The "Innocent Bystander" blog will be discontinued as of January 1st, 2017.  A daily blog will continue only on Carl's Facebook timeline, not his author page.

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A tradition in the BRITISH COMMONWEALTH, when the peons were allowed off after serving their masters on Christmas Day, it has now become a big SALES day and returning all the shit you got for Christmas. WTF?!

The sequel to DOUBLE PARKED IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE: Summer of 1960 is in the works. Working title is NO PARALLEL PARKING: 1963-1966.

Since I am recently reminded that I am a pagan i.e. atheist, I delight in remembering being raised in the CHURCH, dragged unceremoniously each Sunday until I turned 16 years old when my parents decided I had enough (or the fact that I was dating a Jewish lass). That said, I thought it would be nice to attend services on CHRISTMAS SUNDAY. The website: "We welcome all and come in your pajamas if necessary." WTF? My mother turning in her grave.

A good friend of mine used to receive the tasteless glob from her wealthy brother every CHRISTMAS. Her complaint was that he could afford a lot more and she could have used a lot more. So, when he called to confirm its delivery (as he always did), she would flat out lie that she never received it. After several years, he started sending a check of which she really needed. "Tis the Season. WTF?

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on PEARL HARBOR where 2,403 died and 1,178 were wounded. Thousands of Americans signed up immediately to serve in the military with over 36 million eventually registering for the draft. Compare this with the 2,996 deaths following 911 with only a slight increase in enlistment (8%). Have we lost our conviction or perhaps we don't know who is the enemy? Is this what President-elect Trump means by making America GREAT again? WTF? 

House decorations are certainly nothing new but to the extent that many go now is outrageous. We have discovered these "lazer lights" which are simple and saves one's back. WTF? 

Studies show that kids up to 8 or 9 years of age still believe in ole Saint Nick. Fun time! My brother, when I caught my mother putting a quarter under my pillow one morning after losing a tooth, blabbered "And there is no SANTA EITHER!" But I never wrote SANTA . . probably why I never got what I wanted for Christmas. WTF?

If the photo of the family is not enough, the letter, often enclosed with the CHRISTMAS USPS cheer, is more times than not, BORING! We don't care how little Jimmy made MVP of his youth soccer league and Jennifer loves Wheaton nor the promotion at work that sounds too much like a demotion!!! WE want to see how old you have gotten in a year, that is all. WTF?

My mother, circa 1960's, used to hand write over 200 cards each year to all my father's business cronies. It was the thing to do. Not so much any more but HALLMARK reports over 1.3 billion cards are sent each holiday, average 30 per household. We now send them only if we receive one from you! Sans the dogs, the annual photo seems not so much fun. WTF? 

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