RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "Colorado humor"

One Christmas Eve

Standing over the hot stove cooking supper, the colored maid, Arcie, was very tired. Between meals today, she had cleaned the whole house for the white family she worked for, getting ready for Christmas tomorrow. Now her back ached and her head felt faint from sheer fatigue. Well, she would be off in a little while, if only the Missus and her children would come on home to dinner. They were out shopping for more things for the tree, which stood all ready, tinsel-hung and lovely in the living room, waiting for its candles to be lighted.

Arcie wished she could afford a tree for Joe. He’d never had one yet, and it’s nice to have such things when you’re little. Joe was five, going on six. Arcie, looking at the roast in the white folks’ oven, wondered how much she could afford to spend tonight on toys. She only got seven dollars a week, and four of that went for her room and the landlady’s daily looking after Joe while Arcie was at work.

“Lord, it’s more’n a notion raisin’ a child,” she thought.

She looked at the clock on the kitchen table. After seven. What made white folks so darned inconsiderate? Why didn’t they come on home here to supper? They knew she wanted to get off before all the stores closed. She wouldn’t have time to buy Joe nothin’ if they didn’t hurry. And her landlady probably wanting to go out and shop, too, and not be bothered with little Joe.

“Dog gone it!” Arcie said to herself. “If I just had my money, I might leave the supper on the stove for ’em. I just got to get to the stores fo’ they close.” But she hadn’t been paid for the week yet. The Missus had promised to pay her Christmas Eve, a day or so ahead of time.

Arcie heard a door slam and talking and laughter in the front of the house. She went in and saw the Missus and her kids shaking snow off their coats.

“Ummm-mm! It’s swell for Christmas Eve,” one of the kids said to Arcie. “It’s snowin’ like the deuce, and mother came near driving through a stop light. Can’t hardly see for the snow. It’s swell!”

“Supper’s ready,” Arcie said. She was thinking how her shoes weren’t very good for walking in snow.

It seemed like the white folks took us long as they could to eat that evening. While Arcie was washing dishes, the Missus came out with her money.

“Arcie,” the Missus said, “I’m so sorry, but would you mind if I just gave you five dollars tonight? The children have made me run short of change, buying presents and all.”

I’d like to have seven,” Arcie said. “I needs it.”

“Well, I just haven’t got seven,” the Missus said. “I didn’t know you’d want all your money before the end of the week, anyhow. I just haven’t got it to spare.”

Arcie took five. Coming out of the hot kitchen, she wrapped up as well as she could and hurried by the house where she roomed to get little Joe. At least he could look at the Christmas trees in the windows downtown.

The landlady, a big light yellow woman, was in a bad humor. She said to Arcie, “I thought you was comin’ home early and get this child. I guess you know I want to go out, too, once in awhile.”

Arcie didn’t say anything for, if she had, she knew the landlady would probably throw it up to her that she wasn’t getting paid to look after a child both night and day.

“Come on, Joe,” Arcie said to her son, “let’s us go in the street.”

“I hears they got a Santa Claus down town,” Joe said, wriggling into his worn little coat. “I wants to see him.”

“Don’t know ’bout that,” his mother said, “but hurry up and get your rubbers on. Stores’ll all be closed directly.”

It was six or eight blocks downtown. They trudged along through the falling snow, both of them a little cold but the snow was pretty! The main street was hung with bright red and blue lights. In front of the City Hall there was a Christmas tree-but it didn’t have no presents on it, only lights. In the store windows there were lots of toys-for sale.

Joe kept on saying, “Mama, I want …”

But mama kept walking ahead. It was nearly ten, when the stores were due to close, and Arcie wanted to get Joe some cheap gloves and something to keep him warm, as well as a toy or two. She thought she might come across a rummage sale where they had children’s clothes. And in the ten-cent store, she could some toys.

“O-oo! Lookee….,” little Joe kept saying and pointing at things in the windows. How warm and pretty the lights were, and the shops, and the electric signs through the snow.

It took Arcie more than a dollar to get Joe’s mittens and things he needed. In the A. & P. Arcie bought a big box of hard candies for 49¢. And then she guided Joe through the crowd on the street until they came to the dime store. Near the ten-cent store they passed a moving picture theater. Joe said he wanted to go in and see the movies.”

Arcie said, “Ump-un! No, child! This ain’t Baltimore where they have shows for colored, too. In these here small towns, they don’t let colored folks in. We can’t go in there.” “Oh,” said little Joe.

In the ten-cent store, there was an awful crowd. Arcie told Joe to stand outside and wait for her. Keeping hold of him in the crowded store would be a job. Besides she didn’t want him to see what toys she was buying. They were to be a surprise from Santa Claus tomorrow.

Little Joe stood outside the ten-cent store in the light, and the snow, and people passing. Gee, Christmas was pretty. All tinsel and stars and cotton. And Santa Claus a-coming from somewhere, dropping things in stockings. And all the people in the streets were carrying things, and the kids looked happy.

But Joe soon got tired of just standing and thinking and waiting in front of the ten-cent store. There were so many things to look at in the other windows. He moved along up the block a little, and then a little more, walking and looking. In fact, he moved until he came to the white folks’ picture show.

In the lobby of the moving picture show, behind the late glass doors, it was all warm and glowing and awful pretty. Joe stood looking in, and as he looked his eyes began to make out, in there blazing beneath holly and colored streamers and the electric stars of the lobby, a marvelous Christmas tree. A group of children and grownups, white, of course, were standing around a big jovial man in red beside the tree. Or was it a man? Little Joe’s eyes opened wide. No, it was not a man at all. It was Santa Claus!

Little Joe pushed open one of the glass doors and ran into the lobby of the white moving picture show. Little Joe went right through the crowd and up to where he could get a good look at Santa Claus. And Santa Claus was giving away gifts, little presents for children, little boxes of animal crackers and stick-candy canes. And behind him on the tree was a big sign (which little Joe didn’t know how to read). It said, to those who understand, MERRY XMAS FROM SANTA CLAUS TO OUR YOUNG PATRONS.


And there was Santa Claus in a red suit and a white beard all sprinkled with tinsel snow. Around him were rattlers and drums and rocking horses that he was not giving away. But the signs on them said (could little Joe have read) that they would be presented from the stage on Christmas Day to the holders of the lucky numbers. Tonight, Santa Claus was only giving away candy, and stick-candy canes, and animal crackers to the kids.

Joe would have liked terribly to have a stick-candy cane. He came a little closer to Santa Claus, until he was right in the front of the crowd, And then Santa Claus saw Joe.

Why is it that lots of white people always grin when they see a Negro child? Santa Claus grinned. Everybody else grinned too, looking at little black Joe-who had no business in the lobby of a white theater. Then Santa Claus stooped down and slyly picked up one of his lucky number rattlers, a great big loud tin-pan rattle such as they use in cabarets. And he shook it fiercely right at Joe. That was funny. The white people laughed, kids and all. But little Joe didn’t laugh. He was scared. To the shaking of the big rattle, he turned and fled out of the warm lobby of the theater, out into the street where the snow was and the people. Frightened by laughter, he had begun to cry. He went looking for his mama. In his head he never thought Santa Claus shook great rattles at children like that – and then laughed.

In the crowd on the street he went the wrong way. He couldn’t find the ten-cent store or his mother. There were too many people, all white people, moving like white shadows in the snow, a world of white people.

It seemed to Joe an awfully long time till he suddenly saw Arcie, dark and worried-looking, cut across the side-walk through all the passing crowd and grab him. Although her arms were full of packages, she still managed with one free hand to shake him until his teeth rattled.

“Why didn’t you stand where I left you?” Arcie demanded loudly. “Tired as I am, I got to run all over the streets in the night lookin’ for you. I’m a great mind to wear you out.”

When little Joe got his breath back, on the way home, he told his mama he had been in the moving picture show.

“But Santa Claus didn’t give me nothin’,” Joe said tearfully. “He made a big noise at me and I runned out.”

“Serves you right,” said Arcie, trudging through the snow. “You had no business in there. I told you to stay where I left you.”

“But I seed Santa Claus in there,” little Joe said, “so I went in.”

“Huh! That wasn’t no Santa Claus,” Arcie explained. “If it was, he wouldn’t a-treated you like that. That’s a theater for white folks – I told you once – and he’s just an old white man.”

“Oh . . . .,” said little Joe.

-Langston Hughes, 1933



Team Up With Toothless

(Sun City) Candy canes are not politically correct and discriminate against seniors says the American Association of Retired People. The powerful lobby group has petitioned Congress to outlaw the striped Christmas treat.

“Not only do these striped candies depict an immobile crew of elders in a needy light  but they focus on the shortcomings of the handicapped as well,” said an effervescent Jodie Twipper, a 22-year-old press secretary for the group. “In short, we don’t want children playing with the necessary tools of the aged. We don’t want them viewing aging  grandparents as reliant on canes to get around.”

Twitte added that the red and white colors are offensive to some older Americans who have grown bald and no longer need to go to the barber.

“What about people who don’t have teeth and can’t enjoy the candy? Who will speak up for them?” she plinked.

The AARP, recently criticized for reminding quinquagenarians of their inevitable aging, has pledged to get the canes off the market. They have already threatened to go to quart with the makers of Viagra and several RV manufacturers, two lobby groups dependent on older people to survive..

“Isn’t this a lot like throwing out the rubber dickie with the bath water,” asked fifth wheel cliché giant Melvin Toole, always a bridesmaid but never a bride. “I don’t know what that means but I love to throw metaphors around in the age of senior citizen discounts and the demise of sociable security.”

– H.L. Menoken

Trout in the Stocking Could Mean Big Changes on the Way

Unspoken Slam Inherent to Holiday Breakups

with Dr. Carl (Pinky) Salmon-Floyd MSW, RTD, YAP, LSMFT

A freshly caught or fish market trout in one’s Christmas stocking could be cause for alarm, especially in strained romantic relationships, syndicate misunderstandings and contested arm wrestling tournaments.

We certainly don’t want to read too much into this. It could be a matter of last minute shopping confusion or a mix-up over in gift-wrapping. More likely the gesture should be seen as nothing less than the direct approach to ending a frivolous or imprudent relationship or a fire-crack love affair close to fizzling out.

The squirmy texture of the lifeless gift, coupled with the unmistakable odor, never bodes well, especially compared with more traditional, fluffy presents such as comfy pajamas, exotic perfumes and cashmere sweaters.

While this kind of cold-blooded, yet eccentric offering is often catalogued under fishing, other gear, tackling box accessories, even booby-trapped hooks would be more appropriate than a whole fish. That is unless the giver is trying to send a passive aggressive message for the whole family to enjoy or the vague threat of a repeat performance for Valentine’s Day if anyone, no matter how dense, misses the point.

The action may lack subtlety but it does get the attention of everyone within six feet of the loaded stocking. Many cling to the absurd notion that a trout is still better than receiving coal, sand or Chinese anklets. This is only true if you are feline. When was the last time you tried start a fire with a dead trout?

Fruitcake Again Unjustly Demonized

(Claxton, GA) That jellied fruit and nut concoction that elbows its way into grocery store aisles and onto holiday tables each year has experienced an upsurge in violent displays of late. The innocent enough cake has been targeted an astonishing 388 times in Dixie alone so far in the month of December.

Police are attempting to determine if the more radical attacks should be classified as hate crimes, as compared to just plain old crimes.

Father Fruitcake, an avowed, itinerant golf cart technician from nearby Statesboro, warned that there would be repercussions in light of the sensitivities of the season. Much of this year’s cherished Mormon Fruitcake, considered the crème de la crème in some circles, was lost during a snowstorm at La Sal Junction earlier this month. Despite this knee-walking catastrophe, the stuff is still everywhere, clogging up heating systems, overwhelming road crews and threatening to grind commerce to a halt.

“Getting back to all this hate crime designation: What exactly is the opposite of a hate crime?” asked Fruitcake. “Has the fruitcake lobby considered all its options?”

Read the – 2800 stories. No ink. No waiting.


Once upon a time, way out in de fowest, deah was a widdow twee. He was a pwetty widdow twee, wid bwanches in just da wite pwaces, and his mamma and awe his widdow fwends weah vewy pwoud of him.

And den one day, into da fowest came a big man wid an ax oveah his shoudah and  a widdow boy. He was wooking fow a twee to cut down, because it was getting cwose to Cwismas. When da man saw da widdow twee he said to da widdow boy, “Son, dat’s da twee we want. Wook how pwetty it is.”

And da widdow boy wepwied, “Oh I see how pwetty it is. Awe da bwanches awe in just da wight pwaces.”

Da man unshowdahed his ax and appwoached da widdow twee.

“Stop! Stop! scweamed da widdow twee,” who was shuddowing wid appwehension.

“No! No!,” cwied da momma twee twuu da teahs dat wah fawwing fwom hew eyebaws, but dat man wid da ax didn’t heaw dem, and in just a few shoat stwokes of his ax he had feowed da widdow twee. Dwagging it behind him, he and da widdow boy wetahned twuu da fowest to da pwace weah dae wived.

When at wong wast dey emeahged fwom da fowest at da pwace weah dey wived, deah was a wovwy wady deah waiting fow dem. She saw da widdow twee and said, “Oh, what a pwetty widdow twee! It has awe da bwanches in da wite pwaces! We weih decowate it wit awe ob oah wovwy oahnaments and pwace awe ob oah pwetty pwesents bewoe it, and den we will hab a woneahfoe Cwismas!”

And so dey decowated da widdow twee wid awe da pwetty oahnaments, and dey stwung da widdow twee with stwing aftah stwing ob pwetty wites, and when dey pwugged in da stwings of wites da twee gwoed and gwimmahed and was vewy pweased wid himself.

Den de man and da widdow boy and de wovwy wady bwought in wots of pwetty pwesents awe wapped up in wovwy wappings and pwaced dem bewoe de widdow twee. He saw himself in de miwah obah da fiwapwace and he knew dat dis was da most beautifoe he had ebah been in his whoea wife, and he smioed a gwin dat weached fwon bwanch to wovwy bwanch.

De man, de widdow boy and de wovwy wady den went to de taboe wheah a wondeahfoe Cwismas dinnew was spwead out befoe dem. Deah was sawad to staht wid, fouwhoed by tewkey wid dwessing, potatoes wid gwavey, cwanbehwies, tewnips, and wime gewatin. Foe dessaht de wovwy wady bwought in chockwit covahed ecwaihs wid vaniwah ice cweam.

Dey awe ate fwom da wondeafoe wepast befoe dem untio deah was fowe, and den dey embwaced each oddah Mawie Cwismas and went off to sweep in de bewief dat Santa Cwaus wouad awwive befoe mahning.

And dat night a stwange ting happened. Da widdow twee heaud a noise obah by da fiwapwace, and wooking in dat diwection he saw dat Wovah, da famwie dog, had awisen fwom a deep sweep. As da widdow twee watched wid some awarm, Wovah came cwosah and sniffed awe awound. Den Wovah wifted his weg and peed awe obah da widdow twee, wid awe da bwanches in da wight pwaces, and awe da pwetty oahnaments, and awe deah beautifoe wites, and even obah deah pwetty pwesents wid deah wovwy wappings.

And, you know, it kind of spoyed Cwismas foe da widdow twee.

-Donald J Powers, 1979

Santa Says “No” to Elves in Yoga Pants

Santa Says “No” to Elves in Yoga Pants

(Special: Baffin Bay) A generally calm and collect Santa Claus has blown out his red suspenders over a proposal to relax elfin dress codes in the Great North. In addition to fashion revisions on minor accessories and footwear, the relaxing of standards would allow elves to wear yoga pants on the job.

“Tights are one thing one thing, “ shouted the Yuletide icon, “but at last they cover parts of the human anatomy not meant to be accentuated. I realize some styles of clothing are meant to be a little shocking, even provocative but my workshop shall remain off-limits to these expressions of worldly embrace.”

“Elves were never meant to wear yoga drawers”

For centuries elves have been drawn to trendy clothing with often embarrassing results. Whether it is in vogue or retro they grab it off the racks. Many never consider whether tight fitting yoga pants emphasize the right bodily proportions or highlight the positives.

Speaking anonymously one veteran elf says the yoga pants are no more than a passing faze but that the issue here is elf autonomy. That’s why we started a union. That’s why solidarity is such a sticky issue with the front office here.

“He let the reindeer wear those silly, fuzzy snow-boots one sees at ski resorts,” the elf whined. “Santa still dresses like a slob most of the off-season donning bibs, torn, out-of-date Sixties shirts and penny loafers. He even tried to attend a pre-Christmas function down in Canada in a mohair suit,” he laughed, “but Mrs. Claus nixed his choice of textures before it became an international incident.

The source contends that Santa is no garment guru but that he is still writing the checks up here. A new plan for this year, which calls for elves to wear capes and show a little skin, is also off the table.

“Santa would need 16 pairs of elf yoga pants to cover his posterior alone,” finish the elf, who admitted that he wouldn’t have been able to lash out in this manner just a few years ago.

Meanwhile North Pole management is holding firm on the clothing innovations saying they set a bad precedent.

Santa admits that his traditional costume is baggy, itchy and out of touch with the real world.

“But it’s what the people have come to expect and I will not disappoint any one of them because of a labor issues. Elves were never meant to wear yoga drawers” he frowned.

-Kashmir Smelt