There was only one thing I wanted for Christmas, and I didn't get it. It wasn't because I wasn't good, or it was too expensive, or it wouldn't fit into my stocking, or anything else you might think. The facts are, I have no idea if I was too good or too naughty, or how much the thing might cost, or even what size the thing might be. Why? Well, because, I'm not entirely sure the thing even exists.
So, now you're thinking, I must be referring to some nebulous thing like world peace, or good will towards men. Perhaps I was expecting God to show up on NTV's Issues and Answers program. That would be pretty cool, but then again, some questions might best be left unanswered. Besides, I'm confident a half an hour would not get us much past the Book of Genesis, and we all know, most of our questions would more than likely be about the Book of Revelations. That's just the way we are, you know. Not a whole lot of thought about where we've come from, but lots of questions about where we're going. Even the in-between stuff doesn't generate the interest it likely ought to.
No, I have to tell you, it's nothing so grandiose as that. I'm not sure the answers I'm looking for would actually be of any benefit, because I'm certain I'd be finding myself obsessed with trying to fix everything I screwed up since the beginning of time. Or at least, my time. That's not only a column for another day, it's food for a book. Probably an encyclopaedia.
I won't keep you guessing any longer. What I was hoping to get, was a swamp gas detector, similar, one would think, to a carbon monoxide tester you can plug into any outlet in any home. It wouldn't serve much of a purpose here, unless there's such a thing as bog gas that can blow up, and you happen to stupidly build your home, or a resort, over a bog, necessitating the need for a tester. Guess that explains why you never see one.
Swamp gas is another thing. It does blow up, and, at least in places in Mexico, people have been known to build resorts over top of swamps, unbeknownst to the Canadian, and Newfoundland tourists who have spent a year’s savings to go to such places, only to have their room, and themselves, blown to kingdom come over something they never listed as a potential hazard when planning their trip. Drinking water, or kidnapping: could be a problem. Swamp gas? What are you-nuts?
I didn't really want a swamp gas detector because I was planning on going to Mexico myself. Never been there, and now I have another reason not to go. But, we have friends who are going, some to the very resort that blew up. I was hoping to get a swamp gas detector so I could immediately re-gift it. I haven't been able to find one, but then, everyone knows I don't get out much. I'm sure they exist, but likely, not in a compact version you can carry with you and plug into the wall.
So, this column has two purposes. For the intrepid entrepreneur, I have identified a bona fide need for a product you may want to develop and get out to the market, Pronto, so to speak. We could put a made right here sticker on it and it can be featured on NTV during an upcoming segment of, oh, I don't know; maybe Issues and Answers.
For the spiritual among you is the lesson of the golden rule, or, the gift of the magi. I ask, not for myself for I have no need, but for all my fellow Newfoundlanders, the gift of a swamp gas detector, demonstrating once again, that my heart is in the right place, even if my head isn't. If that isn't good will towards all men, I don't know what is. Happy New Year.