Don’t Box Me In

Thanksgiving is over and the next holiday will be Christmas. It is really not my holiday, as I decided a few years back that I was no longer going to be a Christian. Yes, I believe Christ was an important prophet and teacher. I also believe that Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, Confucius, Gandhi, George Fox,  Zoroaster and others were important prophets and all have something to teach us. I try to be opened minded, respectful and tolerant of all religions. That is if  said religions are being used to do good in the world. We have all seen too many crusades and jihads doing evil in the name of religion.

That being said my family is made up of mostly Christians and will be celebrating Christmas. To me that means I will have to suffer with a phobia I have. You see, I am allergic to boxes. Not just in a physical way, but in a mental way also. To me they represent things like packing up and moving. Moving to me represents change, and I can be slow to accept change. I note every time I have ever moved to a new residence has always been on the hottest day of the year or the coldest with the most snow fall of the year.

At Christmas time, I will be crawling into my attic, dragging out heavy boxes of Christmas ornaments and the artificial Christmas tree. It means spending time helping decorate the tree and house. It seems like a waste of time when I’ll be packing it all back up after a few weeks. It’s not that I’m lazy (OK maybe a little) but it seems like time wasted that could have been better spent. All the time decorating and shopping in the Christmas season would be better spent volunteering to help those less fortunate. Wouldn’t that really be more in keeping with the spirit of the holiday? The first Noel seems to have been replaced by the first one through Wal-Mart’s door on Black Friday gets the Xbox 360.

Here is a poem I wrote a few years back about my box phobia:

I Like My Beer In a Mug…Don’t Box Me In

It’s hot today I comment,

as I open my lunch box

looking for a cool drink

like a thermos of iced tea

but the only thing I see

is a small box of cereal.

Why would my wife pack this?

I refuse to pour milk into a box of cereal.

Cardboard makes a terrible bowl

but it’s not really cereal

it’s actually orange juice.

Orange juice in a box??

I imagine paper cuts

and very bloody lips.

At home I open the fridge

still looking for a cool drink.

It’s stacked with boxes of Kool Aid.

I like my Kool Aid in a pitcher,

any old pitcher will do.

It need not have a smiley face

but it surely shouldn’t be in a box.

For Christmas, I got a box of wine.

Ask any self-respecting wino and

he’ll say wine in a paper bag yes,

wine in a box—sacrilegious.

Imagine a couple in love

sitting at a Paris Café

at an intimate table,

on it sits a box of wine—on ice.

I ask your opinion,

is that a romantic picture?

Well Christmas is over,

its time to put away

what must surely be

the great invention

of the 20th century

the artificial Christmas tree.

My wife says we need

a new box to store it in.

I ask her, “Where do we find such a large box?”

She takes me to a box store.

They sell nothing but boxes,

little boxes, big boxes, white and brown boxes.

It’s actually a franchise.

I’d sooner own a hat blocking business.

Insurance costs on employees

must be out of sight,

what with the danger of paper cuts.

My wife recycles boxes

so more boxes can be made.

It’s a vicious circle,

a plot against me.

Scientists now study

the power of pyramids.

Future archeologist will study

the mystery of the box.

They will find

civilization fell

the day a tavern owner

started serving draught beer in a box.

The Youngstown tramps: “Eddie Loves Debbie”

“Just Give it Away”


I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. ~ John Stewart

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