Let me be the first to announce there are only
38 more shopping days left before Christmas.
Thirty-eight wonderful days to make sure
everybody on your list gets exactly what they
deserve. And do I plan to take advantage of it?
Do I plan to do my shopping early? Heaven
forbid! I don’t even know why I brought up the
The differences between men
and women are never more obvious than when it
comes to Christmas shopping. Women want to look,
compare, study, analyze, feel, smell, poke, prod
and ask questions about each and every item they
think they might buy before they buy it.
That’s why 38 shopping days are never enough
time for a woman.
Men, on the other hand,
wait until the last possible second to shop,
then attack it like a military operation. Lock
and load, in and out, take no prisoners, the
mission comes first, and if we see anybody we
know (who might want to stop and chat for
awhile), we dive for cover – preferably behind
As a general rule, men hate
to shop. Going to Lowe’s and Sears is okay
because they sell chainsaws and PVC pipe, but
going to the mall is like walking into quicksand
– on purpose. That’s why, my fellow men, I
challenge you to try something new this year. I
challenge you to make hand-made, do-it-yourself
presents for everybody on your Christmas list.
Crazy you say? Time
consuming you say? Completely out of your
ever-loving mind you say? I don’t think so,
and stop saying such things. We men can do
anything we set our minds to as long as it
doesn’t involve shopping. In fact, I already
know what I’m going to make –
squirrel-skinned man bags, squirrel-skinned
boxers and squirrel-skinned wall clocks with
swinging tails. And if all goes well, I might
even try selling them on EBay and make a
(It’s squirrel season,
Now, I see some of you
shaking your heads and saying,“It’s inhumane
to kill a poor, defenseless squirrel just so you
don’t have to go Christmas shopping. Besides,
wouldn’t the boxers feel a bit itchy?”Maybe
so, but you don’t know about “The
Incident,” and how it changed my life.
One day, while sitting
under a tree in the woods, I heard a noise
behind me that sounded like a bear sharpening
its claws. It didn’t matter that I was a city
boy and thought bear claws were only found in
doughnut shops. I just knew some enormous
grizzly was sharpening its cutlery, the better
to rip me apart and eat me with, my dear.
Why was I in the woods,
sitting under a tree in the first place?
Squirrel hunting. I’d never been before and my
friend Ron thought it was high time for me to
start. He gave me a gun, a few shells, and
said,“Don’t come back until you get one.”
Twenty-seven minutes later, I heard the bear
behind me and silently cursed my friend with
every colorful word I could think of.
Anyways, my heart was
racing, I was barely breathing, but somehow I
found enough courage to peek around the tree and
look Death right between the eyes. And the eyes
I saw were not of grizzly with sharp claws, but
of squirrel with bushy tail. Relieved, I took a
shot at it – and missed. And do you know what
that furry little rat did? He started laughing
at me. I knew he was laughing because he was
grinning from ear to ear, with one paw covering
his mouth and the other paw pointing right at
And then I saw more
squirrels – a lot more. They had surrounded me
and were all laughing. Some were laughing so
hard they were actually rolling around on the
ground in pain, holding their furry little
tummies. I fired a couple more shots – missed
every time – and they just kept laughing. I
could still hear them laughing as they scattered
back into the woods, leaving me sitting alone
under the tree.
Well, they’re not going
to laugh at me this year. I’ve got 38 days to
get one of them and turn the little bugger into
a clock. Who knows – it might one day become a
treasured gift passed down from generation to
generation. And I never had to take a step into
a mall. I say it’s a win, win situation.
So, Merry Christmas to all,
and let the shopping (shooting) begin.
Copyright Tracy Farr
* * * * *
Tracy Farr lives in East
Texas with his wife, three children, two cats
and three goats. To read more of his work, visit
his site at www.stinkycreektexas.com.