It was my first meeting of “GA”. This is not AA (Alchoholics Anonymous). It is not even AAA (American Automobile Association). It is GA…Grinches Anonymous. This is roughly how the meeting went.
“Please stand up and introduce yourself,” I was urged by the wall-of-brick bouncer blocking the doorway.
The room fell silent. People looked at one another uncertain how to react. Finally, a little old lady spoke up, “Isn’t that somewhat of a conflict of interest, sonny?”
It’s true. The Grinch is not generally seen as the most jovial of fellows. And I am called The Happy Guy. Even my website says that: www.TheHappyGuy.com. But I had to face the unhappy truth. I am a Grinch.
Oh sure, I don’t have lots of cute furry, green skin like famous Grinches can afford. And I can’t seem to twist my face into that famous diabolical grin, no matter how hard I try. Not even when I use a plunger, a blow torch and a porcupine – but that’s another story.
“Tell us, please, what makes you a Grinch,” the moderator suggested.
“I just seem to spoil everybody’s Christmas. They ask me what I want for Christmas…and…and…and I draw a blank. I can’t think of anything.”
The room fell silent. Again. People looked at one another uncertain how to react. Again. Finally, Little Old Lady spoke up (again), “You mean I can have your Christmas presents, sonny?”
I know it is probably hard to believe, but when somebody asks me what I want for Christmas, I just can’t think of anything. It’s like asking me to list the international hopscotch tournaments won by the American Samoa team.
At the moment I am being asked, I just don’t want anything. I always seem to have enough. In fact, I always seem to have more than I need. I have over a hundred music CDs, but when was the last time I played most of them. I’ve given away more books than I’ve read, and I’ve read more than I have.
We have a special machine just to make waffles. And one just to make popcorn. Both of them make prize-winning dust bunnies. And we have a machine just to make bread, which we at least use to make pizza dough. We have glasses and bowls that I would never recognize and some clothes in which I would not want to be recognized.
“Why does that make you a Grinch?” the moderator asked.
“I make it difficult for them to give. What I really want is less, not more. What I really need is for somebody to come and take things away.”
The room fell silent. Again. People looked at one another uncertain how to react. Again. Finally, Little Old Lady passed me a notepad, “Mind jotting down your address for me, sonny?”
What would a Grinch want for Christmas?
My wife suggested socks. Got’m.
Nail clippers? Got’m.
Bookmarks? Gloves? Paper? Flashlights?
Got’m. Got’m. Got’m. Got’m.
Batteries? There’s an idea. Put me down for batteries. You never know when I might get hungry.
Cologne? Here are the bottles from the last two years. One of them is open. No, wait…that’s just a scratch on the lid.
Isn’t there anything I want?
“Why not ask if they have any ideas you could consider?” the moderator suggested.
“You mean, like hiring them as a consultant on how to give things to me?” I asked.
The room fell silent. Again. People looked at one another uncertain how to react. Again. Finally, Little Old Lady spoke, “Just refer them to me. I want lots of things.”
VIEW THIS VIDEO: I’ve got enough
Why would anybody want more stuff to clean, more stuff to break, more stuff to fix, more stuff to store, more stuff to keep track of, more stuff to trip over? I don’t even know where to put last week’s dirty dishes.
If people keep buying gifts when you already are storing more things than you could ever use, sooner or later your house is bound to explode, the way a balloon bursts when you over-fill it. I wondered if my insurance covered that.
“Couldn’t you humor them? Just a little bit?” the moderator asked.
“Actually, I know one thing I want…a chalet in Switzerland and a map of the best hiking trails in the vicinity.”
The room fell silent. Again. People looked at one another uncertain how to react. Again. Finally, Little Old Lady jumped up and declared, “My bags are packed. When do we leave, sonny?”
I don’t think I’ll ask for a GA membership renewal in my stocking this year. But that is probably what I’ll get.