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Author Topic: A Different Christmas Poem
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

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JFB
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

And that's the bad news, sir--don't take it too hard,
But the war, you see, has reached your back yard.

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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This is "different" from what now?

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"If God wrote it, the grammar must be infallible. Perhaps it is we who are mistaken." -MapleLeaf

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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This is taking the war on Christmas far too literally.

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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jessboo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."



Nothing like an incorrectly-placed apostrophe or two to make the glurge that teeny bit more irritating, is there?

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Join me on Lost - www.lost.eu/edcf

Do you have any wine? All of this would go a lot smoother in an altered state of reality.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Methinks that this "soldier" might be suffering from delusions. And he has a gun. Turn around slowly, lock the door, and call 911 ASAP.

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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Larararara
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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So the husband, wife and kid are all in one bed? And the soldier's peeping in their bedroom window? Or am I reading this wrong?

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I used to be a snopester...but my old login has gone the way of the legendary stolen kidneys.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Are we really so cynical here that we can't appreciate an alternative Christmas dream, where instead of St. Nicholas putting his finger to the side of his nose, giving a nod, and rising up the chimney, a father home in his bed has a dream about the servicemen that are cold and away from home?

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
Are we really so cynical here that we can't appreciate an alternative Christmas dream, where instead of St. Nicholas putting his finger to the side of his nose, giving a nod, and rising up the chimney, a father home in his bed has a dream about the servicemen that are cold and away from home?

It has been my experience that many snopesters with whom I exchange ideas and opinions are indeed cynical. Note: I did not say "all" snopesters. We tend to disparage glurge. Why is this any different? Oh, I know. It's because there are no puppies mentioned in it. But it does seem to pay homage to the USAmerican flag. That usually is enough to cause a rather heated discussion.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I think sometimes we get so hung up on saying "deeeeer, glurge is so sTuPid!" and being cynical for the sake of being cynical, that it becomes a smug love fest here.

Is this poem glurge? Sure. But I don't understand the some of the comments. Do people think Santa really came in to the house in the "Twas the night before Christmas" poem? Do people really think the soldier is meant to actually be outside the window?

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Larararara:
So the husband, wife and kid are all in one bed? And the soldier's peeping in their bedroom window? Or am I reading this wrong?

I was wondering that myself. What type of "daughter" is this? I've heard about families like that out West...

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And now for something completely different...

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I am growing really disgusted with this thread.

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I think sometimes we get so hung up on saying "deeeeer, glurge is so sTuPid!" and being cynical for the sake of being cynical, that it becomes a smug love fest here.

Is this poem glurge? Sure. But I don't understand the some of the comments. Do people think Santa really came in to the house in the "Twas the night before Christmas" poem? Do people really think the soldier is meant to actually be outside the window?

I see your point. I'd hope that in all of the "deeeeer, glurge is so sTuPid!" (I love that!) posts we don't believe everything about the glurge that we ridicule. If you go back and read a lot of the posts after a glurge post, you'll see that we pick apart every little thing most of the time. Maybe it's because there's so much of it making the rounds that they become silly, rather than uplifting. (?) Of course, it could be because most of it is so ridiculous, too. [lol]

ETA: quote because of posts between the one to which I was replying and this one.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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NZUL
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I am growing really disgusted with this thread.

You are welcome to choose to refrain from reading it.

As for the glurge, if you want to be seen to support the troops this Christmas, I'm sure there's some official line for Christmas messages to soldiers. You could donate to the veteran's associations in your area. Write a letter to the local newspaper praising their selflessness at this time of year.

Oh but it isn't it so much less work to simply hit Forward on a glurgy military-based poem? I hate this kind of hippocrital stance. Forwarders are not doing something to support the troops by forwarding the email. There is so much more that can be done if one so chooses.

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"We don't keep a certified whale-vomit expert on staff." - Larry Penny, Director, Natural Resources Department, Town of East Hampton

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Just because there are better things that they could do with the same amount of time, doesn't mean that fowarding accomplishes nothing.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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NZUL
Deck the Malls


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Tell me what it accomplishes.

Tell me what benefit it gives to the troops - directly.

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"We don't keep a certified whale-vomit expert on staff." - Larry Penny, Director, Natural Resources Department, Town of East Hampton

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Well first of all it gets people thinking about them. If they aren't thinking about the troops, they aren't likely to send any care packages.

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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Poorly written, sappy crappy glurge is now OK because it's about soldiers?

Pogue

--------------------
Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
Well first of all it gets people thinking about them. If they aren't thinking about the troops, they aren't likely to send any care packages.

Rhi,

Do you truly think that with all of the advertisments about joining the military, the publicity of the active duty soldiers during football programs, the constant media reports, not to mention the glurge that clogs our inboxes, etc., etc., that any of us US-ians are unaware that there are service members currently called to duty? That's assuming we don't have a friend or family member that has been deployed, which I'd guess most of us US-ians have.

And glurge like this isn't likely to get anyone to do something they wouldn't have done anyways, considering it doesn't make any suggestions or give any details about how troops can be aided, just about how you can annoy other people with badly-written emails.

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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atimnie
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

The 7th day of December, the day Gram always remembers, yes she will, cause that was the day that my grampy died.

Sorry, had to do it.

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Trixie Tang
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Care packages? Dude, Rhi, how much money do you have? I hope you thank God everyday of your life that you can afford to send soldiers care packages. Is your spouse an oil executive? I guess you should be sending people who maintain your quality of life care packages for Christmas.

My spouse, however, works for the nursing board. (You know, those people who just save lives everyday. They don't do it with big, scary, phallic symbols, though. I guess they're not brave enough.) Where's their glurge? The men and women in our actual country who provide much-needed medical care to your fellow Americans in the true front line... your back yard. Nurses get paid very little considering what they do. And you know what, Rhi? My family can't even afford a Christmas tree this year. Can I have my glurge now?

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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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It is attributed to Lt. Commnder Jeff Giles SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

A picture of him

It's been around since December, 2005.

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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tweetilynn
I Saw Three Shipments


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http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouthtmls/swzl_compresult_national_HC07000329.html

quote:
The median expected salary for a typical Staff Nurse - RN - Long-Term Care in the United States is $54,636.
I got curious and did some searching.

However....
quote:
IMPORTANT: Your pay can be dramatically affected by compensable factors such as employer size, industry, employee credentials, years of experience and others.


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LOVE: the condition in which the welfare and happiness of another become essential to your own.
-Jubal Harshaw

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Glurges hit people in different ways -- sometimes you choke up, and sometimes you feel like you've been hit with a ton of sugar coated bricks. This is truly a case of YMMV. [Smile]

Just because it does or does not work for someone else doesn't mean anybody here is bad or insensitive.

--------------------
Michelle

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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First of all my problem is not with hating on glurge. By appreciate, I did not mean like. I meant the alternate definition of to be conscious of or aware of. My problem is with being idiotic when hating on glurge. That makes you look bad, not the glurger. Really, the was soldier peeping in through the window at a multi-generational incestuous family? That's the best you can do? There were some clever comments here in the thread, namely "the war is in his back yard". But the rest were IMO "Deeeeeer glurge is sTuPid" and were fairly worthless as either humor or criticism.

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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SiKboy
Deck the Malls


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Well, I can attest that I, SiKboy, had personally *completely* forgotten about soldiers until reminded by this poem. Only yesterday was I thinking to myself "Tinker, tailor... Sailor, beggerman, thief... Hmm, seems like theres something missing there, but I cant put my finger on what.". All the TV reports on iraq, the newspaper stories, and remembrance sunday didnt jog my memory, but one look at this glurge, and wow-whee if it didnt all come flooding back. And as for the idea that they have Xmas at war? Well, that just blew my mind. I just assumed they flew the soldiers for christmas (except the atheist ones, pagan ones, muslim ones and jewish ones) and shipped them back out after the festivities. I am *shocked*, shocked I say, by the idea of any armed forces treating this arbitarily chosen date (december 25th) as being just as much part of the war as any other day.

Oh, puh-leez. This is glurge. Its syrupy, badly written pap. Its only redeeming feature is how ripe it is for parody. (Stood his watch in 'Nam? Is anyone else thinking about Christopher Walken in Pulp Fiction?)

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This Space For Rent.

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ChelleGame
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
First of all my problem is not with hating on glurge. By appreciate, I did not mean like. I meant the alternate definition of to be conscious of or aware of. My problem is with being idiotic when hating on glurge. That makes you look bad, not the glurger. Really, the was soldier peeping in through the window at a multi-generational incestuous family? That's the best you can do? There were some clever comments here in the thread, namely "the war is in his back yard". But the rest were IMO "Deeeeeer glurge is sTuPid" and were fairly worthless as either humor or criticism.

I'm saying I don't see anything wrong with either side of this. I get that sometimes comments hit you the wrong way, but that can happen on any thread. Some people come here just to to tear these things apart.

More times than I want to admit I'm touched by the darn things, especially ones involving animals, but I get why some people resent the blatant manipulations.

--------------------
Michelle

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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Mahone:
Poorly written, sappy crappy glurge is now OK because it's about soldiers?

Pogue

Of course not.

Sappy glurge about dogs, however, is entirely all right. [Big Grin]

Sister "and I'll admit I like most dog glurge" Ray

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The Organization. Adam Haseeb Memorial Pages. My library.

"There can't be a war on Christmas. Even Cambridge has decorations up!" - an observation I made

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atimnie
I Saw Three Shipments


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I didn't even know dogs could type, let alone write sappy glurge.
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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I said "about" not "by".

Sister "unless this is some joke that's currently flying over my head?" Ray

--------------------
The Organization. Adam Haseeb Memorial Pages. My library.

"There can't be a war on Christmas. Even Cambridge has decorations up!" - an observation I made

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candycane from strangers
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
First of all my problem is not with hating on glurge. By appreciate, I did not mean like. I meant the alternate definition of to be conscious of or aware of. My problem is with being idiotic when hating on glurge. That makes you look bad, not the glurger. Really, the was soldier peeping in through the window at a multi-generational incestuous family? That's the best you can do? There were some clever comments here in the thread, namely "the war is in his back yard". But the rest were IMO "Deeeeeer glurge is sTuPid" and were fairly worthless as either humor or criticism.

AFA comments being "worhtless" well, everyone has different ideas about what makes something worthwhile. Maybe something stupid to you is funny to someone else, and vice versa. In a community with as many members as there are here it would be impossible for everyone to totally agree on anything, even something as simple as a joke. When I come across something that doesn't meet my high standards of worth I just do a mental eyeroll and skip it, rather than bitch about how stupid it is. As has been said, YMMV.

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Me: "He's 19? Uh oh, I bought him a beer."
A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
God Re-Animate Green Pork Bush

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moonfall86
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I read "lay down with my wife and her sister and brother" rather than "lay down my life with my sister and brother". I think it's time for me to get some sleep.

Trixie, I didn't think sending care packages was that expensive. I understand your family not having money to spare (and I hope things get better soon), but you don't have to be an oil exectutive like you claimed. I've seen high schools and churches send basic things like soap to soldiers overseas.

Posts: 885 | From: Florida | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TrishDaDish
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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As for the "What kind of person sends this crap?" quandry, I can say that Ma's friend sends tons of military glurge (got this one on the 14th) because of military in her family. And she is seriuos about it. Whether it makes me cringe or just roll my eyes half the time, who cares? It helps her get through hard times, she sees something in the military glurge.

Btw, the first time I read this, I thought it was a homeless vet hanging around their house, because I'm too stupid to figure out it was a dream sequence in a glurge.

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I would prefer not to.
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Posts: 4789 | From: Rhode Island | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
atimnie
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Sister Ray:
I said "about" not "by".

Sister "unless this is some joke that's currently flying over my head?" Ray

quote:
"and I'll admit I like most dog glurge"
quote:
I didn't even know dogs could type, let alone write sappy glurge.
Does it make sense now?


Just a little bit?


Right, I'll just... be over here then.

Posts: 70 | From: Chicago, IL | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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