Thursday, December 16, 2004

Howard Spotted as Santa Claus!

I haven't been able to keep track of Howard lately, it seems like he's always on the go or into some new project, talking about all this economical scheming that I don't understand. He's buying up all this stock in RBC right now, saying he supports their active marketing strategy and prominent brand.

I was just walking in Uptown Waterloo on my way for a coffee when suddenly I saw a man wearing a Santa Claus beard but in a full gucci suit, carrying a breif-case, handing out candy-canes to children and laughing merrily. He was telling them each various lessons and reminding them: "now don't you just simply be a good little child until Christmas is over but remember to work hard in school, invest your money, respect your elders, and never use your credit card for depreciable items, the future depends on you!" He patting them each on the head as they left off with their mothers or fathers. I was slowing down just a second when I thought I recognized him, it was Howard!!!

Could this be the same man who a month ago kept to himself, was always busy, could never satisfiably update himself on news or get to his appointments on time, though it seemed that an alarm was consistently ringing on his palm pilot?

I walked up to him saying "Ho Ho Ho Howard!" and his eyes brightened tenfold.
"Such a pleasure! And would this be old Barry!!"
He likes to call me that sometimes as a little tease. I punched him in the shoulder and he gave me the custom handshake. Then I realized: what do I say to him? It's Howard himself! I just can't get over it. He looks so much different with a beard on.

"Where have you been Howard?"
"I've had such an adventure Barrett,"
he says. I start to wonder.
"I've been feeling lately that the fibre of humankind can be made of the flexible stuff that can be found in the substitute we have for modern corks in wine these days. I have shifted my mentality to afford more benevolence this season, and I just wanted to spread my cheer. It is so wonderful this Christmas stuff. I've never been Santa Claus before you see?"

I partially understood but I was still surprised. Is he saying he's like a cork? Howard can act like a nutcase sometimes. But when would Howard ever have done this before? He's a thirty-or-no-one-knows-how-old workaholic who can effectively dissappear on business trips or otherwise for months at a time. I never thought he'd be doing anything but working, nevermind trying to dress up as a fat Christmas icon in the small town of Waterloo.

"Shouldn't you be wearing red if you're Santa Claus?" I ask. His costume doesn't seem quite right, and his beard is black, not white. He kind of looks like an American businessman disguised as an Arab. "I wanted to reinvent Santa Claus" he explains. "I'm toning down the visual elements of the man. Santa Claus is outdated. He looks haggard. I don't like the man." He admits. "Well, why are you trying to be him then?" I logically ask. "I think Santa Claus has good ideas. His ho ho ho make children laugh and the sweets are simply irresistable, however, I can't be dressed with pillows or go through the hassle of ordering reindeer every day now can I?" He had a point. "I am toning Santa Claus down in order to subtly change his image. I'm evolving Santa Claus. With my current predictions and the market trends shifting towards an increased apathy towards traditional celebrations of holidays to a commercial one, Santa Claus can easily metamorphose into anything, he can dissappear, he can reappear in the drivers seat of your taxi cab."

Just then he looks around suspiciously then moves closely to me. "Here, look what else I've got." He opens up his jacket to reveal small toys of all sorts, slap-on bracelets, slinkies, mp3 players, cell-phones, and watches hanging from the inside of his coat. "Aren't these beautiful? I've got a whole selection of devices!" He sured did. He was selling stuff a la black market now??? "I know that you could use an mp3 player with all that music you're making and listening to lately. I've heard your album by the way." "Really? I asked." I didn't remember giving it to him. I didn't even imagine he's listen to anything but Brahms. "I accessed your computer last week and sorted a copy into my files. I hope you don't mind." I was shocked. He got someone to hack into my computer??? I couldn't believe him. "What's going on? What songs are on it then?" I needed proof that he wasn't jerking me around. If he doesn't know then my test worked. Without missing a beat he listed off the song names "dissonant symphony, how do you and the short-lived shark fins." Holy night! How did he do that? I haven't even posted my music anywhere! "It's the short-lived shake-ups" I correct him. "Oh burning buckles!" He exclaims. "Now I'll have to change the title on all the mp3 players!" "What!!!" (This floored me) "I know you're a friend Howard, but I never licensed you to sell my songs. "It's alright, Barrett. When I hacked into your computer, I re-encrypted the files so that technically the music file that I'm distributing isn't technically yours. Besides, I'm building your name's share value by sharing it. The children are already singing your songs" "Howard, my music isn't a publicly traded company. How much are you charging anyways?" Then, just before turning and walking away, he did something that surprised me but made me happy inside as well. He leaned in again with his serious look and said: "I charge nothing for what comes from my coat. Christmas is about giving. What I just put into your pocket just now is an mp3 player with over 50000 songs. Merry Christmas friend."

I stood there thinking for a moment, walking in my sleepy mood. Howard was giving stuff away? Out here alone? I wondered if he had anyone to share Christmas with. I forgot to ask. Maybe I should follow him. I ran down the street in the direction he went but I couldn't see him anywhere. I went into the Timothy's where I know he would go because it's the only place where he really enjoys the coffee other than Planet Bean in Guelph. There were just a few people quietly reading but no Howard. I walked back outside dissappointed. Something caught my eye and made my heart laugh
with joy because I knew that Howard must have been near. As I looked out into the intersection, I saw a mother and her little boy, wearing a big black beard.

Filed under Howard Wayword


Blogger Chai Latte said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:19 a.m.  
Blogger Chai Latte said...

Ah, yes. I should've known you'd run into Howard this morning. Of all mornings, this is obviously the most appropriate. Wearing a Santa suit, of course he was. That's just like Howard, isn't it?

I have to meet this Howard soon. I don't feel like I can really know you until Howard's approved of our acquaintance.

With all those technological devices around his body right now, do you think he might make another post himself?

11:21 a.m.  
Blogger The Lioness said...

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5:08 a.m.  

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