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December 23, 2006
This is an excerpt from my journal, referring to an incident which happened last year, at about this time. That time of year when nearly every packaged product comes with some little nugget of holiday cheer in the form of brightly colored plastic doodads in Santa hats.

"Earlier today, I was a little concerned that I might die laughing. This event, had it taken place, would have been blamed entirely on the Bel/Kaukauna company, a subsidiery of Fromageries Bel, S.A.

I will explain.

A while ago I purchased some cheeses, available at any decent grocery store, which are tiny and covered in wax and are delicious and snackable. I refer to them as "Zhe Leetle Cheeses" in a very Bartok the Bat kind of voice. These cheeses came with globes, little mini snow globes which are about the same size as the cheeses themselves and feature tiny little cheese people, jauntily riding a little plastic sled. The scene is both festive and heartwarming; I can just imagine the little cheese people, after a day spent cavorting in the softly falling snow, heading in for some nice cookies and cocoa, or whatever it is cheese people eat post-cavortion. However, upon closer inspection, I discovered that one must fill these globes themself, upon purchase. A process which involves filling a very large bowl (or sink) with water and vigorously shaking the little globe part, with the base removed, under the surface of the water, forcing an exchange of air and water within the globe. This is a process which takes approximately fifteen to twenty minutes for each droplet of water the globe takes in, and results in splashing water in a six foot radius of wherever the bowl happens to be. And god help you if you're wearing long sleeves. Not to be dissuaded by a little hard work in exchange for a lifetime of joy spent with my cheese-people snowglobe, I managed to fill the globe, mostly. Enough to jostle the snowflakes and commence the wintery wonderland of glee in cheese-people land. Now, most snowglobes are filled with something only slightly more dense than the liquid that surrounds them, and sometimes glitter is added as well, for that extra ounce of festivity. The effect of which is that when shaken, the 'snow' drifts gently down and puts one in a mood to sing songs like 'Silver and Gold' and 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas,' or maybe 'Christmas in Killarney' if you're Irish (if you happen to be the type to be in a mood to sing Christmas carols of any kind, those are some especially nice ones.) This is what I was expecting, albeit, I recognize that the likelihood of glitter in this particular globe is slim. What I discover is that when shaken, while there is some kind of white particulate inside the globe, it also seems to be be made of pebbles, granite, or maybe limestone. The effect is not so much and festive globe displaying softly drifting snow, as it is a violent hail-globe, pelting the little cheese people on their sled. Now their little painted faces are not quite so jaunty, but expressions of crudely painted terror, grimacing in the face of the worst winter storm since the December of 'aught seven. The laughter comes in with the line, "Well, what do expect of snowglobes that came free with cheese?"

That is my official, Happy Holidays (whatever holiday/s you celebrate) story. Beware the snow globe that comes free with cheese.

Happy Holidays, or non-holidays if your religion doesn't have any particular holidays at this time, or if you're agnostic, or an atheist, in which case, happy ... day,
The Corinthians.

Content © 2007 Quinn Gillespie and Kara O'Brien