The Christmas Cod
TOL’s 12 Gifts of Christmas!
Gifts 3 and 4 are up for grabs today! To throw your name in the hat, leave a comment on this post. (To leave a comment without playing, just add, “No gifts, please!”) I’ll announce the recipients tomorrow evening.
Regular Gift: I guest post for you.
White Elephant Gift: I send you a homemade Christmas card. (Note: I am artistically disinclined.)
Shenanigans. Hijinks. Practical jokes. You expect them on April Fool’s Day. Maybe even on Halloween. But Christmas pranks? I wouldn’t have believed it except that I’ve seen it at my own front door.
We came home mid-December last year from a weekend away and found a plate of Christmas cookies on our front porch. But this was not the thoughtful confectionery parcel you might imagine. No. This was a small pile of upside-down, cockeyed cookies, slathered and spackled together with multi-colored frosting, doused with sprinkles and adorned with not only a bow, but the thin rectangular slip of paper that once covered the bow’s adhesive sticker. And a note, scrawled on ripped printer paper, read:
–C. O. D.
Amused and puzzled, we began combing our minds for friends with children whose initials matched the note. Because that was what it looked like– a plate of cookies put together by a toddler. But we could think of none, and so, suspect-less, I turned to Facebook to see if my friends there might offer a clue. Virtual silence. So we smiled and shook our heads and went on with the holiday season and the ensuing year.
And then yesterday the cookies reappeared.
But this time it was clearly not the work of an innocent child. This time it was a masterpiece of super-prankster proportion:
This year’s note, inked in red marker on a paper towel with a frenzy of scribbled lines above the message, said simply:
Our family gathered on the front porch to make cursory inspections, and then we brought the plate in to the dining room table, where Bryan began leading the children in a Sherlock Holmes-eque inquiry.
“Okay, what do we know about this?” he began, and they launched into thoughtful discussion of paper towel quality, penmanship, and character assessment of friends and neighbors. I disappeared to conduct a Google search.
I found nothing prank-related for “Christmas COD” or any of the similar terms I tried. I did find that certain Croatians enjoy salted cod at Christmas time and that the people of Cape Cod enjoy plays-on-words provided by their own accents. (You send Christmas cards; they send Christmas cods. Ha. Ha. Ha.) But I did not find any of this particularly helpful.
So we didn’t know who had pulled this prank, and we didn’t know why. But what really got to us was the what. Last year “C.O.D.” was signed as a name; this year it indicated an event. And so we began to speculate on the meaning of COD.
Our guesses began to favor fleshed-out acronyms, which, led by our 7- and 9-year-old girls, began logically, went a little off-kilter, and then became downright macabre:
Cookies of December
Cookies on Delivery
Children of Dolores
Christmas of Deception
Church of Destruction
Christians of Death
And we still don’t know who or why or what, but every time I walk by that ridiculous pile of cookies on my counter, I laugh a little and think to myself that someone out there has a great sense of humor and way too much candy at their disposal.
A real Comedian of Dessert.
Have you ever pulled a Christmas prank or had one pulled on you? What do you think “COD” means?