Tag Archives: Trevor

Psychologists: Just Like Mariah, Santa Is Real

This article contains spoiler alerts and / or trigger warnings about Santa. I’m not sure what a trigger warning is, but there seems to be a lot of them about. So if you’re thinking of shooting Santa,
or anyone for that matter, please don’t.

It has taken me a few days to masticate and digest reports about an article published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal that parents who lie to their children about Santa Claus could wreak havoc with their offspring’s moral compass. This could apparently lead to a Bermuda Triangle of floundering lies, tinsel, and disgruntled kiddies.

With all due respect to the learned psychologists who penned the report, I call bullshit.

You’re secret is safe with me, Santa

The report suggested that by lying about the existence or otherwise of the big bloke in red, parents can irrevocably damage the trust their kids have in them, resulting in “abject disappointment” when said kids discover the “truth” about the Christmas Eve nocturnal visitor. “There is potential for children to be harmed in these lies,” said clinical psychologist Kathy McKay, one of the report’s authors. Calm down Kathy, I know you’re looking out for the kids, but it’s ok.

Christmas is a time of innocence, magic and wonder, and sure, a few creative porkies. Don’t overanalyse or destroy this charming story for kids. They’re fine. Parents lie to their kids all the time in varying degrees. We all survived the great reveal of Santa. I can’t recall a mass shooting occurring with young Trevor, tears streaming down his face, screaming “WHADDAYAMEANTHEREISNOSANTA!!??” while at the business end of an AK-47.

The Lancet report’s authors did raise an interesting point, “If adults have been lying about Santa, even though it has usually been well intentioned, what else is a lie? If Santa isn’t real, are fairies real? Is magic? Is God?” The God bit caught my eye, I know Christmas “should” be about a certain baby blowing out his birthday candles, but not being the most religious chap, I’ll stick with the Santa narrative, it’s more believable.

I love the whole Santa story, it’s wonderful. Suspending disbelief of the North Pole workshop, the elves, the reindeers, the transport logistical issues, the leaving out of Santa’s beverage and food of choice, so excited and not being able to sleep, but forcing yourself in case he didn’t come, then waking up on Christmas morning, racing out to the tree, and the unbridled joy of “SANTA’S BEEN!! SANTA’S BEEN!!”

Parents, let kids enjoy the Santa experience for as long as they can. Sure, if they’re 41 years old and still a believer, you may have a slight issue. Just chill out, have a quiet drink or a nice cup of tea, and depending on what hemisphere you’re in, spray some fake snow on the windows, and listen to Mariah Carey warbling about making her wish come true for the three millionth time.

PS Santa, I’ve been a good boy this year.

©Steve Williams 2016

*This piece also appeared in The Huffington Post AustraliaLying To Kids About Santa Is A Gift

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Christmas gifts that keep on giving (and other clichés*)

Left your Christmas shopping until the last minute? You slack bastard. Can’t think of what to get your annoying little nephew Trevor? (No, forget him, he’s a little shit.) Thank your invisible sky dweller of choice I’m here.

You won’t have to endure that stopping-at-the-bottom-of-shopping mall-escalators mass of humanity, and endless Christmas carols so bad you want to perforate your eardrum with a chicken skewer.

You’ll think all your Christmases have come at once with www.skymall.com – a vertiable one stop shop for all your Christmas needs.*

Always wanted a t-shirt that smells like bacon? Of course you have. Just stay away from rabid dogs.

Dress like a pig

Dress like a pig

Can’t say I’ve ever been tempted by time, whether Gothic, sexy, and / or crouching.
That definitely won’t change with The Gothic Temptress Calendar. Note the leather and S&M chains. Classy. Imagine having a meeting with some bloke with this on his desk. You would be tempted to ask if his views on women are still stuck in 1427.

Tempted? Er, no

Tempted? Er, no

I know what you’re thinking: “I wish some artisan would craft a bespoke Bigfoot Tree Yeti Sculpture.” All that kneeling at the foot of your bed worked…

Chewbacca and Abe Lincoln's lovechild

Chewbacca and Abe Lincoln’s lovechild

Now, the piece of resistance. I give you The Zombie of Montclaire Moors as discussed on various late night TV shows. I assume the plan is you stick old mate in the ground next to your magnificent Double Delight roses and scare the bejesus out of young kiddies and get blank looks and eye rolls from adults. Go on, you know you want to, you always were the “wacky and zany” one.

Zombie Holocompost meets Lawn of the Dead

Zombie Holocompost meets Lawn of the Dead

Go and sleigh him, Santa.

©Steve Williams 2014

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Smokers’ rights? I call bullshit

Two words I always find amusing when used in the same sentence are “smokers” and “rights”.
It’s dead simple, they don’t have any.

Shazza enjoys a post-rant smoke

I remember a hilarious comment in response to a story about the NSW government in Australia banning smoking in commercial dining areas. I can’t recall the author’s name, so let’s call her “Shazza”.

Her erudite contribution was: “Non-smokers have all the inside space…”. What, in the world?
So us non-smokers should just shut up and never leave the lounge room? Why should smokers have territorial rights to a restaurant terrace with a panoramic sea view or even an outside table near a random pot plant? At least Shazza did suggest allocating a separate outdoor seating, eating and drinking area. They already have — it’s called your home.

Unfortunately, outdoor smoking areas have one major design flaw — smoke by nature is fairly unpredictable. I recall seeing a large yellow rectangle painted on the ground in front of a city office building complete with the words “Smoking Area”. I like to think they were taking the piss.

Just yesterday my wife and I wanted to enjoy lunch in a rather pleasant outdoor area of a cafe. Once we heard the click of a cigarette lighter we knew our enjoyment would be zero, so we left. Why should we have to? I wanted to breathe the cool garden air, not secondhand toxins from the pits of tar-filled lungs.

I’m unaware of any studies linking smoking to spelling and a morbid fear of apostrophes,
but another reader (“Trevor”) who commented on the same story would make a worthy study:
“This is rediculous arent smokers banned from enough places, but drinking alcahol and getting blind drunk is totally acceptable? If you dont like it dont stand near us…”. Trev may have imbibed the odd vat of beer before hitting return.

Love the old “dont stand near us”, with an “alcahol” comparison chestnut being fired up.
At least “alcaholics” don’t have the potential to give me cancer. Vomit yes, fruity aromas, possibly violent assault and / or inappropriate displays of unwanted affection and / or slurred, off-key renditions of an Elvis classic, but not a potentially terminal illness.

Of course smokers have rights — in their own house or car or similar totally enclosed box
where I can’t smell it or them.

I realise it is a potentially tragic addiction for a lot of people,
but(t) there is absolutely no way it is a “right”. That is just a smokescreen.

©Steve Williams 2014

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Birthday with a bang

So it was a fantastic week for parenting. Seriously. One notable example showed that children are not only our future, but are in very good hands. Ok, one of those hands might be holding a semi-automatic pistol, or a pump-action shotgun, but that’s of little consequence.

“Pass the parcel” 2012 style

The story of eight-year-old kids having parties at a shooting range copped more of a barrage than a nude guy chomping on a face in Miami. Where’s the problem? It should be encouraged. What else are you going to do for a kid’s party? Bouncy castle in the backyard? BORING! Stretch limousine to a session with a beautician? PLEASE, SO 2003. McDonald’s party? WHAT? You’re going to let your kids eat that stuff? Haven’t you read those alarming reports on childhood obesity? Paintball? Nah, that’s just pretend for pussies. No, kids these days want to shoot stuff with real high-powered weapons. Not so much “pin the tail on the donkey” but “blow the f*ck out of the donkey”. Maybe that’s next, hunting birthday parties — preferably not limited to garden-variety Equus africanus asinus, but endangered species like Black Rhinos, or tigers (any brand will do). That would also get the children out and get them some fresh air.

The gentleman at the shooting range sounds as responsible as the parents, his only condition for would-be Dirty Harrys and Harriets — “You have to be tall enough to get above the shooting table”. See? Where’s the drama with that? Caring Mr Smith-Wesson doesn’t want little Tiaaanna coming home with a gaping hole where her left nostril used to be.

A word of advice — just make sure little Trevor takes a really, really good present to the party. You don’t want to be around a disappointed, tearful eight-year-old wielding a Glock pistol…

©Steve Williams 2012

*This piece was published in the sadly now defunct The Punch by news.com.au

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Filming births: Why would you want to?

This week online forums fired up with talk about whether or not you should be allowed to film births, after a report it had been banned. I’d like to know why you’d want to in the first place.

I know it’s all about documenting the miracle of birth and so on, but why would you even think about taking a video camera into a delivery room?

Maybe there’s some confusion with the operating “theatre” concept.

I’m sure your wife/girlfriend/partner/sister/mother (no, that’s too weird) would love a camera in her face and elsewhere while she’s enduring the most excruciatingly painful experiences you can
imagine – even if she’s totally drugged up to the eyeballs.

One would think the person wielding the camera could actually be more use and support at the other, er, non-business end.

You can’t blame the medical staff for having issues with privacy – they’re at work. I wouldn’t want a camera on me when I’m working – and my work isn’t highly specialised, involving life and death.

There’s also the annoyance/danger of having a work experience Tarantino getting in their way: “Sorry, had to change the battery, can you put Trevor back in? Ta. Cue the screaming… Action”.

A Melbourne mum had issues with the ban, saying she had a caesarean and “couldn’t see anything that was going on, so I wanted a video”. Really? You want to see it? In all its wide screen, high def, gory glory? Really? Why not shoot it in 3D while you’re at it?

Apart from that, who are you going to show the video to? Whack it in the DVD player when there’s nothing on telly that night? You could also upload it to UterusTube.

There are endless options – you could cut it together like one of those before-and-after wedding videos for friends and family, “Now that’s us conceiving Trevor… yep, that was the moment…then…“Look my uterus is fully dilated! (Waaaaaaah!) Geez Nathan, I told you to get a closeup there…”

Count me out of that slide night.

Fast forward to Trevor’s 21st – a night to remember – “Can we have a bit of shush up the back, got a little video to show you all…”

©Steve Williams 2012

*I used the keyword “birth” in a search on a free stock photo site. This was the result: Obviously.

© Antoinettew | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

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