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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 7 (December 1, 1932)

The True Sense of Irresponsibility

The True Sense of Irresponsibility.

Christmas is a species of psychological weight-lifting or heart's ease, when the microbes of mundanity and the caterwauls of care are ejected from the system by an inrush of insurrection to the brain. It is a state of mind in which the constitution revolts against the dismal diatribes of pusillanimous pessimism and dolorific despair. A time arrives when even a worm will turn and bite the mud that binds it, and a tadpole will spring off its tail and become a leap-frog rather than a mere muddler in mud.

Man is obsessed by a sense of responsibility, but a sense of irresponsibility is often a valuable adjunct to a “jink,” and is the leavening in the staff of life. A citizen who is incapable of reacting riotiously at Yuletide, is heel-tied and hopelessly handicapped in the catch-as-catch-can of Christmas. With these few words we introduce the spirit of the season, with the cork out; the overproof, unadulterated, nineteen-hundred-and-thirty-two star benedictine of benediction, with a “kick” like a mastodon's mit in a gelatine glove; a potion that invests the investigator with the mental vestments of variegated vision.

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“Revolts against the dismal diatribes of pusillanimous pessimis.”

“Revolts against the dismal diatribes of pusillanimous pessimis.”

An existence without the crystallisation of Christmas once a year, to warm the hobs of hospitality, vitalise the virility and rout the slump-ticks, would be like a permanent pain in the neck. Imagine, horrified reader, the horror of facing a life spread out like a damp sheet of printer's errors, and unpunctuated by a dash or an exclamation mark. Such a life would be a permanent waive. Civilisation would reach that point of excellence and efficiency which destroys all life. But, fortunately, once every year the hobo Happiness heaves a spanner into the works of Advanced Existence, and there is a glad time for all for the duration of the cessation. The sun shines, man discovers again that he is separated from the slug only by his ability to laugh, that he still possesses the remnants of an ego, and that the odour of crushed grass, the thrust of the wind, and the warm earth caressing his bare brisket, are the real gifts of the gods.

He finds that he possesses a digestive apparatus, both physical and metaphysical, and can look like a man and act like a “maneater.”

Let us sing to the season of sun and salubrity:—

Oh, ho, for the germs of Christmas cheer

That fructify in “skittles” and beer,

And circulate in the human blood,

And lift the spirit out of the mud.

What-ho, for the fever of fancy and fun

Enveloping every son-of-a-gun

Who's bitten by bugs of the Yuletide breed—

A most intriguing complaint indeed—

Which causes its victims to moult with mirth,

And brings the loftiest down to earth.

Oh, it's good to laugh like anything,

When you feel the nip of the Yule-bug's sting.

Its good to forget you're civilised,

That your souls are cramped and undersized,

And to rise to the top of the golden slime

Of Commerce and Caution, at Christmas time

To slip the shackles of Progress trite

And bare the back to the microbe's bite,

And welcome the blisters of bliss and sun,

Each super-civilised son-of-a-gun.

For once a year you have the chance

To learn the nature of real romance,

Forgetting to be, like other men,

A highly respectable citizen.

How terribly terrible, reader dear,

To be respectable all the year.

And never to slip the noose of Pelf

Sufficiently long to be yourself.

Without this vagabond vacation,

You'd die of over-snivelisation.

So, ho for the bites that the Yule bugs give,

That cause each son-of-a-gun to live,

And heats his blood to a hundred and three

When he sees himself as he ought to be.