It was slightly before Thanksgiving. The trip went reasonably
well, and I was ready to go back. The airport on the other end
had turned a tacky red and green, and loudspeakers blared annoying
elevator renditions of cherished Christmas carols. Being someone
who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly tired, I
was not in a particularly good mood.
Going to check in my luggage (which, for some reason, had become
one suitcase with entirely new clothes), I saw hanging mistletoe.
Not real mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on some
of the rounder parts and green paint on some of the flatter and
pointier parts, that could be taken for mistletoe only in a very
Picasso sort of way.
With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent
it, I said to the attendant, "Even if I were not married, I
would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of
"Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is."
"Ok, I see that it's above the luggage scale, which is the place
you'd have to step forward for a kiss."
"That's not why it's there."
"Ok, I give up. Why is it there?"
"It's there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye."