Chapter XVIAbukasem the Greedy Perfumer

It is a well known fact that the actual celebration of Christmas, as it is performed today [1], began during a stormy night of April, circa 526, year of our Lord, on the eve of the 25th of December.

Saint Francis of Assisi confesses in his unpublished Memoirs of a Secret Real Saint:

(To be read in a heavy Perugian accent)

“My mamma was really skilful in the kitchen, not only because of her dexterity in cleaning the wooden confine wherein a very unique alchemy was generated on a daily basis, but also due to the very savour of such culinary wonders; her speciality was Spaghetti alla Trovatore [2]. My father, a humble and faithful husband, would rather enjoy his time composing beautiful and sorrowful troubadoresque melodies with the help of his cheap but sturdy lute”.

Due to the fact that Saint Francis was absolutely unaware – perchance he had faked his ignorance – of the Christmas affair, we shall focus on other authors, such as the following.

The expert in Physics and Applied Mathematics of the University of Princeton [3][4], confesses, without having suffered any sort of torture, that:

“The only reason why I became such a remarkable expert in my many fields, specially that of Mathematics, was my desire and eagerness to gain the attention and admiration of my fifth grade teacher, Miss Gretchen Aurora Gordon. O such was the pain that life inflicted on my soul! Such as well was the grief I felt when I found out, soon after graduating summa cum laude, that all that had been left of her worm infested decomposing body was an intact femur that, following the path of her teaching vocation, continued to enlighten future doctors at the faculty of medicine.

“My bloody and muscular passion made me neglect the simple numerical fact which indicated that when I was a simple boy in his early twenties, cruising fifth grade, she was already a gorgeous great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother of fifteen little great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren. I can’t recall her precise age, but she must have been well into her late nineties. Time shows no mercy to no one, and I was not the exception. Today, I find all the comfort I need by sleeping embraced to those ashes that once were the best teacher any student could have ever had. Luckily the worms have gone, forever.”

Regressions and romantic wanderings aside [5], we shall continue with the Christmas novelette.

The Abbot of Montreaux, the former and lost canton of what used to be the Switzerland admired during the pre-world-wars era, concludes that:

“Nativity is nothing but a modern invention, imagined, designed and perpetrated by a mysterious uomo di legno, a blind eccentric cantigas singer who was generally called “imbecile” but who was named Andreus Bobassi, and an elderly white bearded craftsman, originaly from the town of Vercelli, whose family name could have been Geppettus.

“The place in which this fraudulent stratagem was conceived and executed, with the sole intention of profiting over a Europe that was thriving to get out of its darkest of ages and then to establish the subtle beginnings of capitalism and that insatiable desire feeding machine into which modern culture has become thus transforming the human kind into a futile gift-buying automata, is thought to had been one of the many taverns that a certain uncle of Alfonso the Wise had under his administration, who indeed was a great drinker and an expert poet whose knowledge of Celtic myths and legends was mind blowing. So remarkable were his skills as a raconteur and as a crowd enchanter, that during the entire span of his life, he was held indirectly responsible for the cerebral deaths of at least thirty six thousand and fifty two hundred fellow citizens and (former) clients of his, who were reckless enough not to wear the recommended helmet that would surely have protected them from that horrifying sonic death.

“The date in which modern Christmas was created during the first of September of the year 1087, in the Hamlet of Vagfin, in the midst of the modern French-Belgian border, was precisely a first of September of the year 1087”.

Here is when the Abbot makes a fundamental input by giving a precise location both in time and space. When you read here, we are not talking about this very page that you, beloved reader, are enjoying; but here means that precise moment in history which is believed to be near the early stages of the twelfth century, when Rigoberto Passacaglia – the above mentioned Abbot – immortalized his mind wanderings about the pseudo-religious-now-capitalist feast that had inspired this worthless accumulation of words that pretends to make some absurd sense.

But, given that the band is already playing and we have the suit on and our hair is wet with blue gel, we are destined to dance to the music that is already inviting us to shake our bodies… so, before Rigoberto’s star appearance in the unpredictable course of history, one could find nothing but absurd conjectures and imprecise remarks about when the gifting imposture had been conceived.

The intelligentsia of his time believed that the fake Christmas had been created somewhere between 5.000 B.C and the future era of Taurus II, some 5.873.092 years ahead of this precise moment (which means this very moment in which you, cherished readers, are tasting this marvellous story).

When a conspiracy theory becomes a proven fact, violence usually arises. Of course, as the reader should have already predicted, such is the case with yours, ours and everybody’s Nativity Affair; and it is with deep sorrow that I write these very lines to comment about an execrable happening between two pillars of our society: Professor Roger Bacon and the emeritus Rector of the superb University of Oxdodge, Sir Richard Watson, mutually challenged each other to a duel after a heated argument [6] that was ignited by a tiny disagreement about that precise date uncovered by the Abbot Rigoberto Passacaglia. Bacon insisted that the infamous day was the first of September, but Richard was not going to be moved from the second day of that very same month.

The duel could have probably been justified if the disagreement had involved a lengthier day-separation, or if it had at least included a discrepancy of the month or year as well; alas! What a pity it was to end up being forced to witness an armed duellistic confrontation due to a handful of hours! At least I am delighted to inform you, admired reader, that the duel did not involve any of that revolver and gunpowder nonsense, nor any sharp object of a destructive nature.

The weapons to be used were their voices, their inventive brains and their ability to intone poetic melodies without any help of a given musical instrument. Both rivals had three minutes to improvise a song of folkloric nature inspired or based in the romantic encounter of a sweet virginal maiden and an orphan boy with a wooden member; if any of the duellers had any sort of moral issues about the first proposed theme, they were allowed to choose the other given subject on which the piece must had been based upon: a song about the intimate encounter between the now-present father of the not-any-more-orphan wooden boy and a blind singer. The only condition to not be overlooked was the one that obliged the duellists to sing in the Lenga d’òc, and wear a costume of a stork, which represented the symbol of fertility. The exposure of the masculine member was for both participants luckily optional given that the duel occurred during a freezing December morning of a forgotten year.

The winner? Of course, our admired and beloved polymath, Roger Bacon.

Whereas the winner continued to exercise his perennial wisdom in the cloisters of Oxford, imagining and creating futures to come, the defeated fellow was last seen dressed as a stork, with a baby doll trapped between his firm jaws, flying over the Thames.

Extract from The Likely Beginning of Capitalism, Volume II. Recompilation made by James Bouttar III, second edition from the Latin, translated by James Bouttar IV. Print on demand. MDCCXC.

The next non-existing line should be not-read in a pseudo-Irish accent. (




Precisely because we consider that all invention is nothing but a recreation of a divine inspiration, we do not and will not dare to commit ourselves to that piacular exercise of censorship and aesthetic inquisition. Therefore, even though we do realize that the merits of the previous account are humble and scarce, we have decided to allow its existence inside this monumental piece of art and thought, which represents the Opus Magnum. As my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather would have put it, not to publish this precarious story would be like killing an ugly girl, because of her lack of charm and beauty. (Ed.)

[1] Unknown date.

[2] Though long lost, the famous Italian Chef Paoletto della Battidora intuits in an appendix of his best selling novel A Milky Way: A Life of Culinary Onanism that the original recipe would consist of seven kilos of properly dried bronze spaghetti, seventy eight garlic heads, twenty kilos of tomatoes, two mid-size plants of basil, a picture of John Cleese hanging on the wall that is on the opposite side of where the cook is supposed to be standing, three slices of cured lemon, and forty five litres of olive oil. Then, the garlic heads should be smashed and a purée made with the tomatoes; the basil leaves should be chopped, and the photo of John Cleese burned; next, place the ashy remains of the former picture inside the mix. Cut three slices of cucumber…whoa! Gotcha! I’m just kidding. Throw in the three slices of lemon, and pour down the whole forty-five litres of oil. Insert the sauce inside a pre-heated oven (780°) and allow approximately seventy hours for the culinary creation to blend and flourish. Once this process is completed, let the sauce get a bit colder and throw the spaghetti over it. The accumulated heat is surely enough to take the pasta to the verge of being al dente. Note that this portion is only for two. Serve and enjoy, though remember that it must be eaten with a lute shaped fork, no spoons allowed!

[3] It is yet ignored why the name was voluntarily omitted.

[4] Abu Kasem, with virtuous words, truthfully opposes the previous footnote, thus writing:

 It is indeed an impossible task to be achieved for a mere mortal, who has truly not yet been born to the real life. What am I referring to? To such a capacity of looking inside a man’s or a woman’s heart and perceiving his or her sincerity or lack of it; hence it is most inappropriate to state, in this particular case, that the name was voluntarily omitted.

How do I know that it was not a real man who wrote this coarse account about a delirium? Read again this very last question, and you’ll have the answer hitting and spitting at your face. And even if he were a real man pretending not to be one, he would never show or dare to expose his concealed capacity of perceiving the real sincerity.

Then, from our position, we have nothing else but the choice that leads to the way of trust, or the other of distrust, and thus to decide whether he is worthy of our confidence, or is not. I do feel (and know) that trust is something that has to be earned, felt, perceived, intuited. Therefore, the reader is allowed and entitled not only to distrust this coarse Christmas scheme account, but also all those other fellow readers who have decided to trust an unknown voice hidden beneath the ink. On my part, I choose to follow the advice of a wise man that once told me that it is preferable to suffer an injustice, than to inflict one. Accept what is given, and give what cannot be taken.

[5] Approximately at a distance of four metres. (TN)

[6] A loyal friend who also happened to be his most die-hard chess rival wrote in his personal diary that the temperature at the library in which the argument took place, rose up to 570° in the Celsius scale. No hint whatsoever of how they managed to survive, or even perform those thermal readings.