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Squid #363
(published January 3, 2008)
Ask the Giant Squid: The Curses of the Presidents
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Mr. Squid,

I'm real confused about THE HOLIDAYS. First, Daddy's real angry that people say THE HOLIDAYS, on account it's anti-Jesus not to call it Christmas when it's Christmas, and he even yelled at the old lady who says "hello" when you go into Wal-Mart, and he yelled so loud that the security man made us leave even before we got to buy anything. Mommy says Daddy is being silly, and no one bothers getting mad about HOLIDAYS anymore, and what Daddy should really be mad about right now is immigrants stealing our wall to Texas. On TV lots of people want to be president, even though some of them are girls, which is illegal, or black — like the security man that made us get out of Wal-Mart and "stop upsetting all the nice people who just want to get their Transformers and go home." Daddy said the security guard was against Jesus, but I think he just didn't want to have to wrestle Daddy, like happened at Uncle Ed's Oil Shop at Halloween. Daddy is big.

So I want to know what THE HOLIDAYS are about, and if it's trees or candles or Jesus or tops or Transformers or immigrants or presidents.

Thank you. I hope that you had a good New Year's Eve, and didn't hit anyone too hard again.

Matthew Barney
age 8

P.S. You were the best President! Daddy laughed for a week when you dropped all those nickles on the Pope's town and hurt him real bad. We miss you, President Squid!

Dearest Matthew,

First and foremost, thank you for your kind words regarding my abridged presidency. Although critically injuring the Pope and several members of his College of St. Louis' Cardinals was enjoyable at the time, I continue to hope that the history books will remember me much as they remember those men laid-low by my numismatic barrage: As a being who loved, and was loved by, children.

That aside, it is good and well that you elected to contact me; very often both mummies and daddies are obliged to fabricate lies at the holiday season, for both religious and fiduciary reasons. To clarify, I offer a brief historical overview:

At the silent stroke of midnight two-thousand-and-seven years ago, as the full Israeli moon was briefly eclipsed by the Nightwalker himself, the sightless lunatic Sinterklaas, bedecked in the inverse furs of fresh-killed bears, and drawn in from under the clouds by his eight flightsome reindeer and 40 Moroccan schwartzenpeter, a child of enormous girth was born to complete silence and torrid darkness, as the boundless sky had fallen under the sway of a cyclopean, mirthless bull garbed in dark fire.

Jesus wrestled that flaming bull to the ground so that all of us could live in balmy, moist peace and harmony. Choosing to entomb the deathless, slumbering bull in the earth's indefatigable embrace, the babe harrowed hell, and emerged wrapped in the skins of ten lions, trumpeting the return of his father, the Sun.

Except, his sister Mary could not locate his penis, and so in its place she grafted an olive branch. Cuttings from that branch are the ancestor of all olives today, and from the crooked growth of an infected knuckle, we draw all of the cherry trees of the world.

It was a lineal descendant of that cherry tree that George Washington approached that winter's eve that he entered darkened Trenton. Young Alexander Hamilton reports that Washington was to enter Trenton by the Northern Gates, and there he came upon a brood of Hessian widows lamenting the death of their champion, Tiw. They wept at the snow cloaked roots of that ancient cherry tree, planted by Joseph of Arimathea when he visited the early Indians of New Jersey. The women's cheeks were wet with the cruel flood of their regret, and the heat of that regret had melted away the snows at the root of the cherry tree, and awakened a smoldering salamander that slept gnawing upon its sappy root, and in the cool glow cast by the stars, the branches had erupted with frosty buds.

Washington demanded a cherry of the tree. But the tree refused, and so Washington cursed the tree, and lightning struck it, and it curled to the side and withered, and the salamander burrowed hot into the earth.

And Hamilton, following after, commanded men to cut down the huge and ancient tree, and he had the lumber, especially the roots, buried upon a hill at the mouth of the Potomac.

Hamilton had many fine pieces of furniture wrought from that tree, and many oddities crafted of it besides, and each president has been given one of these objets de Rvolution, and been guided by it, and of course, accursed as well.

Although these ancient passions played out in dead aeons thousands of miles hence, we yet still feel obliged to honor them, primarily in Iowa.

I hope that I have helped to clarify matters somewhat. A happy Holiday of Your Choosing, to you and to yours, dear Matthew.

I Remain,
Your Giant Squid

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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