There are many wonderful benefits to not having any friends or family and this is never more apparent than on December 25th, or as some people call it: “Christmas.”
Christmas, oddly enough, has actually become my favorite day of the year. I don’t have to work. I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t have to do anything, and most importantly I don’t have to see or talk to anyone. It’s the one day of the year I can truly be by myself all day long. In fact, much of the world around me becomes a sort of ghost town allowing me to pretend I am the lone survivor of some sort of Apocalypse that wiped out everyone except me and left buildings, trees and animals alone. (That’s my favorite type of Apocalypse fantasy.)
Not having anyone in my life to exchange gifts with, dine with or hang out with has freed me up to develop my own particular traditions on this annual day of extreme solitude. For quite some time I referred to the day simply as “Lord of the Rings Day” and would spend it watching all three extended edition Lord of the Rings movies. (All 10 hours or so.) I’d hunker down on the couch in my empty apartment, immerse myself in a cocoon of pillows and blankets, surround myself with food and other recreational substances, and spend the whole day in Middle Earth.
As it turned out I got kind of bored with that after five years or so.
Another favorite Christmas hobby I came up with was to find a popular grocery store of some kind, closed for the so called holiday, and just sit across the street from it all day watching one moron after another pull into the completely empty parking lot, climb out of their car and waddle up to the door of the completely dark, OBVIOUSLY closed place of business. Sometimes they smack right into the glass like a bird hitting a window. Sometimes they stand there and peer through the door, thinking there just has to be someone inside to let them come in and purchase whatever idiotic item they forgot to buy yesterday. (They never seem to notice the sign posted on the door informing them the store is closed for the holiday.) Usually, after several minutes of peering through the windows, the frustrated shopper will stomp back to their vehicle, completely aghast at the realization that they aren’t as entitled as they thought they were. Such entertaining antics never fail to get a laugh out of me, though it also takes what little faith I may have once had in humanity down a couple more notches.
I thought it would be fun to set up a little judging station across the street, and I could rate people based on their performance. The slow drive-by gawkers would just get a 1 or 2, but the ones who actually park, get out of their cars and walk up to the door would get higher ratings based on their reactions. I suppose I could probably even create my own reality show, but the truth is I loathe reality television and everything it stands for.Then,a couple months ago, I started playing this game called Ingress. I was dead set against it for the longest time, mostly because I was dead set against ever getting a cell phone. For purely philosophical reasons I was determined to be the last person on Earth without a mobile communication device. For one thing I like being off the grid. For another, I generally think people who walk around (or drive around) texting or talking or just staring at their phones are the worst type of scum on the planet. These are the kind of people who believe Onion articles or Fox News, can’t wait to vote for Donald Trump, and smell their fingers after they wipe their butts. (I call people who do this “Shit n’ Sniffs.”)
Alas, some time ago my employers gave me… you guessed it… a fucking cell phone, thus ruining my 40+ year streak of getting by just fine without one.
As it turns out, I really only use it for one purpose; to play a video game. So now I myself have become that which I have always despised more than anything else: “A Cell Phone Scum.” This is why I selected a fitting moniker for my player profile: “Fart Denizen.”
I must admit, however, there is something really cool about this particular game. Unlike most video games one actually has to physically walk around to play it! Using GPS technology the game takes place in real space, and players choose to be on either the green faction (aka: cool people) of the blue faction (aka: mindless tools) and these two factions battle to take over virtual portals located all over the world. In some ways it works very much like an rpg, in that you have to level your player character up by performing various actions. (Which is also why I so easily became addicted to it.)
Christmas, as it turned out, was the perfect time to go out, early in the morning (I left my apartment at 2:30 am) and take over the entire city. Usually downtown Ann Arbor is almost all blue portals, but by noon I had it looking like this.
I also got to add to my collection of cool pictures of downtown Ann Arbor with no annoying people in them.
Suffice it to say, Ann Arbor would be a much cooler place to live if it looked like this all the time.