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A Tale of Xmas.

In a couple of hours it will be Xmas. I really couldn't care less, but this story will make it seem as if it is so.

Generally speaking, I have nothing against Xmas, but I'm not religious, and I'm not a kid (and I don't have kids). If it's your thing, that's cool. Right this moment, there's a lot of noise in my street, a bunch of people having some Night Before Xmas thing, but me, I'm listening to the Snog track, 'Slide into Extinction', because I'm that kind of emo. You do what you can, as they say.

Sometimes, however, this impartial view of mine in relation to Xmas is challenged. Not often, mind, but sometimes. The last time it happened was a few years back when, after the day with the family, I logged on and checked my email, and found that I had been sent a rejection.

Seriously: a rejection.

A rejection on Christmas Day.

On Christmas-Fucking-Day! You see how I've changed the spelling there? That's because it was fucking Christmas. Who sends rejections to you on Christmas Day? It wasn't even an editor from a different part of the world, so I could give them the benefit of the doubt, and say, "Well, Christmas Eve..." like I wouldn't have done the exact same thing I did on that day. (Which, in case you're wondering, was bitch to my friends, and not this editor, for I retain the golden rule: never bitch to editors who reject you.) Anyhow, I just couldn't picture it on any level. On any. Had this editor sat on the story for a couple of weeks, thinking, What day would be best to reject? I'm so close to the holiday. I can just wait it out. Or were they just such a lonely, empty soul that they couldn't even get into the spirit of Christmas? Were they just sitting round, listening to their anti-corporate music, and thinking, Fuck everybody. Just fuck 'em. It's just another day in my empty, childless, relationship barren life?

No.

No, I couldn't picture it. Especially not the anti-corporate music bit. Even now.

I've been rejected in some fairly impressive ways. Drunk editors. Nice rejections that, a week later, are followed by ones that refer to you The-Author-of-this-Cliched-Drivel. Rejections that are really editors just rewriting your work, in red pen, on a manuscript they printed out and mailed back to you, no less. Rejections that blame the public school systems for you. Rejections that have your name spelt wrong. Rejections with an entirely different story title. Rejections that have been made from your manuscript, and fashioned into a tiny effigy that, that same night, bursts into flames, jumps up on your bed, and says in a dark, dark voice that sounds like a thousand tortured souls, "Never write, never again." So many ways have I been rejected. I've forgotten most of them, now, and the editors involved, and I have crawl through files to make these jokes. I've forgotten them all, you see. They're unimportant. I've forgotten every one, except for that rejection I got on Christmas Day, and that I remember, word for word, and editor for editor.

Because that's the magic of Christmas.

...

Anyhow, you all be cool now. Have a nice day and night, in any which way that you pass the moment.

Comments

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mariness
Dec. 24th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
Merry Christmas!
benpeek
Dec. 24th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
and to you!
ashamel
Dec. 24th, 2006 12:54 pm (UTC)
Not five minutes ago I was thinking about this very thing. Not so much you being rejected, but the general concept of somebody being rejected on Christmas Day.

It's wrong.

Then, stricken with insomnia, I got back out of bed to find something more cheerful. Still looking.
benpeek
Dec. 24th, 2006 09:24 pm (UTC)
did you find that special xmas cheer?
(no subject) - ashamel - Dec. 24th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
claredudman
Dec. 24th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
Christmas rejection
Yup, that smacks of an incredibly weirdly empty life - I feel sorry for whoever it was.
buymeaclue
Dec. 24th, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Christmas rejection
Or of not celebrating Christmas, but having the day off work, and so using the time to catch up.
Re: Christmas rejection - benpeek - Dec. 24th, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - girliejones - Dec. 27th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - benpeek - Dec. 27th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - girliejones - Dec. 27th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - benpeek - Dec. 27th, 2006 12:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - girliejones - Dec. 27th, 2006 01:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - benpeek - Dec. 27th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - girliejones - Dec. 27th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - benpeek - Dec. 27th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Christmas rejection - benpeek - Dec. 24th, 2006 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
claredudman
Dec. 24th, 2006 01:34 pm (UTC)
Do you mind, I hadn't quite finished (stupid computer sent it off early)what I wanted to add was HAPPY CHRISTMAS BEN. Hope you're having a good one.
benpeek
Dec. 24th, 2006 09:27 pm (UTC)
and to you too, clare.
vampyrichamster
Dec. 24th, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
That, my friend, is indeed most fucked up.

But, at the very least, I hope you have a decent rest-of-holiday.
benpeek
Dec. 24th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
yes, thank you :)

i hope yours is cool, too.
buymeaclue
Dec. 24th, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'm not planning to reject anyone on Christmas, but the rest of the week? Hell yes. I'll be at work, but it'll be superquiet, and I'm very keen to take advantage of that.

I've thought about it a bit, and I don't have much way of knowing which of my writers celebrate Hanukkah...or the solstice...or Chinese New Year...or when their birthdays are... I'm not going to go out of my way to ruin any of those for them, but things will get a wee bit ridiculous if I go too far out of my way to avoid their special days.
benpeek
Dec. 24th, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC)
surely you wouldn't reject during ramadan?!

heh. anyhow, to be honest, it's really not a huge thing, but it makes for an amusing xmas story, and isn't that what we all want?
deborahlive
Dec. 24th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
Happy Christmas, BP.

Try watching some (America the Way God Intended It) football.

benpeek
Dec. 24th, 2006 09:32 pm (UTC)
and to you, miss deb. have a neat east--er, xmas. do they even play football on xmas day over there?
ex_chrisbil
Dec. 25th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
Merry Twatting Christmas, Ben! :)

Hey, the cute Australian from my work is in your city - you should say hi. Also, did you know that Santa Clause makes appearances in World of Warcraft on Christmas day, not unlike the fantasy environment of C.S. Lewis's The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe!

Heh.
benpeek
Dec. 25th, 2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
there's a cute australian out here? i can just see it now.

'hi. chris said to say hi.'

'he did?'

'yeah. he said you were cute.'

'he did?'

'yeah.'

...

...

'well?'

'drugs. you know how the lies start.'
(no subject) - ex_chrisbil - Dec. 25th, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Dec. 25th, 2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
nope, no rejections. perhaps tomorrow! heh. hope you had a cool day, miss so busy this si the first time i've had time to read my email and oh my fucking god--james brown died today.

suppose he can't beat his wife no more, at least.
(no subject) - ashamel - Dec. 26th, 2006 08:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - benpeek - Dec. 26th, 2006 10:44 am (UTC) - Expand
crookfactory
Dec. 25th, 2006 10:07 am (UTC)
have a smashing 2007.
benpeek
Dec. 25th, 2006 12:39 pm (UTC)
you too, man. may you have many cool japanese food moments.
frogworth
Dec. 25th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)
I dunno... maybe they're Jewish? Or Muslim, or Hindu, or just atheistic enough to not give a rat's ass about Christmas and feel that it's a good day, what with everything being closed and such, to knuckle down and REJECT fuckers?
I suppose you would probably know, given you know who this person is...

Somehow I'm surprised that Xmas is sacred in this way for you is all ;) But congrats on listening to Snog on Christmas eve!
benpeek
Dec. 26th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
what can i say? at the end of theday, i'm just a regular, traditionalist, really ;)

anyhow, i thought this story was pretty funny, but some people seem to be taking it a touch seriously. i mean, it really happened and all, but...
bodhichitta0
Dec. 26th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
Merry Christmas a little late, Ben. That's a fucked-up story. I think I have a couple of Christmases that have that beat, but you know it's not a competition...

I don't think. :-)
benpeek
Dec. 26th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
heh. no, it's not competition. merry xmas to you, too, t.
ex_benpayne119
Dec. 26th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)
hahahaha... next time I reject you, man, I'm gonna make sure it's Christmas:)

Seriously, though, that only half-surprises me. I suspect there's a lot of people catching up on slush piles over Christmas. I've never rejected someone on Christmas day myself, though I have sent acceptances...
but i can totally imagine someone not thinking and doing it...

benpeek
Dec. 26th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
cunt! i'm never submitting to you, ever again!

anyhow, you know, it's really not a big deal. i just thought it offered afunny story.
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