Mama in Her Kerchief and I In My Madness

by John Holbo on December 23, 2012

Merry X-Mas, CT’ers! Here’s a seasonal something I whipped up a while back, then reworked, which I’m releasing now as a convenient PDF. “A Truly Awful Christmas Volume – A Visitation of Sog-Nug-Hotep” (PDF – and a big one at that. Approx 18 megs, 58 pages. Looks good on an iPad.). The usual sort of faux-Lovecraftian horsing around, you understand. But that really never gets old – relatively speaking. I am proud of my lettering.


It’s too damn late for you to do much online shopping, but if it weren’t, I’d recommend my friend Josh Glenn’s book, Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun, for the kids. His book is better than that boring old Daring Book For Girls and Dangerous Book For Boys, or whatever they were called. I’m glad to see that Josh’s title is selling healthily without me giving it an appropriate pre-X-Mas boost. But you might file away Unbored as a notion, for a later occasion. Or check out Josh’s series on Radium Age SF. Healthy stuff, in large doses!

If you need it by Christmas, and you want to support someone who is also my friend, you might gift someone Adam Roberts, I Am Scrooge: A Zombie Story for Christmas, available on Kindle. An “I Am Legend” “Christmas Carol” mash-up, you will quickly perceive. I was hoping for more of a plummy, Dickens voice. But Roberts went for a Lemony Snicket-y thing, I should say. Nothing wrong with that! But I assure you that his fake horrors-of-Christmas etymologies are not the real deal. Mine are!



Dave Maier 12.23.12 at 4:22 pm

I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again: you are so weird. In the best possible way, of course! Merry Xmas!


Dave Maier 12.23.12 at 4:23 pm

Oops, messed the tenses up. (Can we have preview back please?)


Katherine 12.24.12 at 10:07 am

I am impressed by your use of “inverted commas” and “exclamation marks”!


edwardingrray 12.24.12 at 2:46 pm

I just came across your blog and reading your beautiful words. I thought I would leave my first comment but I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
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Katherine 12.24.12 at 7:41 pm



Dan Nexon 12.24.12 at 10:22 pm



John Holbo 12.25.12 at 12:30 am


But I’m glad it enjoyed my beautiful words.


John Holbo 12.25.12 at 12:33 am

Merry X-Mas everyone!


rf 12.25.12 at 11:25 am

Dr Holbo!,
I read this on Christmas Eve and thought of you!(Its a Christmas miracle!)

“A steady downpour started in the afternoon as we motored through steel-gray waters back to Florida. Tomorrow would be a new gray dawn in America. Up in the Crow’s Nest, the rain pelted on the windows as Jonah Goldberg, having just finished a panel about the scurrilous designs of the left, slumped on a couch, loosened his tie, and sighed. He had won $200 at the craps table with John Yoo last night, but now he was tired and ready to go home…..”

Meery Christmas indeed, may your words remain beautiful and exclamation points bountiful!


Brian Marick 12.25.12 at 5:56 pm

Just in time! For us, a new Christmas tradition is the reading of this original “Night Before Christmas”. Quick, though: how do you pronounce “mglw’nafh”?


Hogan 12.25.12 at 6:50 pm

Rhymes with “Shub-Niggurath.”


John Holbo 12.26.12 at 6:08 am


You need to look at these pictures

And say (as Rudolph might, of his nose) “I’m glowing enough”.


Lemmy caution 12.26.12 at 6:57 am

I picked up I unbored for my kid for Christmas . It looks good.


John Holbo 12.26.12 at 7:15 am



John Quiggin 12.26.12 at 11:51 am

At last I have the true story of Xmas


Ken 12.26.12 at 3:12 pm

To pronounce “mglw’nafh” properly, you need a bifurcate soft palate, extra postorbital fenestrae, and a retroflexed epiglottis detached from the hyoid.

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