The Book Of Christmas: Some Dollar Store Insults


Every now and then, you meet a child who is already much smarter and funnier than you are. When that happens, you should take notice, writes Chris Graham.

One of the advantages of owning your own independent magazine is you get to publish whatever you want.

Hence, recently I got to spend some time with one of my beautiful young nieces. This is a small sample of some of the things she said… and they’re direct, unembellished quotes, which are now in ‘The Book of Christmas’ (which is my nickname for her, because it’s always a happy time).

By the way… Christmas is nine-years-old, turning 10 in a couple of days.

“Unless you’re dehydrated….” – Christmas, in response to Kevin Costner’s comment “Here at NASA, we all pee the same colour,” from the film NASA, as he smashed the ‘no coloured’ signs in the toilet.

“Looks like you can’t throw boomerangs here?” – Christmas, in response to a whole pile of no right-hand turn signs.

“I can smell the cheese stick I had two weeks ago.” – Christmas, describing the bad feeling when you throw up through your nose.

“Would you like me to describe myself in a nutshell. I take no umbrage and pass no criticism.”

“You fart when you’re alarmed.” – Christmas to her mum.

“Job well done, I say.” – Christmas describing how she lightly choked her classmate, Vinnie (who eats cockroaches).

“Why don’t you go down to the dollar store to buy better insults?”

“That’s a pregnant lady who plays soccer underwater.” – Christmas to her Dad, who was discussing what it might be like to be a submariner. Followed by…

“If a pregnant woman is swimming does that mean her baby is a human submarine?”

“If someone named Mac marries someone named Donald, does that mean their child will be edible?” – Christmas, pondering life during a visit to McDonalds after we went ice skating.

“Because we don’t high five the palm trees back, are we technically leaving them hanging?”

“It’s also called pantsing. And it’s inappropriate.” – Christmas, in response to me trying to explain the concept of a sauvant, in this case someone who is really good at pulling someone’s pants down in public, which doesn’t necessarily make them a sauvant, just very good at pulling people’s pants down.

“So if you ever find a pineapple underwater, don’t eat it.” – Christmas, explaining that SpongeBob Square Pants lives in a pineapple under the sea.

“To be honest, I think you’d have been better off having other people raise you.” – Christmas to me, regarding me being adopted at birth.

“When I first heard of arson, I thought it was something other than lighting fires. I think you know what I thought it was….” – Christmas, with a random thought.

“I don’t really think it needs explaining.” – Christmas’ response when I asked her to explain what she thought arson was.

“Why did the people come out of the cinema crying? Because they saw a movie.” – A joke Christmas made up, which was followed by my confused silence… so she added, “With emphasis on the MOVE-ie….”

“I think I’m more like a rubber chicken.” – Christmas, responding to her dad who was hugging her and saying he was squeezing her like a piano accordion.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.