My siblings and I have a running joke about Christmas presents that . . . how do I say it? . . sort of miss the mark. We call them the “Oh Mys” Being the youngest of five kids, I was the Princess of Oh My. Or maybe I shared the honor with my aunt and uncle, who seemed to give us girls the same frilly nightgowns year after year. My most infamous Oh My was a bag of combs that somehow failed to delight my 15 year old brother.
I have made a few unlucky choices for my husband’s present over the years – but this year was a good one. He is looking forward to his blacksmith workshop and visits to the fitness studio. I also found some locally produced rum (which he likes to sample with friends – it’s sort of a hobby) so I got him a bottle of that too.
Last night we had friends over for dinner and decided to try out the local rum. One guest (who had studied Political Science) looked at the bottle and almost gasped. “Who are these people?” he asked.
“I don’t know them. Why?”
My guest proceeded to point out all the fascist signal words and symbolism on the bottle’s label. The old German font, gold on the black background, was the print type used on old propaganda posters of the Third Reich. The use of the names “Valhalla” and “Nibelungenlied”– an old epic poem that was a favorite of Hitler’s and that he borrowed from heavily in his speeches on the glory of the Germanic people. A reference to “Heimat” (homeland). It was all there for the sensitized to recognize. Could it be true?
I gave my husband Nazi Rum for Christmas.