The First Monday of Khaotica: Dock the Hills with Trouts of Folly
On the first Monday after the first Sunday in December of 2007, Palette announced: "Today marketh the advent of Khaotica! Go thou, and giveth a trout to thine neighbor, that he/she/it/they/them may become enlightened to the true meaning of the season."Khaotica is an ancient Discordian holiday that I just invented. It begins on the first Monday after Advent, and continues for the next four Mondays after that. The purpose of this holiday is to spread the joy of chaos by ensuring that things are wacky and surreal.
And the people did groan, and ask, "What the fuck are you on about, Palette?" And Palette did grin, and smirk, and jape, and generally make an ass of herself, until the people got fed up and pelted her with rancid vegetables until she relented and explained.
Now I'm sure that some of you are saying, "But Palette, surely this is a mockery of Christmas and, by extension, all of Christianity?" And I reply, Where did I say we were mocking anything? There is no meanness of spirit in Khaotica. In fact, I shall make it expressly clear:
You see, it goes something like this: during the month-long buildup to Christmas, people tend to forget the real reasons for the season -- goodwill, charity, love for all -- and instead focus on the purely mundane: shopping, cooking, decorations, and enforced familial "fun times" that must be perfect or else it's all ruined. RUINED!
Thou shalt Not harsh anyone's good vibe during Khaotica.
Bad vibes, however, are fair game.
Christmas should be fun. But regimented planning != fun, unless you're a soulless bureaucrat. What is supposed to be a glorious season of giving and sharing turns into a rigid, mirthless endeavor that has all the spiritual meaning of a forced march.
Now think of all the wonderful memories you have of Christmases past. Do any of them even remotely resemble an event of clockwork precision? No, Christmas is a loud, messy, and gloriously chaotic affair, filled with children shrieking gleefully as they rip into their presents. It's your living room awash in torn wrapping paper. It's carols sung at full volume, and off-key. It's nativity plays full of flubbed lines and bad acting that nonetheless pulls at the heartstrings. It's the dog taking a whiz on the tree.
So every Monday, I'm going to give you a Khaotica assignment for the week. The point of these exercises is to get people to lighten up and enjoy the holiday for what it was meant to be, not what modern materialist society has turned it into. After you perform your homework, I want you to report back and tell me the following:
- What you did.
- How people reacted.
- How that made you feel.
- DON'T do anything illegal, or encourage anyone to do so.
- DON'T mock people's beliefs.
- DON'T be a jackass. Making a fool of yourself is fine; making fools of other people is not.
Okay, here is your first assignment:
Dock the Hills with Trouts of Folly
The first week of Khaotica is usually when people start putting up their Christmas decorations. Usually this is all good and fine, but often people go too far: they cover every inch of their houses, or have a rivalry with their neighbors that borders on the obsessive and sometimes turns ugly. Your assignment is to inject a little positive chaos into this order. Some suggestions:
- Invite the neighborhood kids over to help you string your lights/put up decorations/etc... but don't tell them where to put things. Instead, have them tell you where stuff should go. (Naturally, don't let them go up on the roof.) In all likelihood, you will have a gloriously jumbled mass of lights/tinsel/etc that boggles the mind. If it bothers you, remember the joy that the children had in letting their imaginations run wild as they set it up.
- Instead of fruitcake, go to the market and buy a nice fish. Wrap it in a bow and give it to your neighbors. Enjoy their baffled expressions. If they ask why, tell them that this year you're docking the hills with trouts of folly, and you'd like them to have one so they can dock their own hill if they desire. If they ask why they would want to do that, tell them "Just for the halibut."
- Recycle your old Valentines as Christmas cards. Explain that the holiday season is about love, and you love your friends very much. Jesus came to Earth to be humanity's Valentine, after all.