As a loyal anti-American communioanarchitheist, I have celebrated Christmas the same way for the past twenty years or so: My family all gets together at my parents’ house, where we exchange gifts, eat cheese and crackers, and then disperse to play with our new toys. The only real change over the years was the excitement and waiting as presents became less important and the joy of family became more and more pronounced.
Oh, and I learned to not shoot myself in the face.
The exact year and date is lost to my admittedly terrible memory, but I distinctly remember the shape of the present: a tall, smashy robot toy. I remember it being a freaking giant of a toy, easily coming up to my young hips, and loaded with enough cool gizmos that I could play with it for hours. But one of the most potent gizmos attached to the robot was its Deathsphere launcher.
The Deathspheres were, by themselves, not that impressive: orange foam balls that were loaded into a tube on the back of the robot. But when you activated the launcher, the robot's left arm would whirr and groan, lurching to life. A buzzing sound would fill the air, announcing to my cats that a rain of slow-moving projectiles was about to slightly disturb their naps.
But despite the wonders of the Deathspheres, I found myself unable to simply enjoy the toy. I had to know HOW the Deathsphere launcher worked. And so, while it whirred and growled, I looked down the barrel. To my delight, I saw that the launcher had, a few inches behind the barrel, a whirring gear. Suddenly, my young mind was able to piece together the parts: The Deathspheres drop down the tube when you push the second button on the side, then touch the spinning gear...and vroom!
I had to see this in action!
I pushed the button.
Needless to say, the whole enterprise ended well: I got to wear an eyepatch while lying on my parent's big comfy bed in a darkened room for the rest of Christmas. My eye got better, Christmas became less and less materialistic every year, and the robot toy slowly fell apart. The last thing I remember is using the thing's left leg as a makeshift building in a Warhammer 40,000 wargame.
But even that leg is gone, and now I find myself thinking that it's odd...I barely remember any of my gifts. I don't remember the toys or the books or the video games. I do remember the immaterial things, the stuff that didn't cost a thing. And you know what that tells me about myself?
It says that I'm the Worst. American. Ever.
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About the Author: Heavily influenced by George Romero movies and bad, poorly dubbed anime, David Colby decided to start writing almost twelve years ago. It went poorly. But despite these early setbacks, David continued to work and write and send out submissions until someone was mad enough to accept him. Currently living in California, having just finished his Bachelor of Arts in English, David continues to be fascinated by George Romero movies and has finally realized that animes have subtitles.
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