Our Ridiculous 2019 Christmas Journey

First, I traveled through the seven levels
Of the candy cane forest,
Past the sea of twirly-swirly gumdrops,
And then, I walked through my back door.

It was a lovely door,
All shaded over with a brand new pergola,
And there, on the brand new porch,
Was a brand new table
With a glowing red button.

Wanting to be a very good child
And not touch what wasn’t mine,
I ignored it for probably 20 years.

But my brain said, “Push.”
I walked to the table,
Lifted my arm,
Extended my finger,
And pressed that button.
It gave a loud CLICK.

My back yard whooshed
And swirled,
Like I was twisting around and around
In a whirlpool or tornado—I couldn’t tell which—

When all of a sudden
It stopped.
I heard trombones
And children’s laughter.
And Mickey Mouse walked by
And a parade and lights and marching bands
Sang and flashed and honked and waved their hands as they passed me.

I was in a dreamland.
This was Disneyland!

I ran to Mickey and hugged him
And ran to Elsa and Anna and Olaf and cheered their existence
And ran to Chewbacca the Wookie
(Who scared me a little,
But he had such a warm hug,
I was no longer afraid)
And thanked him for his service to The Resistance.
And there, in the distance,
Was the real Darth Vader.

His back was turned to me.
It was my chance to right the wrongs of history.

I grabbed a child’s churro
And it sprang to life as a light saber.
I rushed Vader with all the powers of the force
Raising my saber over my head to strike the final blow when


Disneyland went dark
And I was at home
On my back porch
Standing next to the glowing red button.

I had nothing in my hand except a hot dog from a Rooted Class lunch—
We do lunch every Sunday with the young adults from church—
But I wanted—needed—to return to Disneyland.

I slammed the glowing red button again.

The swirling and twisting and whirl pooling faded into darkness.
I was strapped in a chair
Unable to move.
For hours we drove and drove
Up hills
And down valleys
And across the flat, flat, flat land
Until I arrived at the rental house.

It was not Disneyland.
It was Oklahomaland.
Some people tell me it’s like the same thing,
But I am not convinced.

Hoards of Cowboys began flooding the street.
They rained from the sky
And grew from the ground
And rode in on horseback
And swarmed from the hallways of the university
To converge on our little home.
Cowboys spilled from the windows
And rolled out the doors
And down the hill
And into the creek below.

“What fun!” I cried
And curled into a ball to roll right along with them,

I was back home.
On the back porch.
Standing next to the glowing red button.

“What in tarnation?” I muttered in a Southern accent.
And pushed the button again.

The swirling and twirling landed me next to an elevator
In rush hour traffic
In Washington DC.
I pressed the elevator button when
I was in Philadelphia.
“What happens when I…”
I was in New York City.
There was Trump Tower
And the One World Observation Deck
And Times Square.
It swirled past me so quickly that I could hardly


I was back home
On the back porch.
Next to the glowing red button.

I stared hard at it
Scared of what might happen next.
The swirling, twirling wonderlands
Were whizzing out of my control,
And the thrill of new adventures
Had turned to dread
Of what strange land I’d be forced into next.

I was turning my back on the button
When I saw it move
All on its own
As if an invisible finger was pressing it without my consent
I tried to scream, “STOP”
But all I heard was

And there I was
Standing outside Jeffrey Epstein’s prison cell.

I can’t tell you what I saw,
For this is a family letter,
But I can say this definitively…
Epstein did not kill himself.

I feared Hillary more than ever before,
But never realized that the click could take me to such horrors as this…
There I stood
In front of a TV
Watching coverage of the worst possible horrors.
I screamed.
I tried to close my eyes
But my eyelids would not work.
I tried to shield my face
But my arms were pinned to my side.
I tried to look away
But there it was right before me…

And the Democratic presidential candidates
Talking about their plans for America.

And I cried
And thrashed
And tore at my invisible bonds
Until I heard the distinct voice behind me…

“You’re all fake news!”
The TV screens flickered
Then went blank.

I felt the giant invisible hands that gripped my chest
Twitch, then release me.

I could move,
And run,
And jump for joy.

I turned around to see who had broken the nightmare of nightmares,
And exclaimed with delight,
For he was walking toward me
With open arms.

But behind him, could it be?
Was this the real hero?
Was this the one who released me—
The one who broke the spell?

“Joel Osteen?” I asked, confused.
“Was that your voice I heard?”
He smiled and started to answer,
But in the background,
I saw the real hero.

He was wearing the infinity gauntlet–
A golden glove of power.
In the middle
Directly on his backhand

Was a glowing red button
Just like the one on my brand new table
Back home on my brand new porch.

“Mr. President,” I stammered, ignoring Joel,
“I didn’t know you had… that kind of power, sir.”

“Oh, believe me, believe me,” he said,
“There’s a lot more where that came from.
“Now, have you learned your lesson?”

“I’ve learned to slow down
“And enjoy the small things,” I said.
“And to not take politics too seriously.”

“That is fabulous advice,” he replied.
“I couldn’t have said it better myself.
“I don’t take it too seriously either,
“And it’s been probably the best thing ever.
“Here, take this signed photo of me in my boxing days.
“Everyone’s saying it’s the best picture ever taken.”

“Thank you, sir. May I push that button now?”
Without a word, he held out his fist.

Slowly, the whole scene started to fade.
It swirled, but not fast, like a tornado, this time.
It was more like
Waking up from a dream.

CLICK.. click.. CLICK.. click..
The lights in my room were going ON, and off…
ON, and off…

I rubbed my sleepy eyes,
Stood up,
Traveled back through the seven levels
Of the candy land board game forest,
Walked past the sea of twirly-swirly gumdrops on the floor,
And then, I walked through my back door
To my brand new porch
With my brand new table
And my brand new…

I stopped in my tracks and stared.
On the table
Was the golden glove of Thanos—
The infinity gauntlet—
With a glowing red button.