A Working Christmas


This is not me. It is Robert Young from 1957. Our resemblance to each other is eerie.

My name is Carl Young, not to be confused by the realtor extraordinaire from the southwest suburbs with the same name. No worries, it happens all the time. In college, one weirdo asked if I was related to some famous psychiatrist. I walked on. If anything, a lot of people seem to think I look like a young Robert Young. It leads me to wonder, will I look like the old Robert Young as I get older?

Christmas only heightens my loneliness, which in turn, elevates my doubts and fears. It is like how a cavity can spread in your mouth and eventually lead to testicular cancer, or worse, cannibalism. This thinking pattern and shame spiral is why I chose to work on Christmas Day, instead of staying at home watching all that cheer evade me. While working, I can convince myself that Christmas is not a mandatory holiday, but more like Arbor Day. I’ve never planted a tree in my life. I never will. In fact, trees killed my family, but that’s a different ball of wax all together.

Like most people of my generation, I wanted to be a crime photographer. Instead, due to my inability to comprehend light exposure and contrast, I am reduced to jigsaw puzzle photographer. To this day, I honestly believe that the two art forms could converge. I mean, how difficult and fun would it be to construct a 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of a white sheet draped over a bloody corpse?

My editor, Sigverson Froyd, who is often confused for frozen yogurt, cites, “The solving community would find the gory content too disturbing. In the 60s, we tried a series of ‘roadkill’ puzzles for teenagers. Long story short, biggest flop ever, nearly drove our company into bankruptcy. Art has no place in the puzzle world.”

[FACT CHECK: Solve-A-Puzzle Inc.™ claimed bankruptcy three months later.]

Snow Ice Ice Skating Netherlands White Fun Winter

This is the photo I took that Christmas day. The snow in the forefront was my finest moment. It was nominated hardest to solve by The Jigsaws, the equivalent to the Academy Awards for puzzle making excellence. I lost to bag of torn jellybeans.


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