December 23, 2011
"Psst hey buddy - wanna buy a Christmas Tree?"
A shadowy figure beckoned to me from the alleyway. Usually having any interaction with men in alleyways was never a recommended practice - let alone on a dark December night.
"I know you want it" the figure spoke again, and he slowly pulled back his trench coat to reveal the branches of a Christmas Tree.
My heart begin to race, my mouth was dry. The shadowy figure was right. I did want it - I needed to have my own Christmas Tree. I wanted to decorate the tree with shiny baubles and top it all off with an angel. Maybe I would set my model of the Nativity under the tree - but dare I risk attracting the attention of the PC Police?
The PC Police or Politically Correct Police where every where, and they where everyone. During the "Holiday Season" they patrolled the neighborhoods looking for anything that celebrated the birth of Christ.
If they saw any Christmas displays the offenses could range from a ticket for a minor offense - such as wishing someone "Merry Christmas" up to jail time for what was deemed - "offensive public display of Christmas themed items". These where things like Christmas Trees and Nativity Scenes.
The PC Police would prefer that there where no Christmas displays at all, but if you did feel the need to decorate you where "strongly advised" to provide a "religiously neutral display" using items such as Frosty the Snowman or the Coca-Cola Polar Bears.
I knew I was flirting with the possibility of some time in the slammer, the big house, or the clink if I was caught with a Christmas Tree I laughed to myself,this could turn out to be most memorable Christmas ever.
I took a few more steps into the alleyway. The air in here smelled like Evergreen trees and memories.
I could make out the man in the trench coat now - his eyes where darting nervously over my shoulder looking for the PC Police - maybe he thought I was an undercover officer.
"Merry Christmas" I said.
The man in the trench coat relaxed visibly - no member of the PC Police would ever utter the words "Merry Christmas" He knew he would not get caught tonight.
"Merry Christmas to you too" he replied.
He pulled back his trench coat to fully reveal a beautiful Douglas Fir tree.
"See anything you like?" he said with a grin.
Unable to speak I found myself stammering - "how how how how much is it?"
"$350" the man replied
I dug into my wallet and thrust the money at the man.
I was frantic, I grabbed the Christmas Tree and shoved it under my coat. Shuffling uncomfortably out of the alley I made my way back to my house.
I would decorate the tree tonight and invite all my friends over. Together we would sing Christmas Carols and wish each other a Merry Christmas - PC Police be damned!