November 6th, 2007

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Santa's elves are in the hizzouse

Sometimes, the europeans really surprise you. They paint this pleasant picture of living in an egalitarian, post-modern, socialistic paradise but every once and a while if you dig a little, you find some real gems. In this case, it's the Dutch and christmas.

I snagged some audio files of David Sedaris reading some of his stories at Carnegie Hall. I found on, in particular, to be incredibly amusing. Since it would be too much bother to snag and host the mp3 files, I found a text version of the story. I've placed it behind a LJ cut so you can peruse it at your leisure. My commentary will pick up again at the bottom.

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It seems whacky and unbelievable, dosen't it? When I first heard this, I was a little skeptical. I mean, lets face it, anything David Sedaris is only true for a given value of 'truth'. He's more than acknowledged he makes crap up here and there and it's hard to believe that the Dutch run around with an idea that Santa Claus is from turkey, has slaves, and kidnaps kids to Spain. Say what you will about the state of race relations in the US, but at least Santa isn't a slave owner.

I guess one of the most interesting parts of this holiday tale for me is that I'll wager there are only a miniscule number of blacks in all of the Netherlands. It's probably like trying to find a black person in Vermont. This would mean, that in order to find 6-8 guys to play Santa's slaves, it'd either require a herculean effort, importing black people to work the holiday season, or people doing black face. A quick visit to wikipedia finds that it's the latter.

In fact, wiki confirms almost every part of the Santa story as it's told in the Netherlands, which is pretty whacky if you think about it. It's not simply a Dutch thing either. In France, Santa runs around with a hairy butcher who kills children and may or may not be black too. In Austria, Bavaria, and Hungary, Santa runs around with Satan. I wish I could see Dana Carvey work with that info for another church lady skit.

I guess in the end it just shows that we've scrubbed the hell out of our holiday stories in this country. In fact, it's hard to think of a single one that anything near as twisted as the Europeans have. I'm sure there is a major downside though. It's probably harder to get kids to be good when you tell them that the worst punishment possible is that they'll receive a sock full of coal. Telling them that 6-8 black men are likely to kick and beat them half to death and then stuff them into a sack and carry them off to Spain has to be a better motivator.
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Who wants a hand? The leg is free.

BANGALORE, India (CNN ) -- Surgeons in India said a mammoth 40-hour operation on a two-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs was going according to plan.


Patil told reporters the team of 30 surgeons had begun the process of severing Lakshmi from her conjoined twin, which stopped developing in the mother's womb and has a torso and limbs but no head.

AIEEE! It's Kali! It's a very good likness except for the lack of a belt of human heads.

My first thought upon seeing the picture was that it looked like some mad scientists had tried to make a 'spider man' and gotten some of the wires crossed. Instead, he ended up getting an organic sort of Dr Octopus.

According to the CNN article, the people of her home village consider her to be a good luck charm of some sort and a good chunk are against any surgery to correct the problems. Apparently a lot of Hindu gods and goddesses have multiple limbs so they had a plethora to choose from. I guess it has to be better that they figure she can grant blessings rather than runs around consuming the souls of the living.
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If at first you don't succeed....

Teen Hit By Car Walks Into Traffic, Hit Again

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Highway Patrol said a 19-year-old who was hit by a car jumped over a barrier on the Dames Point Bridge and was then hit by another vehicle Saturday afternoon.

Doyen Nimely is in serious condition at Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol Nimely was standing over a bicycle on the bridge when he stepped into the path of one car and was struck. Nimely then climbed over a concrete divider, started to walk and was hit by another car.

According to authorities, the two drivers involved in the collisions were not hurt.

No charges have been filed, but the investigation was continuing.
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Everyone loves homework

Mother charged with assault of 13-year-old

A Wisconsin woman, a former teacher, is charged with sexual assault after allegedly having an affair with her daughter's 13-year-old former boyfriend.

Thirty-nine year old Anne Knopf of Prescott, Wisconsin was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child Under 16 in Pierce County District Court Monday.

The charge is the result of a four-month investigation into the relationship between Knowpf and the boy. The boy's parents became aware of the relationship and notified police in mid May.

She has been released on $25,000 bond. Knopf has been ordered to refrain from contacting the victim. She retained custody of her two children.

Ya. No reason to date the daughter when the mom puts out.

According to CNN, she was boinking this kid in her own home every night while her husband and daughter slept upstairs. The kid would drive over each night, though I'd imagine he'd have crawled on broken glass to get there. The husband seems to be sticking by her for some reason which is just pathetic. If your wife prefers a 13 year old kid over you, bloody throat-slashing murder might be the only logical response left. Forgiveness is for pansies.