Bill O'Reilly has made some advances in his war against Christmas by promoting a spirit of paranoia and mistrust.
Yesterday I helped a friend get to the Rent-a-Center in Lower Burrell to look at ways to trade down to a smaller television. One of the store workers greeted us.
Him: Merry Christmas! I know I'm not supposed to say that but I did anyway.
Me: What do you mean?
Him: I'm not supposed to say 'Merry Christmas!'
Me: Who told you that?
Him: They say that. It's all over the news. We're not supposed to say 'Merry Christmas!'
Me: Who says that?
Him: They don't want us to say 'Merry Christmas!'
Me: Are you telling me that you received a corporate memo from Rent-a-Center telling you how you were to greet your customers?
Him: No. They would never do that.
Me: Then who told you?
Him: It's the government.
Me: (dumbfounded, wondering whether it would be safe or productive to ask him which government said this)
Maybe if we get Bill O'Reilly's permission we'll all be allowed to spread good cheer rather than paranoia. But I don't expect the Grinch to give in too easily.