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Zahm Hall
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Blue Gray Sky

LMS Week 16

Posted: 2006-12-20

Winter Solstice Arrives. Or, and so this is CHRISTMAS.

Animals,

Merry Christmas caged ones, or, as many of our animal friends around the world would say:

Rehus-Beal-Ledeats.

Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah.

Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito.

Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad.

Joyeux Noel.

Nollaig Shona Duit.

Mele Kalikimaka.

Froehliche Weihnachte.

Chung Mung Giang Sinh.

Mo'adim Lesimkha.

Chena Tova.

Gledelig Jul.

Linksmu Kaledu.

Sawadee Pee Mai.

Sretan Bozic.

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia.

Feliz Navidad.

Buone Feste Natalizie.

Sung Tan Chuk Ha.

Zaratkannyn Tuysy Zene Zana Zylynyz Kutty Bolsyn.

And, the ever popular Canadian - Merry Christmas, eh.

That should cover necessary PC expressions for most of the planet. First animal to identify all languages shown here gets a free copy of the ZOOKEEPER'S holiday recipe for Muscatel based egg-nog, and his non-traditional Muscatel laced Fruit Cake. Winners must pick up their prizes in person. The first to identify which language greeting would come from Borat, gets two free nights with the number one prostitute in all of Kazakhstan. Again, winner must collect his or her prize in person.

The Christmas that is familiar to most animals has had its roots for celebration in Christian religious beliefs since about 354 AD. Before then, ancient Winter Festivals of celebration centered around the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year as measured in terms of time between sunrise and sunset (or the longest day of the year if you live where they have Kangaroos, Last Man Standing Rugby pools, Koala Bears, pig tails that curl the other way and people calling each other "mate" at the local boozer).

Saturnalia was one of the favorite Winter Festivals for Roman animals back in the day. It was a time for feasting, merry-making, and generally a cessation of formal social rules. Major party time for everybody. Slaves were allowed to disrespect their masters, sitting down to banquets and yelling "YO" every time that they wanted their wine cups re-filled. This honored tradition can still be seen today at some company holiday parties at the boss's house, by modern day slaves who wake up the next morning re-thinking how funny they might have seemed the night before. Drinking, gambling, singing, and public nudity were common during Saturnalia. (Sounds like most Saturday Nights for many of our animals). The poet Catullus called it "the best of days" as it actually lasted for a full week. Presumably, Catullus, who would have played in our pool as PARTY ANIMAL, liked a good time.

But all this tomfoolery had its origins in an ever present awareness that time is fleeting as evidenced by the shortened daylight hours. The ancients, who spent much more time out doors than most animals now do, knew such things. In fact, most of them didn't have doors, just openings to their caves, usually on the leeward side of the hill. They might throw an old wooly mammoth skin over the opening to keep warm, or to keep neighboring clan members from knowing too much about their business (like whether or not Miss America stopped by to throw down a few shots). But they certainly had an awareness of daylight hours and darkness. Likewise, our still caged animals are keenly aware of their time remaining in the cages and just how fleeting it may be. This is evidenced by selections of teams this week. Only 3 animals have picks with winning records.

So, here is wishing all of you animals a Merry Christmas full of celebration and good times for all. Just don't blame the ZOOKEEPER if not. Here are your numbers:

5351 OUT. 15 DQ'D. 21 IN. 7 49ERS, 4 FALCONS, 4 PACKERS FROM THE FROZEN TUNDRA OF LAMBEAU FIELD, 2 BUFFALO BILLS, 2 DA BEARS, AND ONE COWBOY (uh oh), AND ONE CHEF.

PICK OF THE WEEK HONORS could go to any of these fearless football geniuses, but special WEEKLY REPORT mention has to gone to the lone wolves, HONDO on the Cowboys, and WAYNE M on the Chiefs. Good luck to all. If something should go wrong, there is always drinking, gambling, singing and public nudity to fall back on.

SPECIAL PROPS go out to the animal pack from ERIE PA., who were kind enough to send the ZOOKEEPER a gallon of Muscatel for Christmas! (Don't know where they found it, but obviously it was only available in the small bottle size). Yes, ERIE ANIMALS, your generosity will be remembered. You other animals should take note, but no copy cats, please. The ZOOKEEPER is also fond of hundred dollar bills, you know.

LETTER TRAIL OF THE WEEK (a special Christmas bonus for you savage animals who get off on the misfortunes of others):

ZOOKEEPER,

12-13-2006 Ho hum. Give me the Seahawks in Week 15. See you next week. Signed, SALMON.

ZOOKEEPER,

12-15-2006 If all of the animals vacate their cages this week, do the Seahawks still cash after their Thursday night loss? Signed, SALMON

SALMON,

12-15-2006 You are an optimist, aren't you. Tell me you weren't watching the game last night wearing a flight suit with a "Mission Accomplished" banner hanging behind you. Signed, ZOOKEEPER

That's it for this week. Good luck to our hopefully soon to be finalists. Santa is on his way. Hope you were good, but, if not, just win, baby, win.

ZK