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Not So Merry Christmas

The Not So Merry Christmas: 50 Years In The Future

By Grandpa Bob Niles

 “Yes it’s in the original box, and some 40 years ago it would have added value. But so many of the Frozen dolls were sold and unopened that they have, unfortunately for you, flooded the market. It’s probably not worth what you paid for it. But thank you for coming to the Antiques Road Show today”

I can see it all now! Doll after doll, action figure after action figure, all still hermetically sealed in the box they came in will flood 85% of the antique market in the future. And why is that? Cause they never could get them out of the dang blasted box!

Why you can’t even call it a box. It’s an environment. Little Elsa is frozen in time and space. All entombed by a blister pack and then tied, taped, and suspended into a winter wonderland. Each arm and leg, neck and torso are painstakingly tied from the back of the plasticized cardboard scene. And each tie is then taped as if to make sure she can’t get away. Then the cardboard environment is placed in an equally attractive windowed box that is sealed with far too many pieces of invisible tape  It would be easier to get a guy out of Guantanamo Bay Prison than this doll from that box. A box that has become the prison she’s attached to. A box so encased in plastic that it would seem that this toys country of origin (China) is ridding  its self of non recycle-able  plastic by plasticizing everything it exports to a ridiculous degree.

It all starts with the windowed box. And every one of them is different. You push then pull on spots where you think would be an entry point, but your wrong. Flaps are  discovered for access where only an Ikea designer would think to look.

More pushing, pulling and then discover the flaps are covered in invisible tape. You pick away the tape from the three flaps, then discover there’s four flaps. It’s after you attack the fourth flap with barred nails and flashing teeth that you’re made painfully aware that they’ve taped all the edges too. To the point it’s as if they were trying to rid the factory of this invisible tape.

Success! Windowed box breached. Consider yourself proud for having achieved this level in entering it’s plastic domain on the same day and without swearing.

But describing it as a plastic domain isn’t entirely correct. It’s must be a carbon fiber/plastic domain. Because you can’t rip it, or bite your way through it like you could do if it were plastic. You need harden German steel found only in you wife’s expensive kitchen knives. These have to be sharpened to an operating rooms edge so to gain entry into this gilded prison.  Plus you have to back up your blade with wire snips and scissors as your tools of the trade to unlock Christmas Day.

And the physical properties of the carbon fiber/plastic, prison the toy is encased in, change when stabbed. At first you push and push with the blade, careful not bending it too much as to break its point off. You know the tip will break because you’ve done it to three knives already. Then, once through the plastic it’s like a hot knife through butter. And now the stabbing blade is coming directly at the place where you plan on digesting a pound and a half of turkey later that day. But wait, you’re  saved! Saved  from a self appendectomy by the carbon fiber/plastic cardboard that

is imprisoning Elsa. It’s now here that the once hot knife through butter scenario changes. Now using the knife to free little Elsa from her plastic cell is like trying to cut tough leather with a dull hammer. Why?

So you now try birthing the toy by pulling it through the hole you’ve made with the now fourth pointless knife. You yank on her blond hair, head and arms with the two fingers you can fit in the hole. No luck! Elsa is still a prisoner and you’re cut up from the carbon fiber/plastic edges, bleeding all over Christmas. It’s then you discover little Charlotte’s toy is wired and tied half a dozen times to the appendectomy saving cardboard.

Now at this point you want to swear. You should swear. You’ve sworn at less. But your surrounded by children and elderly relatives and dear old mom. So you bite your tongue and smile . And it’s through that smile you note that each knot and twist is then blessed with more of the almost invisible tape. To which you then remember Jesus at Christmas by audibly but unknowingly ask him for help.

And so it is with bared teeth, nails and divine help more dang blasted tape is removed.

Then with the attention of one disarming a bomb you note wire or twine. If she’s just tied with twine, you can use scissors to free her from her six anchoring points.

Please note; scissors,not a knife to be used here. Some years ago I used a knife and wound up looking like Jack Nicholson in the movie Chinatown.

If plasticized wire is assessed, you could try twisting it counter clockwise. And if that doesn’t work, clockwise. Then repeat. And repeat. Then you swear. You don’t care who’s in the room at this point.

Help is now required to gain entry into poor little Elsa’s toy prison. You ask some relatives kid named Bobby or something to go to the garage and get the wire snips from your toolbox for you. Then after four unsuccessful trips by, ‘Are-you-kidding-me!’, you pull yourself up with the help of the Christmas Tree which goes quickly from vertical to horizontal.

Snips acquired, and tree righted, you cut the six anchoring points and the left hand off the once treasured Elsa doll.

Now the blond curly haired, seemingly angelic, patiently waiting for her doll, Charlotte, swears. This brings the total to four people with potty mouths today. Myself, the wife when I pulled the tree over, the not so angelic Charlotte and  Are-you-kidding-me’ when I yelled at him for not being able to find the snips.

Right handed Elsa is now free. But by this time they have found someone else to carve your turkey, and everyone has abandoned you. The whole bunch of turkey-eating- unbelievers who thought I couldn’t free Elsa before dinner, started eating without you. Well I  showed them,…they were right?  Oh well at least that’s one freed. Now four more to go.

“Hey! You turkey-eating-unbelievers, do I recycle this carbon fiber/plastic cardboard or just throw it away? Someone?…. Anyone? No really where does it go?…..Are-you-kidding-me that was really rude.”

Bob Niles is an adoring grandfather who loves to share humorous stories about his amazing grandkids.

No So Merry Christmas

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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