Alibi V.13 No.2 • Jan 8-14, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

Why do we anticipate the holidays with such excitement when so many of us barely endure them without complete breakdowns? Sure, holidays are great for kids, what with hordes of relatives around to spoil them with sweets, lax enforcement of the rules and heaps of presents. And frankly, holidays are largely cake for menfolk too. Sure is tough keeping that La-Z-Boy warm, huh Grandpa? Meanwhile we ladies are making up spare beds (with extra pillows!), filling the fridge with bizarre requests (diet decaf Coke with lemon?) and working desperately to avoid the path of oncoming emotional shitstorms (“If you'd given me what I really wanted for Christmas you would have cleaned your house.”) On top of all that we do the menu planning, shopping and cooking, too. All of which we could handle if only someone else in the goddamn house would do some dishes! Mother's voice rings loud and clear through the heads of women everywhere as they silently freak out at the sight of dirty coffee cups in the sink—right next to the empty dishwasher. “Oh no, did I forget to show them where I keep the magic key that unlocks this mystery machine?” (Shitstorm warning in effect for your area!) And then, at last, peace. They're gone and we have six months to forget how miserable it was and remember what a great time we had “bonding” together. Yay!