Vol. 1, Issue 30, December 9, 2003
Dodo: the Other Other White Meat
No Apologies Press

'Tis the Season for my Nemesis, the Nutcracker

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

As December rears its frosty Head and the mornings become Crisp and Brisk, necessitating an extra-thick Frock-Coat and a delightful variety of hot Toddies in the evening, the bowls in my Office are filled with one of my Favorite seasonal Treats: the noble Nut.

In this respect, I am a Gourmand - walnuts, almonds, pecans, filbert, Brazil-nuts, and even roasted Chestnuts are like miniature Treasure-chests piled High, each with its small golden Nugget inside, waiting to be Unlocked. Ah, one of Life's small Pleasures.

But the Key, alas, is rather a seasonal Menace: the heirloom Watley Nut-Cracker. Grimly do I open its weathered Box each year to Place it in its accustomed Place upon my Mantel. It stands a silent wooden Sentry, in the usual Form - a redcoat Soldier wielding a chipped Saber, wide eyes Staring above a bushy Beard. His gold-painted Buttons glint menacingly in the Firelight, his bared Teeth breathe a mocking Reproach, as they have done for as many a Year as I can recall.

Why? For this silent holiday Sentry absolutely, positively will Not assist me in cracking a Nut. The story is the Same, year after Year: I lift the Tail of his long red Coat, his jaws open Wide, a Nut goes in... and Pops out again unscathed! In go the Walnuts: out they slide, onto the floor. Almonds grind Pointlessly, filberts need not Apply - I gave up on the Brazil-nuts years ago, they are Impenetrable as Fort Knox. And pecans? - this remarkable Soldier has the singular Habit of spitting them Out like a small Gatling-Gun, clear across the Room. I nearly took Ephram's eye out last year, poor devil. It is a good thing that he Slouches.

And so each year I end up giving up after a long Struggle, muttering into my Beard as I pound the Nuts on my Desk with a handy Ink-bottle. I tip poor Elisabeth well as she dutifully helps the scattered Shells and ink-stains Vanish from my Desk each year, until the season Passes and I can place the Nuctracker back in its Box for another Year.

But what's this? - Elisabeth has left me a Can... a Can full of glorious Nuts free from their Prisons! There they lie in a Heap, already Shelled and ready to Eat - I cannot believe my Eyes! All my Favorites are there - and not a One needs the futile ministrations of that confounded Nutcracker! What a marvel of the modern World this is, what fabulous Canning technology has been laid Before me, under the proud Aegis of a monocle-sporting Peanut! Elisabeth, your holiday Bonus shall surely be Doubled this year - I crunch Away in Glee!

Hmmph. Do you know, that Nutcracker does have rather a Festive air up there on the Mantelpiece after all.

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