The Rant (December 18, 2014) 

About Cookie's baby, reality television, a grinch, and the kindness of strangers.

click to enlarge rant.jpg

I am happy to report that Cookie's baby weighs, as of this writing, four pounds. Cookie is my friend who works at the Ballinger's gas station and convenience store at Cooper and Union in Midtown. I first mentioned her on this page several months ago, as someone who helps make my day almost every day when I stop for coffee on the way to work.

Since that time, Cookie and her equally awesome boyfriend, Terrance, had a premature baby boy. And a movement started.

I guess many of the customers there are regulars who also love Cookie and Terrance, and since their baby was born, there has been an outpouring of support for them. It's been kind of like a reality television show, only not disgusting and idiotic like 99 percent of the ones that are on television now. Well, I say that having never really seen any of them, except for Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles and Chopped, two of my secret guilty pleasures. But I've seen commercials for the other ones. Over and over and over and over and over and over I have seen the commercials, especially about that closet queen millionaire and his nouveau-rich family in Atlanta. Chrisley something or another. Ugh. It makes me ashamed to be a human being.

No, Cookie and Terrance are real. And it has been a journey. Things didn't look too promising at first, but now the baby has been moved from an incubator to a crib and might even get to go home Christmas Day. All of this has been very expensive for Cookie and Terrance, and they've had a little collection box at the cash register, where all of their regular customers and friends have been able to pitch in a little bit to help. And every morning when Cookie is at work, she updates everyone on the baby's progress. And on Terrance's shift, he does the same. All the while, both of them have huge smiles on their faces and can make anyone's bad day turn into a great day.

I hope one person is reading this. At one point, this unknown person stole the collection box with the money in it. Whoever you are, I hope you are reading this, and I hope you get shingles. I hope you are forced to watch the Chrisley show 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with shingles, for the rest of your horrid, putrid life. And you know what? You didn't ruin anything. You just made all of us want to cheer that baby on even more and get even more excited. You are nothing. We hope you change into a better person.

I best stop now or I'm going to embarrass Cookie and Terrance. Oh, but one more thing: Cookie asked me one morning if I would do her a favor and thank the nurses at Methodist Hospital in print if I got the chance — all of the nurses who have been so wonderful to her, Terrance, and the baby. So THANK YOU, Methodist Hospital nurses. You might not ever know how much you made this situation better than it could have been.

This is the only thing that has happened to me in more than a decade that made me feel any kind of holiday season spirit. It is making up for all of the over-commercialization of the holidays that annually makes me feel like I am losing my mind. The consumerism, gifts that are "trending," people waiting in long lines on Black Friday, and at their computers on Cyber Monday, looking for deals on crap no one needs, all of it. It makes me nuts every year.

Take, for example, a recent survey that was featured on the Today show. It was a sampling from Consumer Reports of what people voted on as the worst-ever holiday gifts. The top four worst-ever holiday gifts were listed as 4) books, 3) home décor, 2) flowers and plants, and, coming in at number 1 for the worst gift: booze.

Who the hell are these people answering the questions in this survey? Books? Booze? What is it that they want? How could you not want a great novel and a bottle of champagne for the holidays? Would you rather have the latest contraption that allows you to fluff your bed pillows from work with an app on your iPhone because that makes you feel so much hipper? See, this is where I have the problem with everyone saying they love Christmas because it's supposed to celebrate the birth of Jesus, even though they probably didn't even have calendars back then and no one really knows the date. If you are all so into Christmas because of this, why don't you lie down on some straw and stop it with the social media and shopping?

Personally, I want to start my own reality show for the holidays: Cookie's Fortune. I sure hope that baby gets to come home from the hospital by Christmas.

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