TR: I'm Buck Backstrom, president of the Sons of Bernie, a club for men who are men, and we like to get together at Christmas, a time of year when Women are out there pushing us around like you wouldn't believe! (MALE AFFIRMATIONS)

WB: And we're sick of it! (MALE AFFIRMATIONS) Time for us guys to get off our duffs and reclaim the right to celebrate Christmas our own way! (MALE AFFIRMATIONS) Time to EAT, DRINK, AND BE MERRY --- AND IF THEY DON'T LIKE IT, LET EM GO SOMEPLACE ELSE! (AFFIRMATIONS)

JM: Time to restore Christmas to what it was meant to be ----

WB: It was never intended to be a festival of table decoration! It was never meant to be a contest to see who can come up the most original recipes for stuffing!

JM: Christmas is men going out, hunting wild swine, deer --- (HUNTING DOGS BAYING IN DISTANCE), bringing the game back to the manor (MALE SFX) --- bringing in the Yule log and setting it ablaze in the Great Hall, (FIRE) roasting the meat on a spit, eating powerful cheese, drinking flagons of ale, telling tasteless jokes (MALE CHORTLING), having another flagon (BELCH), and sleeping on the floor with our dogs. (SNORE)

WB: All this foofaraw about Christmas trees and ornaments and gift wrap and cranberry sauce ---- all the girl stuff --- forget it. It's not worth your time.

TR: It's time to Take Back Christmas. (MALE AFFIRMATIONS) How?

JM: Number One: Refuse to Wrap.

WB: Real men don't do bows. No ribbon. None of the curlicue stuff. A grocery bag is good enough.

TR: Number Two: Don't dress like a schnook. You know what I'm talking about! Slacks! Loafers! Cashmere vests!

WB: Dress like you'd dress if you were going hunting. Same clothes. And don't spritz yourself with all those fruity colognes women give you for Christmas. Don't smell like a feeb. Smell like yourself.

TR: A zero deodorant policy. Remember: men with self-confidence do not bathe more than twice a week.

JM: Number Three: Don't make small talk.

WB: Women come up to you, ask what you've been up to lately --- tell em.

TR: Not much.

WB: Good answer. And Rule No. 4: Eat your way.....the man's way. Eat all you want. As fast as you want. Never be afraid to touch food. And don't be afraid to take somebody else's.

BA: Hey. Rob! what's got into you???

TR: What's got into me? Testosterone, that's what.

BA: What's Skipper doing at the table?


TR: Skipper's here because he's my dog and because he's the only one I trust. Him and the Sons of Bernie.

WB: Make it a man's Christmas. And remember:

JM: We've got to stick together.

WB: If one man wraps a package with ribbon ---- if one man cooks some tutti-frutti stuffing with wild rice and garlic and croutons and a lot of cockamamie spices ---- if one man comes to Christmas in some whoopdidoo outfit ---- if one man breaks ranks, every woman in America is going to say to her husband:

JM & TR & WB: He did it. Why can't you?


GK: A message from the Sons of Bernie.

©1997Garrison Keillor