It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say.

To me, Christmas has always had an aura of the “curate’s egg.” In that famous Punch cartoon, a Bishop and his subordinate (a curate) are having breakfast. The bishop says, “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr. Jones.” The curate replies, “Oh, no my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent.”

We’ll leave it up to you whether you embody the curate’s delusionary good cheer this season, or just honestly write the whole thing off as a bad egg.


Truth be told, I actually look forward to one Christmas ritual — making a list. Making a list when the numbers are stacked against you actually appeals to the fatalist in me.

Anyway, here is my Christmas wish list …

Santa, could you see about getting us some longer hoses on gas pumps? When the stations are busy, it gets really stressful when everyone must jockey for position to a get a pump that matches the side of the car with the fuel tank. Can’t pumps have long enough hoses so it wouldn’t matter which pump came available first? Would it kill them to give us a few more feet of rubber hose?

Or maybe, Santa, you could look into making those new electronic parking meters be a little more polite? Oftentimes you can hardly get your credit card in, it’s so tight. Then as soon you do, the display starts yelling at you to REMOVE YOUR CARD. If you swipe it as quickly as they seem to request, it usually doesn’t work and admonishes you with a CANNOT READ CARD. They’re really grumpy.

I’m only putting one car on my list — the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon — because I don’t want to look too greedy. The 566-hp $70,000-plus Cadi just might be the coolest station wagon every built.

If I can’t get the Cadi, how about a new set of wheels for my old Jaguar? The wire wheels still look great, but I always had a thing for the Dunlop solid discs used by Jaguar’s racing cars back in the day. Decent replica versions are just $800 a piece.

If I can’t get the wheels, how about another iPod, maybe the 64GB version ($429 at the Apple Store, free shipping). With two, I could leave one hooked up permanently to the car stereo.

If I can’t get the iPod, how about a year’s subscription to satellite radio (less than $200)?

A case of synthetic oil wouldn’t even be $75.00 (when it’s on sale).

A $9.99 ice scraper/brush at Canadian Tire?

You know what Santa? A lump of coal would be fine. Merry Christmas.

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