Philip Hassey Writer's Workshop A Dr. Zoller Christmas - A touching story about a man who believed in the true meaning of Christmas -

        In an attempt to find the true meaning of Christmas, Nan and I went to the Walden Galleria Mall in Buffalo. It was full of stores that all sold potpourri, candles, Santas, and other junk. It was all rather offensive, my nose was starting to hurt. My eyes were being drowned by the red and white. I was almost sure the day was going to be a total loss. Then from the second story I looked down and saw Dr. Zoller.
        Dr. Zoller was sitting on one of those only moderately aesthetically pleasing granite slabs of which no comfort to ones body is given by sitting on them. He looked as though he was somewhere else.
        He was probably thinking of some Christmas poems like:

        Potpourri potpourri everywhere
        Potpourri potpourri everywhere
        Potpourri potpourri everywhere

        Or perhaps something more like:

        The season of Christmas
        The season of candles
        and potpourri
        The season of Christmas
        The true meaning is here.

        Demonstrating that at the very least his thoughts are similar to mine on the topics of malls and potpourri selling shops. Inside, though, Dr. Zoller was somewhere else all together. Though his body was waiting outside a red and white potpourri candles shaped like Santas shop, his mind was at home.
        By the fire. His legs kicked up on a large oak log. Feet outstretched to the warmness. A large pipe in his mouth, blowing out wisps of gray and blue smoke into the air.
        Dr. Zoller had his first smoke many years ago. As a teenager he was out in the back forty driving the tractor. He was cool. He leaned back and saw a box of "Cigars" apparently generic cigars as there was no other special label other than the word "Cigars" in bold letters. He reached back took one out, lit it up and put it in his mouth. The way he always imagined people put cigars in their mouths. He leaned back and put his hands behind his head and took a few deep puffs.
        The coughing that ensued sent the cigar flying about 200 feet away from him, and it was only God's providence that kept it from lighting the whole corn field on fire. On that day, Dr. Zoller swore to him self that he would never again smoke anything.
        This lasted several days.
        Now, he no longer purchases generic brands of smokes. Even today those are gross. He smokes quality tobaccos. Cigars that cost ten bucks a piece. He buys them from little cigar shacks in Idaho, that he takes yearly pilgrimages to. They're lovely little stores with no potpourri, only the smells of good tobacco.
        Those stores and that pilgrimage was very similar to the hatchet conventions he went to every year. Bought a few more hatches for his large collection.
        See, Dr. Zoller is much like Gaston from the movie Beauty and the Beast. He likes to sit down by the fire, with his feet up. And sharpening his hatchet. And thinking about his students. And sharpening his hatchet. And then putting it down. He tries not to sharpen his hatchet too much, for fear that one day he might go into action and violently damage the large wooden table at the school with one.
        He got up from his chair and walked back towards the oven in the kitchen. Poked the turkey in it with some large pronged forks. Nodded approval and walked back to the fire.
        Outside the potpourri shop he still sat, waiting. Unable to lay back and be comfortable. Or unbutton his shirt and sharpen a hatchet. He just had to sit there and take in the smells.
        Someday though, he knew. He knew that all those terrible shops would be wiped off the face of the earth, and in their place Big Bob's Burly Hatchet and Pipe store would be there.
        Someday that day would come. But until then, he'd just have to sharpen his hatchet alone.
Galcon   Watermelons   Dynamite   The Hairy Chestival
All content of imitation pickles (c) 1999-2008 - Phil Hassey  "we care"