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The ghosts of Christmas past

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Recently I was asked by a journalist to share my feelings on Christmas: love it or hate? My true feelings are more complex than I let on, because I’m sure she had a word limit, as well as her own limit as to how much of my jawing she could withstand. Coming up with some succinct answers did conjure some ghosts of my Christmas past. This is perhaps because those memories will always outshine what obtains for modern-day observation of the season. 


I was forced back further still, into the darkest recesses of my mind, when I heard a comical and somewhat salty rant on Facebook about an unpleasant encounter with a purveyor of pastelles now put up on a pedestal. The bitter venting hinged on the “author’s” disgust with a shockingly poor customer service experience and concluded with a recommendation that the offensively indifferent pastelle dealer immediately lodge all of her pastelles in her sigmoid colon. 


In my day the pastelle was a humble thing; indeed, you were more likely to have been gifted a parcel of pastelles, rather than running them down like tickets for a Pleasure Queen boat cruise. This week I saw pastelles being sold in a bakery at the LOL price of $20 per! 
You’d swear that these paper-thin cornmeal envelopes with two grams of filling were wrapped in gold leaf and not banana leaf. 


I remember a very different pastelle. I distinctly recall waking up on Christmas morning, eating one pastelle and having to immediately return to bed. Those pastelles were substantial and demanded all of the energy your body could muster to digest them.


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