Last Wednesday, a Dutch air force Apache helicopter hit a high voltage line where it crosses the “Waal” river, the largest river in my wet, wet country. They made an emergency landing in a nearby meadow, but of course the lines went down, into the river, cutting off 100.000 people from electricity (fridges, heaters, light, the lot) and because of the very complex situation (unusually high poles, an unusually long crossing, the busy river), it took a frigging 2 full days to repair. Add to that a 2 days closure of a very busy river connecting Germany’s biggest industrial area (“ruhrgebiet”) with the largest harbor in the world (“Rotterdam”). Today, comedian Youp van ‘t Hek published this item.

The pilot looked down, overseeing the muddy area and was struck by a wave of melancholy. Strong melancholy. Softly he hummed a tune and his thoughts wandered to childhood images. “December” was the title of the old school image where as a youngster he had been staring at for almost a year. Each time the lesson was boring his eyes were drawn to the crowded drawing. Frozen locks between snow covered, children sledging, ready to make a real snowman with carrot nose, coal eyes, a beautiful hat, a thick scarf around his neck and knots on his belly. Stern skaters with a cake and cocoa, that looked so good he almost smelled the chocolate.

The farms spewed slow smoke streaks and he could see how nice and cozy it was inside. The pre television era. No Internet, a board game, the soft noise of folding clean sheets. In the warm stable the happy cows sighted.

The pilot asked whether he was looking at progress. A jammed A2 freeway, with crawling traffic both ways, the sad new office buildings spewing out bright white fluorescent light. Glass showcases filled to the brim with caddish BMW’s and the plastic road restaurant.

(…) The pilot looked closer now. He could cry, cry over nothing. Cry over the loss. Where was the cold? Where were the skates? The thick sweaters? The snow? The ear warmers? And the opinion of a grandfather to stack old newspapers under your sweater to to say warm? The hot water bottle? The hot stove? The soup on the petroleum stove? The pilot saw car parks full of cars that were all similar. All John Does. In the offices were men. Men in suits. And there were also women! The women looked all alike or wanted to look alike. Women all softly doubting whether to silicone or not.

And then the pilot saw the reindeer. Seven moose’s made out of lights pulled a cheering Santa Claus. Santa Claus was made from LEDs. A few sheep looked at their watch while they whispered to each other that it is still a long way from Christmas. A horse ran sideways because it had been trained like that, dancing sideways to awful music. The horse cried in silence. His grandfather had pulled a flatbed, his father a plough, and he, he got a gay curly perm in his neck hair because people thought it looked nice. Elastic socks on its ankles and strange hair. Very strange hair.

He thought about his upcoming Christmas diners. He saw a cafe with a Santa Claus attached to the roof. He saw seven cafes with seven Santa Clauses to the roof. He saw eighty Santa Clauses and eighty cafes, and that is when he snapped. He did see the pole, he did see the lines, even if he denied that later. He saw them very clear. He sent his helicopter down. Dexterous and knowingly. This was better for everyone. Tears ran down cheeks. He was crazy. The others were sane. Completely sane.

Yeah, the largest artificial Christmas tree in the world (1000 feet transmitter pole), less than a mile from where I live was lit yesterday too.

Disclaimers: My and googles translation. Not entirely fair use I guess. And he has a way with language, not everthing here is translated cutting corners, the original has those unexpected twists too.