A Christmas wreath courtesy of Teagan Durkin.

The Onion Dip Column is the satire section. All articles are not to be taken seriously.

My holidays were strange.

Arriving home, I was surprised to discover that I could only enter my town by train. Instead of using the highway, exchanging some holiday cheer and choice hand gestures with other frazzled drivers, I was ushered into town on an express train staffed by the happiest employees I’ve ever encountered. After inquiring if these employees were perhaps in a hostage situation, or if there was a little something extra in the hot chocolate they routinely chugged, I was merely met with philosophical advice about embracing the magic of Christmas. 

As this was a sharp departure from the usual sardonic attitude of underpaid and overworked Amtrak employees, I frantically jumped off the moving train and hitchhiked the rest of the way home. Several drivers, most of them single dads with precocious children or kindly woodcutters whose fiance had ended up marrying their best friends, attempted to offer me a ride.

Suspicious of strangers, but more wary of frostbite and getting devoured by the reindeer that were suddenly migrating through the snowy forests, I finally accepted a ride from a bearded man named Luke. He was oddly tan for our freezing climate, and surprisingly slim for someone who insisted on feeding me sugar cookies for the entire car ride.

The holidays only became more and more peculiar. Arriving home, despite Luke’s insistence that we explore the seasonal village together and drink hot cocoa, I was shocked to discover that my town had been renamed “Winter Hollows.” Furthermore, the mayor, previously a tired public servant, was now dressing up as Santa and declaring that she had invested our financial livelihood within a Christmas tree farm. This upset a previous deal with a big city corporation, one which would have guaranteed stable jobs in numerous sectors. Attempting to talk to the other townspeople proved fruitless. Constantly clad in coats and scarves, even when caroling by roaring fires, they greeted me with a terrifying twinkle in their eye and insisted that everything was as, “Sweet as a snowman glazed in sugar.” Even the local teenagers, usually sullen and morose at the capitalistically cheerful sight of lights and shiny presents, had taken to the streets in choreographed musical numbers. 

Matters went too far when I went shopping for a few last-minute gifts. Several grade schoolers kept running into me, sucker-punching me in the gut and then apologizing with a painfully scripted rhetoric.

“Golly, I sure am sorry, ma’am! It’s probably dangerous running into you at your old age.”

My response, marred by the striking pain in my stomach, has been censored for appropriate publication.

“You little ****, where the **** did you come from?”

“My dad says from Heaven! But that’s also where he says mom is right now, which is why she can’t compete in the annual Sugar Cookie Decorating and Reindeer Jousting Competition. Say, are you single? I don’t see a ring on that lonely finger, and my dad and I have been so lonely for so long.”

“I’m young enough to be your sister, you ***** *****.”

Their parents, again most of the single dads, descended soon afterward, originally embarrassed but soon playfully teasing when I lectured them on the dangers of allowing unaccompanied minors to run around unattended. Perhaps this is why the widower rate has skyrocketed since I left town. Too many wives, hopped up on eggnog and gingerbread, entrusting themselves to bearded men named Luke and Mark who aren’t even fit to watch a twelve-year-old. 

Hiding in my room proved the only way to escape the many marriage proposals that suddenly came flooding into my room. Actual scraps of paper, scrawled with crayon and smudged with chocolate fingerprints. I suspect these proposals to be false documents crafted by precocious children attempting to set up their lonely fathers, but I cannot excuse this falsification of federal marriage documents. So here I hide, the covers pulled up tight and a pillow over my head, all to block out the smell of pine and gingerbread, and the ceaseless siren’s call of carolers below my window.

Happy holidays!

Sophomore Teagan Durkin is the Opinions Editor. Her email is tdurkin@fandm.edu.