The calendar says December 1st. Thanksgiving is a week old memory, and the first snow has fallen here in the Tri-State area. We are now fully immersed in the annual Christmas rush, and the accompanying "Silly Season" is in high gear.
Never mind the overnight lines at the shopping malls preparing for pre dawn Black Friday hand to hand combat. Forget the frustration of endlessly circling the lanes of the various parking lots, knowing that in the unlikely event that a parking place might open up, one of the half dozen vehicles in front of you will most certainly take the spot.
Learn to deal with the fact that an unending stream of television commercials will admonish you to purchase your "holiday gifts" from the sponsoring businesses. Holiday Gifts? What holiday? President's Day? Memorial Day? Ground Hog Day? Perhaps Christmas! Who knows? Nobody ever really specifies which holiday is being touted.
Know that office Christmas parties will produce the usual cheese balls, finger foods, mistletoe sprigs, women with Snowman and Santa Claus sweaters and ornamental earrings, and boorish behavior from some guy who has obviously sampled way too much of the spiked Egg Nog!
Traffic on the city streets will become more intolerable as the calendar moves ever closer to the 25th. Staid, otherwise dignified neighborhoods will become luminescent battlegrounds for would be Clark W. Griswolds to outdo one another with garish light displays, rivaling the candlepower of the lights at a night game at Great American Ball Park.
Expect nerves to be frayed, the item you are specifically looking for to be sold out, endless lines at cash registers. Sales clerks will be harried, and your fellow humans (who for the previous 11 months have just been regular folks) to become mindless imbeciles, capable of doing just about anything.
Case in point.
Our church secretary just returned from making our church's "Mothers Day Out" ministries' deposit at the local branch of United Bank. (I thought seriously about not mentioning the actual name of the bank, but realizing the ridiculous behavior of the employee - the thought passed).
As Sonia sat in line at the drive through window, simply wishing to drop off the deposit and get on to the post office and then pick up a bite of lunch, she began to wonder why the customer in front of her was taking so long at the window. The business transaction seemed to have been completed, yet the car remained immobile, and an animated conversation continued between the driver of the vehicle and the teller behind the bullet proof glass.
Eventually the teller shoved the little drawer out - you know- the one you put your deposit in (no loose change, etc) - and the driver was trying to cram something into the drawer.
As she looked closer, Sonia identified the nature of the object that the driver was trying to send in to the teller.
In her own words, it was "A little wiener dog wearing a sweater".
Friend, feel free to draw your own conclusion as to why an individual - any sane individual - would try to send a Dachshund into a bank through the drive in window. I am coming up empty on that one...
Anyhow, as 'Sonia relates the story, either the dog was too large to fit, or put up enough of a struggle, that the teller was unable to retract the drawer after several tries. But as we all know, there is more than one way to skin a cat (or a wiener dog for that matter).
The teller disappeared from the window, but the car stayed parked in its place. Soon, the little side door of the bank building opened, and the teller emerged, propped the self locking door open, and came to the driver's window to spend a few minutes petting Fido.
Soon, the teller returned to her post, and eventually the brain dead motorist pulled away from the window and entered traffic. Hopefully the driver made his or her way safely to their destination.
Thankfully, no would be Bonnies or Clydes took the opportunity to bolt into the bank through the propped open door, robbing the place, or taking hostages.
No harm done. A few minutes of time wasted. A traumatized wiener dog. And some frustrated bank customers who probably wished they had just parked and gone inside to transact their business. Just another event verifying "The Adkins Adage" variation to "Murphy's Law" - "Anything stupid that can happen at Christmas time - will!"
Silly season is here. Be prepared for more strangeness.
'Tis the season...