Rory’s Rumblings: Happy Chronica, You Filthy Animals!
“Drop in, back paddle, ride a longboard and fade people from the shoulder. Do whatever the hell you want. If you’re embracing the proper Chronica mindset then other people may as well not exist.”
The wife and I stopped celebrating Christmas a little over a decade ago. It began with a dream wherein she, a woman who’s espoused a “bah humbug” attitude toward the holidays for as long as I’ve known her, berated me for indulging in the holiday spirit.
“Christmas is stupid!” she screamed, in whichever surreal setting that particular dream took place. “We’re celebrating Chronica, you stupid fucking idiot. Stop crying!”
Chronica is not an intentional portmanteau of Christmas and Hanukkah. Though, of course, I’m sure that’s where my subconscious mind conjured the word.
It occurred to me, upon waking, that Christmas is a stupid tradition for an atheist, childless, couple. Why should we celebrate a pagan tradition co-opted by Christianity? There is no god, benevolent or otherwise, watching over us. If Jesus existed, he was just another hippy who got murdered for pissing off the powers that be.
We spend most of our year caring about other people. Making sure they can tolerate our presence. Avoiding alienating others by succumbing to the id. Don’t we deserve one day to care about, and only about, ourselves?
And thus Chronica was born. It’s a living tradition, picking up new aspects each year. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate, so long as you remember that Chronica is about you. All others be damned.
Wake up early
A proper Chronica is, ideally, begun with an early morning session at your local spot. While the breeders are busy watching their spoiled crotch fruit tear through gifts in an orgy of consumerism, you hit the lineup and grab a few. Short and sweet, back on the beach before everyone and their mother shows up with their new board, or wetsuit, or holiday depression black mood.
Lineup etiquette goes out the window on this magic day. Drop in, back paddle, ride a longboard and fade people from the shoulder. Do whatever the hell you want. If you’re embracing the proper Chronica mindset then other people may as well not exist.
No trees allowed
Christmas trees are a mind-numbingly stupid tradition. Each year millions of people pay good money for the privilege of decorating a fire hazard.
Best case scenario, your home smells of cleaning supplies for a couple weeks, then you drag a dead tree to the curb.
Unlucky fuckers get to lose everything in a roaring inferno.
If you’re the type who feels off without the olfactory presence of pine, buy an air freshener. It’s cheaper, and safer, than sharing your living space with the arboreal equivalent of a pile of oil soaked rags.
Break out the booze and drugs
Back home by 9am, it’s time to get in the Chronica state of mind. Dark rum and eggnog, as well as copious amounts of our favorite drugs—marijuana, occassionally mushrooms. (The latter only “occasionally,” due to the fact that I’ve never been able to find a dependable connection for psychedelics.)
Generally, it’s best to avoid uppers and benzos. But that’s not a hard and fast rule. I’m not your mother. If you want to play with fire, well, that’s your call.
Sing your Chronica song!
If you’re doing things right you should be out of your mind within the hour, and now it’s time to sing. A proper Chronica song is delivered a cappella, improvised anew each year, and lays forth all the ways in which you are better than those present. It’s meant to establish your dominance, exposing the weaknesses of those you love most.
Drunken phone calls
As your mental lubrication increases it’s time to make calls to all those who couldn’t be with you. Slur through worthless platitudes, act as though you truly wish they were there. Make it quick, it’s just an empty gesture.
Airing of grievances
This particular tradition was blatantly lifted from Seinfeld, because it’s so damn fun. Let your wife know she’s gained weight. Tell your buddy how much you hate his girlfriend. Hold everyone to totally unrealistic standards.
Venting your resentment and disappointment is freeing, and helps ensure your loved ones act better in the coming year.
Giving of the bribes
Christmas is about giving gifts to show you care. Chronica bribes are given in exchange for kind treatment in the coming year.
It encourages gamesmanship. Those of value should be showered in presents that provide true value. Lesser acquaintances can be dismissed, handed a box of garbage wrapped in a tidy bow. Holiday glee abounds as you watch a person realize that you not only find little worth in their friendship, you’re willing to demonstrate it outright by gifting a blatant insult.
Children get nothing on Chronica. They’re small and weak and totally unable to provide worth, or seek redress for insults. It’s a bit much for their young minds to grasp, so just tell them Santa didn’t come this year because they were naughty. Nothing brightens up Chronica more than the tears of a despondent child.
Feats of strength
Another aspect stolen from Frank Costanza, the ultimate goal is to physically dominate your opponents in a no holds barred fight for supremacy. It’s very fun if, like me, you are a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than your wife.
Pin her down, smack her ass, play a hilarious round of “stop hitting yourself.”
You should not, of course, beat your wife. But it’s good to let her know you totally could, should you feel the urge. So she’d better watch her mouth!
The Chronica feast is a celebration of gluttony and excess, meant to over-stuff a belly that is, by this point, carrying a heavy load of alcoholic nog. Bacon, mayonnaise, and white bread sandwiches, served with a side of store bought chocolate milk is an absolute must. The rest of the feast is up to you. Crab cakes, deviled eggs, twice-baked potatoes are a common addition, along with fried chicken, seared ahi, and shrimp etouffee.
Hammer your favorite foods down your gullet, stumble to the toilet to vomit. Then rinse out your mouth and go back for a third serving. It’s glorious!
Pass out on the couch
By now you should be spinning, bloated, covered in bruises from fighting and burns from cooking while shit can hammered. Sprawl out on the couch, mumble some insults at those still present, and embrace the delicious void of intoxicated sleep.
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