figure out who the man was. Just then, an announcement came over the train's intercom:

"Attention, passengers. The snack car, dining car, lounge car, and club car--which are all located in the rearmost car, at the front end of the train--will remain closed until we depart Albany. We will reach Albany approximately three hours after departing Schenectady."

Spot's stomach growled! He was hungry, and if he wanted food, he'd have to make it himself. He wanted doughnuts and ice cream. Taking his Presto "Fry Baby Fry!" doughnut maker from the overhead luggage rack and his Black & Decker "Sissy Man Ice Creamer" from under the seat, he set them up on his tray table. He started the oil heating, and read the instructions for making ice cream. When he finished, he was just about to dump a five-pound bag of ice cubes into the Sissy Man Ice Creamer, when the train his a bump in the rail. The ice cubes fell into the boiling oil, which tipped over the deep fryer into Spot's lap! He screamed and ripped the paper out of L. Ron Hubbard's typewriter, trying to wipe the oil off.

"BODY THETANS ARE AFTER ME!!!" screamed L. Ron, who bolted down the aisle and hurled himself out the emergency exit. He landed on his bump, outside Schenectady.

Spot's fur sizzled as the oil burned through his tender young skin. A tear ran down his cheek as he realized that all his expensive acne treatments had been wasted. Maybe the restroom would have a large quantity of super-powerful Amtrak soap so he could wash the oil off. He trotted down the aisle to the restroom, which was curiously unoccupied.

Inside, he discovered that the sink was two inches across and designed so that you could not put your hands (or paws) under the faucet, to prevent you from making a mess. The soaps were only printed onto the counter, and the hand towels were a rock labelled PRETEND. Well, at least Spot could relieve himself. He tentatively turned to the train toilet.

It was a little hole in the floor of the train, with a sign, DO NOT USE WHILE TRAIN IS IN THE UNITED STATES. Spot figured it was okay, as they weren't in the U.S., they were in Schenectady. He tried to go.

He tried some more.

The train was noisy! Spot couldn't go! "Waah!" he cried, "My bladder hurts!"

Suddenly, the train hit another bump and Spot fell through the little hole. He bounced along the tracks for a few minutes after the other six cars ran him over, and then looked up and saw a huge electric sign saying


As he looked at the sign, several more letters burned out, and the "Y" burst into flame, giving off toxic vapors. Spot ran away to find a public restroom.

He figured there'd be one in the biggest building in town, a four-story parking garage. But there weren't. He tried both stores in the shopping mall, and there weren't any restrooms. He tried the community college with Tennessee Tuxedo as their mascot, but there were no facilities. He tried The Restroom Store, but they didn't have any in stock.

Spot's teeth were swimming, and also he needed to go to the bathroom!

He tried the last building in town: a gigantic cube five miles on a side, the General Electric plant. Inside he met world-famous Bernard Vonnegut, who had once developed a weapon that would make it impossible for anyone to ever again stack cannonballs in a pyramid! He also saw an exhibit on "How To Swim" by Steinmetz, and preserved under glass was Thomas Edison's first electric bow tie, which still worked.

Spot entered a back room, and there were strange things in it. Pieces of monsters littered the floor and sparks crackled from huge dynamos attached to teleportation booths and time machines and shrink rays. Along one wall were big glass jars filled with smelly yellowish fluid. There were some things floating in the jars--looked like big cauliflowers with a crease down the middle, in fact they looked kind of like brains, but Spot couldn't tell what they were--but Spot figured nobody would notice a little more smelly yellow fluid. He relieved himself in the nearest jar, which was labelled "A. Einstein".

Ahhhhh! Much better! Spot shook his whole body dry. But what was that strange, throbbing, pulsating, oscillating, syncopating noise? He looked in the jar. The brain was glowing with radiant energy! Lightning crackled around it. The jar shattered and the brain rose into the air!

"I'M FREE!" shouted Einstein's brain as it flew around the room, shooting lightning bolts at stuff. Just like in a Joe Dante movie, every single object in the room was knocked over one by one in close-up! Spot screamed and ran away.

Behind him, the evil humming noise grew louder. He looked over his shoulder. The giant GE laboratory building was glowing. It exploded! Einstein's evil brain, now a hundred feet across, rose into the air and flew after Spot. The brain chased him through the streets of Schenectady. Spot ducked into the mall again--we would try to lose the brain by blending in with a group of four hep teenagers.

"Zoinks!" said one.

"Jinkies!" said another.

"Wowsers!" said the third.

"Hey Scooby ol' buddy ol' pal!" said the fourth, a filthy hippie with a strident voice that could cut through AM radio static. Spot was trapped in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon in real life! This was almost as bad as being chased by a giant brain!

"Oh, come now, everyone knows there's no such thing as giant brains," said Velma, the intelligent girl.

"Yeah!" said Daphne, the beautiful girl.

"We'll just have to see about that! I have a plan. Here's what we'll do: psst psst psst..." whispered Fred, the guy with the pink ascot tie and white sailor pants with a hankie hanging out the back pocket. Fred opened the mall door. The brain was waiting outside. While Shaggy and Scooby gave it a haircut to confuse it, Fred unzipped the giant brain to see what was inside.

"It's old man Witherspoon!" shouted Fred, "And he used that slide projector with a hologram to make the brain fly!!!"

Witherspoon was vexed. "Yeah, and I woulda gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you kids and this stupid little puppy!"

"Yay!" shouted the kids. Spot, insulted, slunk off. He was depressed. He'd been in this story for many pages, and nobody had told him the true meaning of Christmas!

Spot had a horrible thought: what if... he were trapped in L. Ron Hubbard's story? Naah. That couldn't be true--there weren't any rants about the evils of psychiatrists. That was an idea! Maybe a psychiatrist could explain the true meaning of Christmas!

In the office of Schenectady's leading psychiatrist, Dr. Elmer Nanter, Spot relaxed on the couch. "You see, Doctor Nanter, it's a Christmas story. But try as I might, I just can't drag any Christmas stuff into the story."

"Hmm." On his yellow pad, Dr. Banter drew some tanks blowing up his gym teacher who was buried up to his neck in sand and was shouting "I APOLOGIZE!!! SAVE ME!!!" Then he drew a little stick figure of himself shouting "YOU DESERVE HELL!!!" and then he noticed Spot was looking at him funny because he had shouted it aloud.

Was this an omen? Was Spot trapped in an anti-psychiatric science fiction story by L. Ron Hubbard? Or was he trapped in an anti-semitic article in Time? Why couldn't he be in Life's annual "Pictures Of The True Meaning Of Christmas And Movie Stars", one of forty-nine issues a year devoted to how great Christianity was? Why couldn't he be one of the many delightful TV commercials that showed Santa shopping at Our Store? Why couldn't he at least be in a bag of the special Christmas M&M's, which were like the regular ones without half the colors to make them better?

Spot cried! This was the worst Christmas ever, because he was trapped in the worst Christmas adventure ever!

Somewhere, a Muzak speaker began to play an old John Lennon tune:

Imagine... a world with no Christmas...
I wonder if you can?
Well, dammit, I can't.

Everyone was celebrating Christmas except Spot! Spot was having a major religious crisis and needed to have a Christmas adventure. If he couldn't meet Santa Claus soon, he'd go to Hell, where a guy in a red furry suit would torture him!

Little did Spot know that to find Santa, he'd just have to go back to the GE building and look in the jar between Hitler's brain and Pauline Kael's. Santa's brain and Judith's were celebrating Christmas by giving good reviews only to bad films. Meanwhile, on the next shelf, Carol Channing's brain began to sing a cheery song. Of course, nobody could hear it, because everyone knows there's no such thing as brains.



James "Kibo" Parry
last revised Feb. 25, '98

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