Most years, several members of our family ask for impossible things on their Christmas list. One year, Railfan asked for a girlfriend and some C4. (We told him no, we weren’t going to get him the C4 since we were sure he just wanted to blow his brother up, and that he was on his own as far as the girlfriend went.) The Red-Headed Menace once asked for dihydrogen monoxide, and got it. (The best Christmas present I’ve ever given anyone: he laughed hysterically for several minutes.) This year, in addition to the usual world peace, I asked for Peter Capaldi’s phone number.
I always enjoy reading the Red-Headed Menace’s lists. This year, it contained both the affordable and practical but nonetheless “hell, no” — a fume hood, the materials for a do-it-yourself gene splicer, liquid nitrogen, petri dishes (in short, things he needed to set up his own genetic engineering lab in our garage), as well as his usual fantastical and fictional requests. These included the head of Jar-Jar Binks, the power of the Dark Side, an army of sentient plants to do his bidding (which may be what all the scientific equipment is for), an oxymoron, and this one little item…
“Money for a bit of yard shrubbery.”*
Merry Christmas, y’all.
*A hedge fund.