the ghost of christmas past


This one is my fault.

A friend of mine in England kindly sent me some money once a month. Once upon a time, life was good to me, not so good to him. Things change, Kundun ...

When December 1997 rolled around, I lied. Told several people he had sent more than he had. Now I know it isn't a very good idea to tell a deliberate lie, but my intentions were good. I wanted to relieve people of any obligation they might feel about "helping me out" because of the holiday season, so I thought the easiest way would be to make them think I was doing just fine, no worry.

Now the Legendeers are telling the story that I had $1500 and drank it all away in two weeks. WHOOOOOOAAAAAA. My children, not even the Legendary Panther could manage that one. (Note: if any reader wishes to test that assumption, be my guests, I'm willing to try it).

Well, here's the fact. It was a lot less than that and, if anyone had bothered to really read the Tales of the time, they clearly informed you that in December I had given away more than I spent on myself, in bars or elsewhere.

No statues, no bronze plaques, please. It was the holiday spirit that came over me and I passed around a few dollars to people who needed it more than I did.

Of course, if the piranhas would stop thrashing around in ecstacy over their favorite victim and look around, they might notice (as I did) a very sweet lady who takes the trouble to wrap up bar snacks and take them home with her for lunch next day. Don't blame her, would do the same myself. But she didn't need to do that for Christmas lunch, for sure.

Of all the lies I am kindly calling "urban legends", this particular one really sucks big time, and everyone who mentioned it publicly should be ashamed of themselves. I wish I hadn't said it to those people, maybe could have bilked them out of some "Christmas spirit" bucks (not that I saw any of them during the Season, just in case).

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