Wenchypoo explains here why she skips Thanksgiving and Christmas entirely. It is more interesting and more convincing than John Grisham.

I would never consider doing that, because I love the holidays. Blessing and I were talking about that yesterday. She said that people who are miserable at the holidays and don’t enjoy them shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate them.

I see her point.

I questioned how that could be arranged.

She thought that an official card would do it. It would explain that because they had a bad attitude and were spoiling the holiday, they would henceforth be forbidden to celebrate it. It could be handed over to people like a parking ticket.

I am still reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, interspersing it with novels (right now, the excellent 77 Clocks by Christopher Fowler). But yesterday I was reviewing a new science series, and I was stunned.

It was Millikin’s Kingdoms of Life. I was startled to learn that viruses aren’t necessarily living things, and that the position of oldest, biggest living thing in the world is no longer held by redwood trees, but by a 38-acre, 100 ton fungus.

But it was not the facts that most amazed me.

It was the drama of the whole thing. Oh, the animal kingdom has its drama of course. In the book on the subject one could find venomous platypi, indifferent amphibian parents, and fabulously successful arthropods. Not my words. These books make the whole panoply of life sound like a soap opera.

The protista throw up a fruited body now and then, even if they only resort to sex when under stress.

But perhaps the grandest image of all was that of the great battle among the monera. The new, aerobic bacteria arose — and I don’t think any operas have been written about this yet — and the anaerobic monera were cast out, dying in their thousands as the atmosphere became charged with oxygen, till the few miserable survivors slunk off to live in swamps, the depths of the ocean where the water is 400 degrees hot, and the digestive tracts of mammals. 

Don’t feel sorry for them. They would, the author assures us, “feel at home in a flask of boiling hydrochloric acid.” But can’t you just see Mel Gibson doing this story?

Oh, and when they get to the saga of the spirochetes — !

May your holiday preparations be less dramatic than that. Oh, and not involve any monera. Or protista.