The First Noel

Last minute Christmas shopping is a competitive sport.

Standing around, waiting as the guys in the blue vests unloaded the last pallet of X-Box 360's in town. In the country. In the Universe. I was psyched. I'd seen the mahem on TV on "Black Friday." I was well-positioned and thought I was ready. A sharp blow in the ribs sent me reeling. A thuggish looking fat guy steps into my spot, followed closely by a muscular looking man in one of those jackets with the big FBI on the back.

I knew this was a world where wimps lose out, a world where not having an X-Box competitive parent can scar a kid for life. As I struggled to regain my footing, part of that footing became fatso's shoe, and somehow the front of my knee made contact with the back of his. The big guy goes down like one of those helicopter dropped sandbags in New Orleans.

I jumped forward and as I bent to grab my X, FBI jacket inexplicably dives for the games. Bad timing. My knee, the same knee (ouch!) and his head try to share a space-time event. Somehow I grab my Box and lumber off.

Looking back, jacket is scrambling up. He doesn't look very happy. He looks like he might like to catch up to me and say something unpleasant. He probably could have too, if fats had been able to get up a little quicker - or if they hadn't been handcuffed together.


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