Howdy, howdy friends and neighbors! It's yer ole pal B back to wail and assail. Yes, indeed! Had a hard disk crash, which took the operating system with it, which caused me to spend money to actually buy Windows 7. I hate giving Bill Gates more money. The bastard just turns around and spends it to kill humanity with vaccines, and everyone praises him for being so humanitarian. But, that's beside the point. It's Christmas Eve!
There is nothing more absurd than hearing "White Christmas" here. For one thing, the country is 75-80% muslim, so Christmas is purely a commercial affair in a way that makes the American version pale by comparison. For another thing, it rarely gets below 80F here, much less snows. In fact, the vast majority of Indonesians only know about snow from movies and songs. Few have ever actually seen it.
Now being a native Houstonian, you might laugh at that last bit, since it snows all of every twenty years there. But I remember back in 1973, it snowed for two weeks straight. There was actually enough snow to make a snowman, though it cleaned off 9 lawns to do it. That was back when we were all facing global cooling. The propaganda has changed since then.
At any rate, we are preparing our equatorial Christmas celebration for tonight. Wife One picked up a devil's food cake, which is a rare and wonderful treat. I went to Jakarta's first, and so far, only liquor store and bought a bottle of Gordon's gin. Set me back $60, since the wonderful, touchy-feely government of Indonesia hits you with a 100% luxury tax for alcohol. Just another shining example of a select few people thinking they have the right to legislate morality for the masses, simply because 51% of the people agree. I hate democracy. All I want for Christmas is a truly free marketplace, completely and totally unhindered by social engineering.
This year, we don't have a Christmas tree, since fresh trees are outrageously expensive, and artificial trees are equally outrageous AND you have to store them. So we just have a wreath on the door and some lights on the house. In fact, we are the ONLY house for at least a kilometer around that has lights up. I love it. In the States, you have to put up a million bux worth of lights for anyone to notice. Here, just slap up $3 worth, and the entire city cuts a path to see them.
The kids love it, at any rate. One little four year old ran up and hugged me just a while ago because she just thinks I am so cool for having lights and playing jacks and hopscotch, and listening to all the kid songs. Oh, and also because I let the kids play with the kittens and I look a lot like Santa Claus, even though I cut off my beard several years ago. Certainly more than any Indonesian I've ever met. In fact, the malls try their damnedest to hire bule to play Santa. My first wife won't let me, because she thinks it will cause me to lose face if anyone found out.
The wives are all expecting rich gifts this year, since business has been exceptional. I bought them all matching lingerie, which should make the gift opening very entertaining, at least for me. They hate it when I treat them all identically. They are constantly fighting each other to claim most favored status. In fact, that's the one real joy of having four wives. They all fight each other and leave me the hell alone.
I've got the next week off. I haven't had a paid holiday in more than six years. I don't know what to do with myself. For so long, I've lived day to day, and if I took a day off, it was at the expense of my dinner plate. This time, I can actually relax and still pull down a paycheck. So what do I have planned? Absolutely nothing. With a big N.
There's a couple of horses stabled a few blocks away, so I want to rent one and spend a day riding around Jakarta with my cowboy boots and hat. The problem is finding a danged horse big enough for me in this country. They're all Arabians that come up to about my waist. I can walk over them. They have a lot of dorman, which are horse-drawn buggies, here in Jakarta. One time, I wanted to ride in one. By the time I folded myself up small enough to get inside, the poor horse was dangling from his harness about three feet off the ground.
Folks here-abouts call me raksasa, which generally means 'giant,' but the reference is to a mythical demon that was enormous and could step over a house, which pretty much describes me, at least in this country. I'm fully head-and-shoulders above 90% of the locals, and the few that come close have yet to surpass me. That's all fine and good, except the world is much shorter here as well, and I am constantly wracking my forehead on tree limbs, door jambs and other low-lying obstacles.
Which reminds me...in the past week, I've twisted my knee twice, which exacerbated an old war wound and left me virtually crippled. You know, the kind of pain that takes your breath away. So, wife No. 1 took me to a local masseuse who practices an ancient form of Javanese massage. Now lest you think this was an enjoyable experience, allow me to disabuse you of that idea. Javanese massage is a cross between Greco-Roman wrestling and Swedish deep-muscle therapy. He grabbed my leg and proceeded to unscrew my toes, disjoint my entire leg and twist me into a pretzel. He managed to reseat my knee joint and my hip, which two previous chiropractors could not do. And he re-aligned my lower back, which has been a screaming nightmare for the past 30 years or so.
Granted it hurt like...what...like a cow's ass at branding time, but I can walk again, the pain is reduced about 75%, and the whole thing set me back about $5 for a 30-minute session. Stick that in your alt.therapy pipe and smoke it. There's a lot to be said for free market medicine, which is a whole column in itself. Several in fact, if you look up the 'Adventures in Acupuncture' series that I've been doing this year.
At any rate, I'm having a jolly old time. I've got strawberry-mango juice made fresh from fruit picked off my farm, and a rare bottle of Gordon's gin that cost me a fair slice of my Christmas bonus. I've got a wonderful and supportive family and five kids (step and blood) that are a father's pride. I've got four gorgeous and sexy wives who blessedly leave me out of the fights and treat me like the egotistical bastard that I am. I just got a shave and a haircut for 24 bits (bet most readers don't even know how much that is).
No, all is not right with the world. In fact, most of the western hemisphere is going to hell in a hand-basket. I don't really feel sorry. I spent the better part of my adult life trying to fix things and got fully slapped down by 'the system' and by the Bush crime family for it. Not a single person stepped up to help me, because they were afraid it would rub off on them. Now, they are living with that choice in a country going the way of the do-do bird. It's hell being ahead of the curve.
So, from the land where a man can disappear and never be seen or heard again...from the land where you can spend all your money on lawyers, or on making the government go away (your choice)...from the land where a man can have four legal/lawful wives...from the land where monkeys swing from the trees and dragons sun themselves on the roads...from the land where I live,
Merry Christmas/Selamat Hari Natal!
May all your dreams that benefit humanity come true. May peace really come to all mankind. May we all find Truth and adhere to its tenets.
May you discover true freedom and the courage to defend it, before the bastards can take it away.
God bless and smooth sailing, from all of us here on The Far Side.
Here Thar Be Monsters!
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