12-23-2003 My Christmas wish list

"I'm still not done. There are a few things I have to finish before I leave," he said.

Then, with a wink and a smile, he teased that one of his last acts will be "big - really big."
"Can't talk about it yet. But, you'll see," he assured.
--Tom Makowski, in today's Voice interview

I can't wait to find out what "big-really big" will amount to. You don't suppose it might be good news for county residents for a change, do you? Or, is he planning to hand out $10,000 Christmas bonuses for each and every county employee? Maybe he'll even have 90 pound turkeys distributed to each of them. How about free hams? Hey, it's tough to get by when you're only making $50,000 a year to shuffle a few papers now and again. "Big-really big." Yikes!

Do you happen to reside near any Griswald wannabes? Click on this link to find out if they made the list of ugly Christmas decorations. Every single year, without fail, I have to answer that annoying question that never needs to be asked: What do you want for Christmas? And every single year, without fail, I offer the same Christmas wish list which is as follows:

1. CDs
2. CDs
3. CDs
4. More CDs

Then I have to listen to grumbling about my wish list. "We don't know which ones you want." That response to my predictable wish list is ridiculous. This ain't rocket science, or trying to build a theater here! I want ALL OF THEM!!! Except for that Hip Hop gibberish that somehow passes as music and the whining about lost loves and spilt beers known as country music, I want ALL OF THEM! I want The Sins of Everlistdavjack, I want Scientific Sex, I want Uriah Heep, and I want more Devo. Now, stop freaking bugging me! The Cramps? Yep. Ultravox? You can't have enough Ultravox, can you? Flaming Groovies? Of course, dummy. The Fugs? How can anyone get through life without hearing Slum Goddess from the Lower East Side on occasion? Be serious.

I wandered lonely down the street one day,
Who did I see slithering my way?
Slum Goddess from the Lower East Side,
Slum Goddess gonna swallow my pride,
Eat my ....

The Fabulous Poodles? Come on, you fem! Next stupid question, please.

I got the tit, tit, tit photographer's blues,
It's underwear and negligees-they never play!
They never seem to wanna know,
Their seedy flashgun gigolo,
I got the tit, tit, tit photographer's blues.

The Ravens? Bow your head for a moment. How could anyone wonder whether I'd be happy to get a copy of Punk Rock Christmas?

We gonna give ya,
A Punk Rock Christmas this year,
Even Santa's gonna be,
A Sex Pistol for a day
And all the Christmas trees will have,
Safety pins on their leaves.

What do you want for Christmas, little boy?

I want ten copies of God Save the Queen with a picture sleeve!

If you're a good little boy, your wish will come true.

Yeah! And it f**king well better!

So, anyway, what do I want for Christmas? I can't believe they still bother to ask me that question. All that I ever wanted for Christmas is waiting for me inside of Joe Nardone's Gallery of Sound. Still, they press me for alternatives, as if there are ever going to be any. CDs? No, not this year. This year I want that new Black & Decker rechargeable thingee that can regroove stripped screws, doubles as a can opener, and can convert from AC to DC with the flip of a switch. All for only $19.99 and that also includes the free broken light bulb remover. Holy Clark Kunt LP, Batman! You know, the limited release, green EP.

Anyway. I can't believe that I'm actually doing this, but just to appease the folks that can't seem to follow this painfully simple program, I'm posting my revised Christmas wish list. This is a very practical list and I'm sure I'd get countless hours of enjoyment from any item on it. I'm not sure exactly how much they might cost, but rest assured, I'd be sure to use them non-stop.

Mark's revised 2003 Christmas wish list

Hey, if not, I'll live. I'll deal with it. I'd be willing to settle for some Skittles & Beer this year.

Then again, some remastered Zappa would be greatly appreciated:

I'm The Slime

I am gross and perverted
I'm obsessed 'n deranged
I have existed for years
But very little had changed
I am the tool of the Government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can't look away
I make you think I'm delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozin' out
From your TV set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don't need you
Don't got for help...no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mold
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

That's right, folks..
Don't touch that dial

Well, I am the slime from your video
Oozin' along on your livin'room floor

I am the slime from your video
Can't stop the slime, people, lookit me go

This is nice. My daughter Ebon decided to surprise her Aunt Maryann on Christmas by paying for a portrait of Aunt Maryann's two kids, Antoinette and Christopher.

The kids in the family that I once called "little toads" are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

An e-mail from one of the dudes with guns:

*******I probably shouldn't be telling you this but I am so pissed off about it I have to tell someone. My partner and I were on a bullsh*t call today, babysitting a house on XXXXX XXXXXXX st. waiting for XXXX to show up and xxxx xxx xxxxx xx xxx x xxxxx up for tax sale that should probably be torn down. While we were there we noticed the hill we were on, between xxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxx was covered with ice. We contacted DPW and they were going to send up a salt truck. We sat for over an hour waiting for xxxx, during that time a city salt truck came up the hill, put down its plow and tried to plow the ice off of the street, drove by us and kept going. The plow took off the top inch of ice leaving 4 or 5 more inches on the road and never once dropped the salt in the back of the truck. We waited for it to turn around and come back down the hill to drop some salt but it never came. I guess as long as they say they went over the street they are safe, and they are probably told not to use the salt unless absolutely necessary. While we sat there we saw a mail truck spin its tires for a minute or two, and a police cruiser that was assisting us had to back down the street. How would you like to live on that street? I guess the people on xxxxx xxxxxxxx st don't vote, so they don't get any salt on their street.*******

Dude! If we salt the side streets and prevent needless 10-50s, we'll have to purchase more road salt before very long. If we need to replentish the salt supply any time soon, we may not be able to afford mayor McG's silly Diamond Drop. Now, what's more important? Public safety, or maintaining the illusion that all is well and mayor McGroarty is going out a winner? Yeah, you may find your cruiser sliding onto a sidewalk somewhere within the city resulting in the death of a paperboy, but mayor McG will be able to afford his last, stupid horrah. His priorities have always been jumbled to a point approaching absurdity. Why should we expect anything different as his administration fades into the sunset? Hang in there. The return of sanity to Wilkes-Barre is but days away. I know that many city employees are filled with trepidation as we close in on 2004, but we've sunk about as low as we can go and we're going to rise back up from the murky depths.

We might have some further bumps ahead of us, but we all need to remember that the adults are about to take charge of this city's future. It may seem difficult to imagine, but we're going to escape this nightmare mostly intact.

If ya need a hot coffee on one of these cold Winter nights feel free to bang on my door. We're all in this together.

An e-mail from one of the dudes with hoses:

*******Hey dude, Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for being a small part of your adventure to help the kids. You can give yourself, your wife, and your kids a great big pat on the back for a job well done. It is amazing when you think that all you have to do is mention something on your site about helping people out and the people of this valley still take the time to make someone's life a little brighter. After seeing the things in Maryland today that was collected for the kids, I left with a little warmer heart knowing it will help someone who really needs it. Thanks again for collecting everything and sorting it and allowing me to help you out in some small way. Have a great Christmas. Larry********

It was uplifting to know that Wyoming Valley types would bother to help children thousands of miles away from here, in a country that is gripped by violence and death. And yes, I did feel that I had accomplished something great as we drove away from the Operation Give facility yesterday. But all that I did was to mention the need of others that can't apply for welfare, can't take a cab to the local CEO office, and can't see any hope while just trying to stay alive in the middle of a total morass. Right now, the poorest of the Iraqi kids are hoping for no more than a meal or two each day and an end to the senseless violence in their country. When the FedEx plane finally arrives in Baghdad in very late January, many of those very same kids will be able to forget the nonsense swirling around them and fritter away the hours playing with their new jump rope. Or, their new Nerf football. Their chalk. Their crayons and coloring books. Their Matchboxes. Their stuffed animals. And a few of them will even have brand new underwear. And new socks. And new T-shirts. And used shoes.

WE made that happen. I didn't make that happen. WE did. I just happen to spend way too much time on the internet and happened to find the Operation Give web site. I mentioned it and the rest of you saw it as a noble undertaking. I may have been the messenger, but it was all of you that answered the call. There will no doubt be children in Wilkes-Barre disappointed by the Christmas gifts they recieve just a few short hours from now, but there are kids a half a world away that are expecting nothing and are soon to get a great surprise. As I stated yesterday, "Y'all done good."

And as I said to Larry yesterday, watch those street level reports from Iraq a little closer in the future. If we watch real close, we might just see a Nerf football whiz past the reporter's back as he's babbling away. Somehow, I'm wondering if all of this will backfire on me and produce the next generation of Dallas Cowboy fans.

An adventure it was indeed. For whatever reason, there seems to be no shortage of adventures available to this grateful internet madman and I offer all of you's that provide them to me a heartfelt thanks.

We done good.

I would like to officially thank the Citizen's Voice for putting that disturbing picture on their front page today. McGroarty reflected on his years in public office? What a joke and a complete waste of ink! After living under his iron-fisted, incompetant rule for eight years, and now trying to figure out how to dig ourselves out from under his unpaid debts; you'd think that the Voice wouldn't have offered him a chance to pretend that he's not a total f**k-up. A changing of the guard? I submit that we've had no one guarding our best interests for eight long years. McG can now return to the mediocrity fron whence he came. Good riddance and goodbye.

The adults will take it from here.

RUTRO! I gotta go. Gage Andrew and Taylor Kate just arrived and this Christmas thing is already underway.

'Til tommorrow.