‘Twas the night before the longest night of the year, (Dec 20) when a Christmas miracle (of sorts) revealed itself in blazing glory in my home! I was awe-struck when I saw it! I had read about such things before – images of the Virgin Mary appearing in burn patterns on tortillas, and such. This miracle, was similar to the Virgin Mary tortilla, in that it was the sudden appearance of an exact likeness and in that it occurred in direct association with Mexican food. Well quasi-Mexican food. Alright, pseudo-Mexican food. A chicken fajita from our neighbourhood Tim Horton’s coffee shop to be precise.

My then wife and I were famished after school. We had a rapidly approaching commitment to brave rush hour traffic to transport our son and his dirty laundry from his apartment to our house. So she stopped on her way home from school and bought a coffee and a chicken fajita to go. We perched on stools surrounding the sandwich bar in our kitchen. She deftly sliced the fajita wrap in two and we ate, in the way that famished people eat when they are in a hurry and must exchange a lot of information in rapid-fire conversation. It was not a pretty sight. Given the meagre fare and the innately untidy nature of our snack, I cannot say what may have caused the miraculous vision to appear, but miraculous it most surely seemed to be. (Leaving only about 50% chance to meaningless coincidence instead.)

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One might think that the appearance of a miraculous image might engender excitement and joy. Take a picture! Post it on the web! But no! No sooner had I recognized that a miracle vision had indeed, serendipitously appeared in our home, than dark thoughts began to assail my mind. Take a picture! Post it on the web! Then what? Then one’s home becomes a veritable Mecca for all the world’s faithful, that’s what! “A miracle!” they would all say as they assailed our humble home for a chance to look and see for themselves, in person. A Hajj for the Hajj-less. A magnet for the magnetized, mesmerized masses. A flocking station for all the birds to gather and to do what birds (and people) always do wherever they gather in great numbers – discharge their digestive wastes! Visions of throngs of pilgrims lining up to see our miracle, use our toilets or lining up to use the bright yellow, plastic, “Johnny-on-the-Spot” portable toilets which would have to crowd our condo corporation’s parking lot like identical grave markers in some gaudy, plastic McCemetery. Oh, it was just too horrible a possibility to bear!

So I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances. I walked to the sink and washed the miracle vision down the drain and felt the better for it! But, with my wife as my witness, after I had eaten my half of my pseudo-fajita in the gathering gloom of the night before the winter solstice, there, on my sandwich plate, was the perfect likeness of a nude Homer Simpson, splayed out on my plate like a five pointed star, in Simpson-yellow fajita juice! A miracle! A McChristmas McMiracle! (apologies to Tim Horton’s.)

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In washing the plate, I know that I have done that which would be unthinkable to some. I squandered my golden-coloured opportunity for fame, if not fortune. The universe presented me with a miracle, and I literally washed it down the drain! But I just could not bear the torment of being the keeper of the miracle. Fame exacts an awful price. Shame – at least ‘unknown shame,’ not so much – sometimes. This, I hope shall be one of those times. For I have chosen my path, and I pray that I shall not be struck down by some crazed Simpsons fanatic, unable to pardon my sin.

Therefore, I beg you – though I have shared this amazing news with you, please keep it to yourself. In fact, let it drain from your memory. Let it become a forgotten bit of nearly useless information like your license plate registration number (unless you have vanity plates). Because Fajita-juice Homer sleeps with the fishes and I think that he (and I) should be allowed to sleep in heavenly peace.

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