Folks, lots of people out “there” are completely convinced the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. If correct, we’ve got about 15 days left to go. Personally, I think these guys have the facts straight, but that’s not the point of this post. I’m now convinced the world is coming to an end sooner than later and it’s not because an ancient (and dead) civilization brilliant enough to follow the stars but too dense to invent the wheel says so. I’m also not worried about the polar bears or the end of the Gulf Stream because we aren’t going to live long enough for that to happen. No, gentle readers, I am convinced the world is going to end before schedule because America, the land I love, has been taken over by bands of raving lunatics and, no, I don’t mean Republicans. I am talking about “collectors” in general and collectors of Hallmark “Keepsake” Ornaments in particular.
Budge and I buy a few ornaments from Hallmark each year before Christmas. We seldom buy more than three and we always buy at least one based around the year being prominently displayed. We’ve done this ever since we’ve been married and we’ve got a beautiful collection of ornaments for our tree. Now this year was the first season in four years we’ve put up our tree, and I’ll tell that story soon, but not now. In celebration, we splurged on a couple more ornaments than usual. Now understand, every ornament we have in our three Rubbermaid 55 Quart Snap Top Tubs goes on our tree. We don’t buy “extra” ornaments for an “investment” because they are “collectable.” If I want an investment, they make these things called “stocks and bonds.” Unfortunately for our country, I may have to change that philosophy.
One ornament we picked up this year was a miniature replica of the “Moose Mug” prominently featured in the Christmas classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Any killjoy Scrooges in the crowd, please keep your comments to yourselves as I am well aware the movie contains crude humor and bright blue language; the fact is, I don’t care. The movie is hysterical and a lot closer to the modern American Christmas than It’s a Wonderful Life ever was. I also happen to know Christmas Vacation is the favorite Christmas movie of my 1st-cousin-in-law Ashley, who not only is one of the purest, sweetest, and most Christlike young women I know, but also happens to be married to my oldest 1st cousin, Zach who, despite his surroundings in his early years, is a youth pastor as well as the purest, sweetest, most Christlike young man. If Zach will allow Ash to watch the uncut Christmas Vacation DVD snorting with laughter, I refuse to feel guilty.
But I digress.
Two years ago, we bought the ornament memorializing the scene in the movie where Clark finally gets all the lights on his house to glow simultaneously. After hanging the moose mug right next to the Griswold house I got on eBay’s online auction site to see if I could find the other two ornaments in the “series” from Hallmark. In less than 30 seconds, I found over twenty of the first ornament in the group — Cousin Eddie’s RV, circa 2009. Once I saw what they were going for, I didn’t even bother looking for the station wagon with the huge Griswold Christmas tree strapped to the top.
The CHEAPEST “Cousin Eddie’s RV” listed was over $100 dollars! The one in the image at the top of this post was at $215 and the reserve price hadn’t been met. I saw MANY going for OVER $300. Please, read that again slowly. Three. Hundred. Dollars. For a hunk of plastic resin made and assembled in Sri Lanka. A family in sub-Saharan Africa could live a year off what these people are willing to pay for a PLASTIC CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT THAT IS NOT EVEN FIVE YEARS OLD!!! It’s not like it’s a rare painting by one of the “Old Masters.” It’s a freaking ORNAMENT for a TREE.
Folks, I’m not going to go on and on about this because there’s really no need to. The evidence is plain. When we’ve reached the point where people line up to give $300 dollars OR MORE for a small chunk of painted plastic churned out by children in a sweatshop factory located in a country 97% of the people using eBay couldn’t find with a GPS, a globe, and Google Earth, we are beyond the point of no return; we have converted the movie Idiocracy from a wonky comedy to a documentary and made the late Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Harrison Bergeron” a work of true prophecy.
We. Are. Doomed. and we deserve to be.
So, keep those feet clean for the time we’ve got left and remember I love y’all so take care of yourselves!