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Soup of This Day #272: Making Spirits Bright

December 6, 2012

2012 Liverpool Santa Dash
The Liverpool Santa Dash of 2012. Some of the Santas are dressed in blue – This is allegedly because they are Everton FC fans who do not want to be seen in the colours of their cross-town rivals Liverpool FC. The guy in the front row with a blue suit and a red hat is clearly just confused then – Photo: Eric The Fish, 2012. Eric The Fish is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

Dear Santa

How are you? Are you ok?

I’m not just asking that to be polite either. It’s not like when you ask someone how they are, but you don’t really want to know if they are not ok. You know, like when you pass an elf in the corridor at work and you’re in a hurry so you just give an amiable tilt of the head and fire off a quick ‘howdoyoudo?’ as you wheesh past. You might follow up with a token glance back to catch the expected ‘fine thanks and how are you?’ before you turn at the next left (I fondly imagine that being a man of compassion that you mostly turn to the left) – But the bottom line is that the whole interaction is for form only and not an in-depth analysis of each other’s mental state.

And that’s ok by the way – I think we all do it – There is only so much caring that 1 person can give and you have oh so many to care about. Plus maybe that particular elf is whiny and given to unreasonable complaints about the weird shoes with curly points, which everybody else thinks are charming.

To get back to my original query though – I am actually interested to hear how you are going. I am stopping in the corridor of life and I’m standing by to hear about weird footwear, yellow snow, or anything else that is bothering you. Yeah, I know that you’re, like, the jolliest dude in the world but that’s no guarantee of happiness, let me tell you.

Simply, you can’t always tell when someone is in distress. Take me for example – I’ve fought chronic depression for a long time and I’ve got really good at hiding that. So good that when I tell people for the 1st time that I have this war with depression raging on in my theme-park of a brain they’re almost always surprised. Some have even said that I’m about the last person they’d expect to be living with the black dog. I think this is mostly because people erroneously equate ‘being happy and/or successful’ with ‘not being depressed’ but it’s also because I’m @#$%-hot at projecting a mask of assuredness. And that’s without the whole jolly persona and that totally awesome beard to duck and cover beneath.

I do have some kick-arse tablets though.

Plus there’s your environment and your physical health – There are some warning bells there. For starters you’re up there around the Arctic Circle, where the days and nights are so loooooong. That’s got to play hell with your sleep patterns. I’m also guessing that the weather means you don’t get out as much, which in turn can mean cabin fever – All work and no play can make Santa go crazy and the next thing you know you’re snapping unreasonably at the elves and talking to The Ghost of Christmas Past.

Who we both know is fictional.

So you know what? I’m here to listen and for a bonus we can make this a 2-way deal – I can talk about what Longworth72 would like for a sporty Christmas and you can talk about the funny boots. Or something.

To kick this off I’ll reel off my festive hopes, starting with the Boston Red Sox.

Who need a starting pitcher or 2 but at the moment I’d settle for just 1. Ideally it would be King Felix but I think the 1 and only model has been snapped up already and you might find it difficult to locate another this close to Christmas Day. I sincerely doubt that cloning him will get the job done but feel free to surprise me.

Given all of that then my 2nd choice would be knuckleballer and reigning National League (NL) Cy Young champ, R.A. Dickey. The Mets will want a bit for him but I hear they want a catcher and maybe an outfielder under their tree so how about you re-gift some of the Sox players? I’m thinking Saltalamacchia and Ellsbury, so not crap re-gifts, like the broken compass I got 1 year. In fact I like both of them, but Salty is 1 more catcher amongst an embarrassment of riches behind the plate, while Jacoby doesn’t seem like he wants to stay after 2013. Plus the elf who wraps Ellsbury up, Scott Boras, dresses the package artfully but does expect a fairly hefty tip for the service.

Alternatively Kyle Lohse went 16 and 3 for the Cards in 2012 and could be a last-minute red stocking filler, although watch out because that crafty Boras elf is whacking a ribbon around him too.

Meanwhile, on to Liverpool FC and I’d like to see a striker dropped down the Anfield chimney this year. The Reds (Cool colours huh?) do already have a striker in Luis Suárez but: a. You’ll have noted that he is frequently on the naughty list; and b. 1 striker is not enough to get through an English Premier League (EPL) season.

Maybe make that 2 strikers. Or 3 and re-gift Luis.

The Perth Glory Women don’t need strikers, or for that matter, any key position players. Half-way through the season and they sit 2 points clear at the top of the Australian W-League standings. I was hopeful at the start of the season that they’d make their 1st finals campaign in the 5th year of the competition but now I’m getting greedy and believing that they can win the title at season’s end.

Don’t worry, I’m not asking for you to gift them the championship – I reckon they don’t need it handed to them anyway. Instead, I’d like to see them not suffer any major injuries for the rest of the term – So perhaps some magic spray and some good surfaces to play on?

While you’re at that, the same again for the Dockers please – They’ve started pre-season training and it would be really nice if the lads could make it to the 1st bounce in tip-top condition and ready for a serious crack at a premiership. On an individual level, I think you’ll agree that Matty Pavlich has been good all year and is deserving of another shot at the Coleman Medal and possibly even a Brownlow to hang on next year’s tree.

Well that’s it for the big-ticket items – If you need some ideas for smaller presents can I suggest that the Baltimore Ravens are worthy of a bit more of an offence. At least 1 of the team has spoken up for folks who happen to love people of the same gender as themselves and so I think they deserve points for that.

You could also help Golden State to a season where they win as many as they lose – It’s not clear if this involves keeping Andrew Bogut injury-free or keeping Andrew Bogut injured. That could go either way.

1 more small-ish request is to ask that you re-incarnate Shane Warne in time for the Ashes in England next year. I know that Shane Warne isn’t actually dead and nor is he small-ish (of gut) so maybe if you can just find someone with his outrageous talent who isn’t capable of mischief or eating a cow whole that would be ok too.

My final gift request is for you – I know, arranging gifts for you is dangerously close to irony, but heck, you’ve got yourself a reindeer with a flashing nose so I reckon you can handle it. So here it is:

When you drop by our house on the night before Christmas maybe stop and prop for a bit. Take 5 minutes, cool your heels and enjoy the cheese platter that I swear I will leave out for you this year.

Merry Christmas big guy – Hope it’s a good 1.

Making Spirits Bright

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