Over the weekend, we had an unelected official argue that it was too soon to tell if American families would be allowed to celebrate Christmas this year. We also had the American media report from a NASCAR event that the chant from the crowd wasn’t really the chant we were hearing.

Reality and common sense have been suspended (many might argue they have been suspended for far too long at this point). And, it has finally gotten to me…

Today’s essay isn’t directly about the financial markets. It’s about absurdity. And, to the extent that absurdity affects financial decisions, and how it has some relevance to our little world.

For the most part though, I just have to vent a little – or else risk exploding altogether.

I’ll get back to the financial markets in my next essay. But, here are my thoughts for today…

“Rules are rules,” said the man standing on my front porch on Christmas Day afternoon.

He was flanked by four other men, all wearing helmets, body armor, and blue windbreakers with the initials “DHS” printed in large white letters on the back.

The man handed me a subpoena and said, “We need to come inside. And, we can either do this the easy way or the hard way.”

“I don’t understand,” I said as I stepped onto the porch and closed the door behind me. “There’s nothing happening here that would require five fine men, such as yourselves, to miss Christmas dinner with your families.”

“As much as we appreciate your concern for our welfare,” the man smirked, “rules are rules. One of our surveillance drones transmitted an image of your driveway. There are three cars parked in it. Two are SUVs. And, one has out of state plates. So, we have probable cause to suspect there are more than six people gathered at your residence. This subpoena allows us to inspect your place and confiscate whatever evidence we find that proves you are in violation of the No Family Gatherings for Christmas doctrine of 2021.”

“Okay, look,” I confessed, “you’re right. We have more than six people here. I’m sorry. There’s me and my wife, and our two sons. There’s my in-laws and my mother, all of whom are over eighty years old and don’t have many Christmases left. And, there’s my sister-in-law and my six-year-old niece who are visiting from New York, and none of us have seen in two years.”

“We’re all double vaccinated,” I continued. “Those over eighty years old have gotten a third booster shot. We’re all wearing two N-95 masks. We’ve macerated every element of our Christmas dinner in the ‘Anthony Fauci Approved’ high-powered blender, so we can suck it through the Scott Gottlieb straw endorsed by Greta Thunberg – all of which were researched on Google, and then purchased on Amazon. That way we don’t have to even lift up our masks…

And, this is a big house. Half of my family is on the top floor. The other half is on the bottom floor. And Grandma is fully protected in scuba gear and hanging out at the pool. We haven’t hugged. We haven’t sung any songs. We haven’t spoken loudly.”

“I appreciate all of that,” the man said. “But, rules are rules. We still have to come inside and investigate the situation.”

“But, it’s Christmas” I argued.

“You should have thought about that before putting lives in jeopardy,” the man responded.

“But, wait a minute” I argued. “There were more than 100,000 people at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago over the summer. And, there have been more than 100,000 in attendance at any number of college football games over the past few weeks. And, a former President just threw a birthday bash with several hundred people. But you folks haven’t been concerned enough about that to raid those venues.”

“Don’t be naïve,” the man said.

 And with that, begrudgingly, I opened the door and allowed the five DHS agents inside.

After 30 minutes of ransacking the house, searching for Ivermectin, falsified vaccine cards, and scanning my Alexa history for Joe Rogan podcasts, the man said, “Well, everything seems to be in order here. We are going to have to issue you a citation for gathering more than six people together for Christmas. But, there aren’t any major violations. So, you’ll just have to pay a fine. And then, everyone will have to quarantine for the next three weeks.”

“One question, though,” the man continued,“You admitted there were nine people here. We only counted eight. Where is your six-year-old niece?”

“I’m right here,” Jessica’s sweet voice sang as she emerged from the music room, holding her clarinet in her hand. “I was just practicing Silent Night. Would you like to hear it?”

“Quick! Cuff her!” the man shouted. And four DHS agents converged on little Jessica. They knocked the clarinet out of her hand, slammed Jessica to the floor, cuffed her hands behind her back, and read her Miranda rights.

“Stop!” I shouted. “She’s just a little girl.”

“Are you kidding?” the man replied. “She’s unmasked, and I’m assuming unvaccinated. And, she was about to blow into a wind instrument and potentially spread a deadly virus into the atmosphere. We’re charging her with attempted murder. She’ll likely be in jail for the next 15 to 30 years.”

“That’s absurd,” I said. “Didn’t I just read that the state of California recently released 3,500 violent criminals, many of them murderers, because of the risks of Covid-19? And now, you want to lock up my niece?”

“Look,” the man said, “most of those murderers killed one, maybe two people. Your niece could have taken out an entire neighborhood with her clarinet playing.”

Jessica was looking up at me with tears in her eyes. “What do I do?” She cried.

I knelt down, placed my hand on Jessica’s cheek and said, “Sweetheart, do you remember the prayer grandma said just before we put the scuba mask over her head?”

Jessica nodded.

“That’s the prayer you need to say for as long as anyone can hear you.” I said.

Just then, the five DHS agents – who invaded my house on Christmas day – lifted my young niece off the floor and carried her into an unmarked van.

As my entire family stood by, helpless, and unable to do anything because rules are rules, we could hear the squeaky, high-pitched voice of a six-year-old girl pray…

“Let’s go Brandon,” she said, “let’s go Brandon.”

Best regards and good trading,


Jeff Clark