Well kids, Christmas is on it’s way, and I think that means it’s about time for one of old Papa Weaver’s famous Cleveland Christmas stories. Where do I begin?
Ahem, the year was 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers had just won a championships, the Indians went to the World Series, and the Browns were undefeated in being defeated. There was a pierogi on every table and everyone owned a T-shirt company specializing in craft beers. It was a glorious time to be a Clevelander. However there was one person in Cleveland who wasn’t happy, and his name was Scrooge McDonald Had-a-Farm.
Now, Mr. Had-a-Farm had always been known to be a bit of a curmudgeon, but it seemed that this year he was especially grumpy and determined to be as much of a snagglepuss as possible. That’s why, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, he had spent his time going around town trying to ruin other people’s Christmas spirit by saying things like: “I can’t believe she’s gone.” “What am I going to do without her?” “Oh dear God, I miss you, Elizabeth!” “Why did my lovely wife of 22 years have to die? Why not me? Take me! Kill me!” Mr. Had-a-Farm tried and tried and tried and he cried and cried and cried, but he couldn’t break the merry holiday cheer of his fellow “Clevelandians.”
While the rest of Cleveland wasn’t worried about being brought down by the recently-widowed Had-a-Farm’s shenanigans, they had begun to want to make him as merry as they were. So, they got together and started thinking of ideas to cheer up Mr. Had-a-Farm. “The best way to get over a loss is to get right back up on that horse,” said the always slightly bloody Mrs. Joyce, whose last six husbands had all mysteriously disappeared. “East 4th street!” yelled someone from Westlake, who then promptly threw up. “LeBron James,” said LeBron James.
Eventually, a young boy piped up and told the crowd, “Everybody loves the Christmas Story house!” The rest of Cleveland agreed and decided to take Mr. Had-a-Farm out to the Christmas Story house on the next snowy night. But, they wanted it to be a nice kind of snowy, you know? Like, lightly snowy so it’s calm outside, not the horrible snow that gets whipped in your face. I’m talking the kind of snow in which you tell someone you love them—even though you really don’t. You just feel very lonely and they’re nice and cute, but most importantly they’re there. So, it’s not like real or true love, but it gets you by, so you feel like you should say it even though you don’t mean it. So, you wait to do it at a time when it will feel like a grand romantic gesture and hope that the moment helps hide the fact that you don’t even believe yourself when you tell them, “I love you.” That kind of snowy.
Then on a perfect wintry night, two days before Christmas, the people of Cleveland took the reluctant Mr. Had-a-Farm out to the Christmas Story house. It was the perfect scene. All of the streetlights were out, and there was a thick darkness over the street, except for a lone light from the window of the Christmas Story house, which was coming from a sexy leg lamp like in the movie. When Mr. Had-a-Farm saw it, he was speechless, and tears—not of sadness, but of joy—welled up in his eyes.
Mr. Had-a-Farm looked at the people of Cleveland around him and said, “You have made me the happiest ma-” but he was cut off as he was hit and killed by a stray bullet from a nearby drive-by shooting because the Christmas Story house is located in a severely economically disadvantaged neighborhood where the residents are forced to resort to crime in order to survive.
Merry Christmas, Cleveland.