Dr. Seuss's tale brought warm feelings and laughter,
But what he didn't tell you is what happened after:
When the Grinch brought back Christmas that singular year,
He was welcomed by the Whos with forgiveness and cheer.
But when he came to Whoville the following season
He felt a bit let down, and not without reason.
For as a prodigal celebrant he'd been the center of attention,
But as just another guest he barely rated a mention.
And being a Grinch, well, he took it quite badly.
"They're taking me for granted," he realized sadly.
"Last year I was honored, toasted and regaled,
But now I see my hopes of acceptance are failed.
I've been a good neighbor since last December,"
He grinched to himself in a simmering temper.
As a fuming wallflower he watched Who girls and boys
And recalled how he hated their clamor and noise.
Slipping away he returned to his cave
For the peace and quiet he once again craved
And vowed that the Whos, the tall and the small,
Would regret this next Christmas — "I'll show them all!"
And what do you think the grumpy Grinch did
When a single year later, back Christmas slid?
Why, he repeated his hijinks of just two winters past,
And then brought all the packages back to Whoville fast.
But this time the Whos' patience had been overtested
And as soon as the Grinch arrived, they had him arrested.
At the trial his lawyer Horton strenuously stressed
That testimony of the first theft ought to be suppressed.
"He wasn't convicted! No charges were filed!"
"Only because all the Whos were beguiled,
We thought him rehabilitated, but he had us fooled!"
That was enough for Judge Who-dy: "Objection overruled."
The elephant turned to his client, bereft.
"I'm out of ideas, that's all I had left."
The jury came back with a verdict quick
"Fifty years," sentenced the judge, "That should do the trick."
And so the Who court's rules evidentiary
Doomed the Grinch to the Who penitentiary.
"I'm sorry," said Horton as the Grinch sat aghast.
"In real life nobody can outrun the past.
'Forgive and forget' means they'll put it behind them,
But only if you don't contrive to remind them."
The Grinch erupted, "You blame this on me!?
The Whos are the bad guys here, can't you see?
While I acted like them I was just tolerated,
But if I follow my nature I'm instantly hated!
So send me to prison! Let the iron doors clang!
In fifty years I'll be back with a gang!"
A few years ago a blogger — I can't recall which, might have been Darleen Click at PW, or Charles Hill at Dustbury — posted a clip from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in which Linus makes his speech on what Christmas is all about.
Did you see it? I hadn't, despite having watched the scene dozens of times since its debut 50 years ago.
The fact Charles Schulz insisted on including a Bible reading in his Christmas special tells us something he never really wore on his sleeve during his years drawing the Peanuts comic strip: he took Christmas and Christianity seriously.
Mrs. McG and I missed the re-airing of this special on ABC at the end of November, but we've bought the DVD and will maintain our Christmastime tradition of watching it to mitigate the Santa Claus fixation of nearly every other mainstream Christmas special out there.
I also make a point of catching "The Little Drummer Boy" every year, another, far less popular Christmas special from 1968. And of course we also watch at least one version of "A Christmas Carol" each year though the animated version featuring Alistair Sim is a childhood favorite, as is the Mr. Magoo special.
Last week we watched "Mickey's Christmas Carol." I liked it the first time I saw it, less so now. I have the Sim cartoon saved on Youtube though, so we can wash the Disney aftertaste out of our mouths.
Next year, when you watch the Peanuts special, pay close attention to this scene — what Linus does, and when.
Went to Starkville late last week to watch Mrs. McG receive her master's degree; yesterday, put a few more rounds through the Beretta (here on the home acres) (inspired by watching hunters'/shooters' Youtube videos), just to stay in practice.
I'm still contemplating what next to add to the collection, but my increasing comfort with the Beretta — believe it or not, my first-ever semi-auto handgun — has helped narrow the field.
The entity purporting to be an Islamic state, known variously as "The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" (ISIS), "The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL), or "The Islamic State of Iraq ash-Sham," and which calls itself in Arabic ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fī 'l-ʿIrāq wa-sh-Shām, having engaged in the following acts,
Conducted campaigns of murder, espionage and sabotage against United States citizens, interests, and allies both on and off U.S. soil,
Recruited U.S. citizens to carry out these campaigns against the United States, and
Pursued conquest against the sovereignty of the United States and legitimate nations around the world,
Is hereby found to be at war with the United States of America. As a result, the United States of America now and hereby declares war on the above-identified entity purporting to be an Islamic state.
Any United States citizen found to have cleaved unto said entity, giving it aid and comfort, faces prosecution for treason against the United States. Any non-U.S. citizen found in territory under the control of the United States, who has cleaved unto said entity, faces penalties up to and including summary execution as a spy or saboteur.
Any nation found to be aiding or abetting the activities of said entity, faces abnegation of any pacts, treaties or agreements of alliance and/or trade with the United States.
Update: I read that in the Dec. 15 GOP debate Ben Carson advocated this.
I should clarify that the primary effect I'm concerned with is to establish a legal basis for ISIS soldiers in the U.S. to be treated as unlawful enemy combatants rather than mere criminals.
Of course there would be an "over there" component to this declaration, but what Americans want is to be sure that, to the extent this war now has to be fought here at home as well, it will be. Good and hard.