ISSUE 107

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 Intent on eliminating all religion from the holidays, advocacy groups have removed the “Christ” from “Christmas,” instead celebrating “Mas.” They emphasize the modern roots of December 25, which were formed by people who wrap things in paper, the US forestry department, and advertisements on TV.
 “We’re keeping the commercialism but getting rid of Santa, church, menorahs, Kwanzaa, unexpected pregnancies, Jesus, and donkeys. We also don’t approve of green and red,” an advocate for Mas said while drawing a mustache on baby Jesus in his neighbor’s nativity scene. “See? Completely different.”
 In Operation Redefine What A Holiday Should Mean In Contemporary Society While Making Religious People Angry, Mas death squads now roam the streets. Dressed in flamboyant bathing suits and exquisite hats, they are equipped with Nerf guns and other foam-type weapons.
 “We added in the ‘death’ to make it look more serious,” squad member Jim Weatherstein said and felt the edge of a pool noodle. “We really just ask people about their beliefs, listen respectfully, and tell them their views suck. Usually, we don’t make fun of people—unless they look funny, then we do.”
 When asked about the pool toy, Weatherstein said he liked to be prepared for anything.
 Despite Mas’ passion for their cause, some believe they are doing it to have an excuse not to decorate their house. It was reported Weatherstein’s wife was looking for him to put up the Christmas lights and inflate a seven-foot-high Santa.
 “That Santa is a pain in the ass,” Weatherstein said.   Religious types around the US were enraged, citing their rights had been infringed by a man sporting a pink thong. Christians also pinpointed the Antichrist, whom they identified as John Vanderploog, a resident of central Iowa who collects Star Wars figurines. 
 “I don’t feel all that evil,” Vanderploog said. “Of course, I didn’t eat enough vegetables as a child, so that could be it.”
 The Mas movement remains benign, yet has inspired a counter-Mas faction, the “Super Christ Christmas Christmas” (SCCCM) group.    
 Supporters of SCCCM say they “definitely aren’t stuttering,” only that they want to reinforce the holiday’s original roots: the birth of a baby deity from outer space who was also an omnipotent geriatric with a beard, the rededication of a Jewish temple, and all the rest.    
 “We need more holiday spirit,” Lolita Gutierrez, a SCCCM supporter, said as she dressed up her dog in a shepherd costume that looked too tight. “Lots more. Just everything—trees, feasting, Jesus, angels, candles, carols, tinsel, religion, ornaments, tinsel, presents, tinsel…”
 She then offered everyone a Christmas cookie, which, according to people familiar with the cookies, were “really bad.”
 In general, the conflict between the two sides remains peaceful. However, this past Black Friday members of both groups were found in a Target parking lot—on one side, members of the Mas death squad; on the other, a collection of frantic SCCCM followers. Both sides wanted the best deal on a PS4, an AeroBed inflatable mattress, and whatever sweater that one chick was wearing in the ad.
 In only fifteen minutes, a car was rolled into the store, sixty iPhones were stolen, three individuals were scalped, and a real baby was mistaken for a doll and purchased for $15.99. Then there was silence.   
 “When I was beating this guy senseless, I realized we aren’t so different,” Mary Williams remarked while feeding Doritos to her newly bought child. “Despite our differences, we can focus on a common goal: buying a vacuum that’s going to break in three months.”
 The Black Friday incident leaves the two groups at an uneasy truce, though most expect the disagreement to blow over by January anyways.
 Target dismissed the incident, reporting it was “a lot better than normal” for a Black Friday.
   
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