As I write this, it’s the last day of 2015 and I’m surrounded by Top Ten lists for everything from the best games of the year, to the best fast food burgers in the nation.
It’s annoying, so I thought I’d write my own, because my Top Ten Games of 2015 are way different than everyone else’s Top Ten Games of 2015. But then I thought, I don’t want to do that because Top Ten of the year lists are stupid and predictable and omnipresent.
So I decided to do it anyway, but not just for 2015.
BUT FOR ALL THE YEARS.
Last month, I was a mess. I was in a flat spin and spiraling my way into a deep, deep depression. I was even doing things like listening to country music, which is a good way to tell just how awful things are. It moves along a sliding scale, starting with Dolly Parton and ending somewhere around Kenny Rogers, which – if you’re listening to anything other than The Gambler – is when you know you’re nearing rock bottom.
Personally, I started by absentmindedly humming Hard Candy Christmas and worked my way down to listening to Kentucky Homemade Christmas in a parking lot while choking back tears and wondering where it all went wrong.
Christmas can be awful.
In my last post, I wrote about how amazing the GOG.com community is, and about how GOG’s Twitch Stream Team helped me get through a rotten Thanksgiving. They were great, as usual, but another – and infinitely more terrifying – holiday is coming up: Christmas.
And I don’t have any money.
Which is where Twitch comes in!
UPDATE: You did it! You saved Christmas! Click here for a small token of my thanks.
It’s Thanksgiving. I’m still unemployed, so I’m a little more broke today than I was yesterday. I’m sick, my wife is sick, and our kid is at his dad’s for the holiday. When he gets home, I’ll go buy a Christmas tree with money I don’t have that I can’t afford to put any presents under, and that’s probably how he’ll find out the truth about Santa Claus.
I wrote this slightly creepy, family-appropriate story around 15 to 20 years ago, and dug it out of mothballs to read to my kid tonight after trick-or-treating.
I thought it might be fun to share it here too, for All Hallow’s Read. You know, just in case any of you might want to read it to your own kids tonight. Get them in the spooky spirit. (If you’d prefer a much scarier story for grown-ups, try this.)
A few weeks after my thirteenth birthday, three friends and myself began to concoct one of our usual mythic dreams of adventure. I grew up in either a large town or a small city, depending on your economic point of view. Almost the entire city-town was a suburb. We had a downtown, but there was hardly anything there other than city hall and the jailhouse. We had an indoor shopping mall, which was rather small but still the central vein of commerce for the area. Although such things never bothered me much as a child, I now sometimes wonder where anyone made any of the money they spent at the mall. The rest of the city-town was houses. Houses and woods. There were lots of woods.
My house sat in a neat suburb in the west end of town. The west end was, apparently, where the rich people lived. I never thought of my family as rich, though…which I suppose was more or less accurate, and became evident not even a year after the event I’m about to describe, when our landlord politely evicted us from our home a few days before Christmas. A few months prior, in the prime of autumn, is when my birthday occurred and the scheming began.
Guys. IT’S ONLY A STORY. You know, for Halloween. Please don’t call the cops on me. Again.
If you’ve been following the little horror series I’ve been writing all month for Halloween, then you might’ve noticed a new update I posted to it last night, wherein I was forced to explain that it was only a story because this is Texas, where people can apparently convince the police that shadow ghost demons are real and need to be investigated.
Which is why three officers showed up at my house last night and interrogated me in my own living room. After they saw that my wife and child were fine, that I was fine, that everyone was fine, they eventually left laughing about the whole thing and clearly annoyed that they were ever called out to begin with. But the point is that I had the cops called on me OVER A GHOST STORY.