Robert Kirby: Finding the joy in Christ-mess

Robert Kirby

Christmas for most Americans is all about celebrating the birth of Jesus. That and maxing out their credit cards. For me, the holiday simply confirms the theory of intelligent design over that of evolution.

Hang on. Let me explain.

I base my belief on the fact that humans lack biological rearview vision. In short, we don’t have eyes in our butts.

There is no way natural selection would have limited the scope of human vision to just our immediate front. Not being able to see a tiger sneaking up behind you is how you get naturally selected for death.

So, rearview vision would have been a necessary evolutionary survival tool. Not only does it alert one when it’s time to scramble up a tree, butt vision also makes climbing back down less tricky as well.

Here’s where religion comes in: Only an Intelligent Artificer with a twisted sense of humor and a love of chaos would have deliberately prevented us from having rearview eyes.

Want proof? Go Christmas shopping Tuesday. My wife finished her holiday shopping Monday. As per our norm, I went along in my usual capacity as a brainless porter. My wife likes it that I’m rude with people who can’t be bothered to look over their shoulders.

First, we went to breakfast at a chain restaurant, which had only one server to handle the rush.

Bad as it was for her — and as slow as it was for us — she kept her smile and did the best she could. I tipped her anyway.

Then we visited Walmart, Smith’s, Costco, Harmons and Home Depot. Here’s where it got ugly.

I’m not above “accidentally” prodding shoppers with a cart if, perchance, they have simply dropped anchor mid-aisle to do a comparative study on the nutritional values between two cans of corn.

After gently bumping them, I always say, “Excuse me. I didn’t see you there.” Yes, it’s a small lie. But it wouldn’t be Christmassy if I said, “Excuse me. Your a-- didn’t see me and everyone else here.”

Same thing happens in the parking lot. People drive around in vehicles equipped by law with rearview mirrors but never bother to check. They’re focused on getting the spot closest to the door — even if it’s only a dozen feet.

This is why horns were invented. And bumpers. Be careful with them, though. A vehicle bumper isn’t the same thing as a prod with a shopping cart. From experience, there’s nothing Christmassy about cops getting involved.

My wife’s finishing touches came close to someone calling 911. By the time she said, “Let’s go home,” I already had lost the spirit of the season. Dreams of sarin gas had filled my head.

Except that server at Denny’s, the one who kept a smile even though she was rushed off her feet and had to put up with people like me for hours.

After we got home and lugged in the finishing touches for Christmas, I crashed on the couch. I kept thinking about that server. There was only one way I was going to get even a sliver of yuletide peace.

I drove back to Denny’s. The server was still there, arms filled with plates. And still smiling. I motioned her over, gave her a much larger tip, and thanked her for her smile.

Hey, it’s Christmas. It takes some of us longer to evolve than others.

Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.