Bad/Good Roger wishes you a lousy/good night


December 25, 1992|By ROGER SIMON

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the hous Bad Roger was acting just like a louse.

"Have we got enough coal and switches for the Christmas stockings?" Bad Roger asked. "And if it snows, I'm going to need some rocks to stick inside the snowballs."

Bad Roger is the twisted, demented, though --ingly handsome, side of me. If you see me on the street, it's Bad Roger.

Good Roger is the kindly, decent, goofy looking side of me. My column picture is of Good Roger.

Good Roger looked up from where he was packing food baskets for the poor. "This is the time of year for joy and reflection," he said, "and I am not going to let you make me crazy."

"Could you hand me those loaded dreidels?" Bad Roger said.

"Loaded dreidels?" said Good Roger.

"Yeah," said Bad Roger. "No matter how you spin them, they always come up gimmel. You can make a fortune gambling with them."

"You're making me crazy," Good Roger said.

"And don't forget the gag Kwanzaa candles," Bad Roger said. "They're the ones that won't stay lit."

Good Roger put down his pen and sighed. "Have you ever thought of turning your vast powers to good instead of evil?" he asked.

"If I did that, " Bad Roger said, "I would have to write a sappy holiday column about peace on earth and goodwill towards men."

"And what, pray tell, would be so wrong with that?" Good Roger asked.

"Find me some peace on earth!" Bad Roger said. "Find me some good will! We are surrounded by pain and human folly. Here, take a look at my Chuckle File."

"Chuckle File?" Good Roger said.

"These are actual stories that have appeared in newspapers in the last week or so," Bad Roger said. "Take a look:

"CHANDLER, Ariz.-- A man who had been shot in the head during a traffic dispute blew the bullet out of his nose in a hospital emergency room.

"The victim, a 25-year-old Chandler man, was riding in a car when he was shot above the right temple by an angry driver at 1:25 a.m. Sunday.

"While at Desert Samaritan Medical Center in Mesa, the victim's nose began bleeding, and he expelled a .22-caliber bullet.

"CHICAGO (AP) -- Students left a school Christmas party in tears after some parents who had volunteered to distribute the gifts stole 200 of the presents.

"Marshall Taylor, principal of Friedrich von Schiller School in the Cabrini-Green housing project, described the scene as 'chaos, complete chaos' after the parents tore open packages and helped themselves Wednesday.

"ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- The nation's hard-pressed charities face a decline in annual contributions for the first time in two decades. Donors are holding back -- because they fear lingering recession, and because they don't trust some of the do-gooders."

Good Roger closed the file without looking at the other stories inside. "Aside from misery and suffering, what do these stories have in common?" he asked.

"They all make me laugh like hell," Bad Roger said.

Good Roger walked over to Bad Roger and put his hands on Bad Roger's shoulders.

"Though we sometimes think the world is filled with pain and misery, in reality we are surrounded by glory and joy," Good Roger said. "We are often blind to this wonder, however, not because it is so scarce, but because it is so plentiful."

"Have you been watching Robert Schuller on Sunday morning TV again?" Bad Roger said.

"May I share a quote from Emerson with you?" Good Roger said.

"Do I have a choice?" Bad Roger said.

" 'If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how men would believe and adore and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God,' " Good Roger said.

Bad Roger fell silent.

"So I want you to think of one good thing that has happened to you this year," Good Roger said. "Just pick one good thing and it may transform your life."

A few moments passed.

"Well," Bad Roger said, "I didn't blow any bullets out of my nose this year."

"God bless us everyone!" cried Good Roger.

And to all a good night.

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