It’s Christmas Eve and You Know What That Means—

It’s time for my favourite Christmas story!

Experienced readers will know this is not your standard Christmas story. In fact, it’s not a real Christmas story at all. I first heard this story over twenty years ago, and when the holiday season rolled around, it was the first thing I thought of. So I’ve been posting it every year, and will do so until further notice:

One night, Confucius had a dream about chopsticks.

In the dream, he was transported to Hell, where he saw multitudes of people sitting at enormous tables set out with wonderful foods of all kinds. There was so much food that the tables groaned under the weight and the various delightful aromas made the mouth water. But while the people sitting at the tables were obviously hungry (and hangry), they hadn’t touched any of it.

They had been told they could eat as much as they liked but only if they used chopsticks that were five feet long. None of them could figure out how to eat with five-foot-long chopsticks—it was impossible, an unsolvable problem. So all they could do was stare helplessly at the delectable yet untouchable feast only inches away and cry in hunger, misery, and despair.

Then Confucius was taken to heaven where he again saw lots of people sitting around enormous tables laden with glorious foods. They, too, had been told they were allowed to eat as much as they wanted but with the same proviso: they could use only five-foot-long chopsticks. 

These people, however, weren’t crying with hunger and misery and despair. They were eating their fill, talking and laughing together, enjoying themselves.

Because in heaven, they were feeding each other.

My friends, whatever holiday you celebrate, however you celebrate it, I hope it’s heavenly.

Then Yet Another Six Months Passed and It’s Green Bananas All Around!

Good news can come at strange times in the oddest places. Yesterday I was crouching on a stoop in Islington near a bus stop, listening to my oncologist tell me that the level of cancer in my body has—you guessed it!—fallen again, by more points than last time.

Once again, the universe reminds me: While cancer is a serious problem, I still have my foot on its neck. Hypertension is also a serious problem but my foot is on its neck, too. Apparently my feet are so big and mighty that I can fit more than one serious problem under each one.

Whereas something like part of our ceiling falling down—that’s a technical difficulty. Technical difficulties are frustrating, even infuriating, but ultimately fixable, (even if that doesn’t happen as quickly as we’d like).

Meanwhile, the green bananas are ripening and I’m made of !!!WORK!!!