posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 11:19 PM
When I was a kid, "Santa" would set up some of our bigger toys and set them in front of the wrapped gifts. This was Santas way of keeping my sister
and I occupied, should we wake up before our parents.
Being "me" - that was usually sometime around one or two in the morning.
One particular year, probably 1973 or 1974, Santa brought me a TON of GI Joe figures, and accessories - if memory serves several "Joes" and a tank
or assault vehicle of some sort. Bear in mind, back then GI Joe wasn't an inch and a half tall. He was a bit taller than Barbie, and had hair! ( and
a cool scar on his cheek! )
Santa brought my sister a three story tall Barbie townhouse.
Santa had set up the Barbie Townhouse, for my sister, and had created this really awesome and ingenious sort of "war zone" that contained all of my
GI Joes and accessories. I remember that there was actually a zip-line set up, going across the room, with a bar that would allow my GI Joes, and
their patented "Kung Fu grip" to hold onto, and to soar across the room. It was really freaking cool!
I awoke, as normal, in the middle of the night and rushed downstairs. in the dark, to see what Santa had brought me!
By the time that the rest of the family woke up... GI Joe has gone a bit "Cheney Doctrine" on poor Barbie and her sovereign townhouse. The carnage
was unspeakable. Barbie bodies littered the floor around the Christmas tree. I am positive that war crimes and atrocities were committed - even if I
was too young to understand the actual definition.
GI Joe had used his zip line to invade the townhouse and, in the grips of the red fever of war, he had done things. It was tragic.
Barbie and her beloved townhouse were nearly a total loss.
Me, being about 7 or 8 years old, couldn't quite grasp just why my sister was in tears, or why my father had set his coffee down and was drinking
Seagram's Seven at that hour - glaring at me the entire time. Nor could I understand why my mother was doing that bizarre talking to herself thing
that she sometimes did, moving frantically, looking at nobody in particular at all, and saying things like "I did not survive this many years
just to let Christmas fall apart. OH NO. We're gonna fix this. We'll just have breakfast and go for a drive. It's going to be a perfect day and
NOBODY is going to change that. DO YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!!!"
From my child's POV all I could think was "What is wrong with you people??? THIS IS THE MOST AWESOME CHRISTMAS EVAH!!!!"
That was 37 or 38 years ago now. That was the last time Santa ever brought me anything other than tube socks, underwear, and maybe a new
coat or nice shirt. The GI Invasion still gets mentioned every single year, on Christmas day, at our family gathering. The two years that I lived
across country from my family, my sister actually called just to remind me that no formal peace treaty was ever signed between GI Joe and
Barbie - and that there is no statute of limitations upon war crimes.
I am 46 years old now - a father to children old enough that they'll likely make me a grandfather very soon. And, you know what? I still think it
was the coolest Christmas ever.