You know how it goes; the Academy of Motion Pictures names its Oscar contenders, and you look over at your husband/wife/life-mate/favorite cat and shrug. Neither one of you has even heard of these flicks, let alone ever considered going to see one. If the Oscar nominees aren’t obscure enough, take a look at who’s nominated for Pulitzer Prizes – then you can really feel out-of-touch.
That’s all going to change right now. Your days of being out of the loop as to who’s in and who’s out are officially over. The winner of The Green Study’s “What’s on the B side of that 45?” contest is someone you’ve actually heard of. That’s right, it’s yours truly. My opus on middle age was so witty yet so poignant, so terse yet so wordy, so scratchy yet so smooth, that Michelle at The Green Study crowned it the winner.*
So now, just in time for the holiday cocktail party season, you’ll be able to confidently hold court and brag to friends and neighbors about your having been a long time reader, long before I was discovered by the masses. Let’s face it, you’ll already look like something of a brainiac just for reading anythingat all. Being a loyal fan who knew my body of work** before I hit the big time will surely catapult you into the ranks of some sort of über-genius who borders on being an intellectual snob.
If you’re like me, it’s not likely that you have much experience at looking like someone who’s “in the know” at holiday gatherings (or office meetings for that matter – pay attention Jenkins, and stop dawdling with your damn phone!). With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few segues for you to drop into conversations about various topics. You’re quite welcome.
“You know, I’d heard good things about that hunky trainer over at the gym. My personal trainer is 1 Point Perspective. You’ve probably heard of him, he’s an award winning blogger who wrote an epic treatise on exercise which is how I keep my upper arm fat just prominent enough to cover some of my back fat”
“Speaking of politicians, you simply have to reader 1PP’s exclusive interview with Anthony Weiner’s penis! That little dick won’t shut up. Plus, One Point’s illustration is quite tasteful, in a NSFW sort of way”
“Oh sure, ‘The Walking Dead’ is entertaining to a point, but it’s in hiatus – again! I get my zombie fix over at 1PP’s Holiday Greetings from the Zombie Apocalypse. Ho Ho Ho-ly crap! The undead really make for some zany holiday hi-jinx!”
How exactly you’re supposed to fit links to blog posts into polite conversation is something you’ll have to figure out on your own. I shouldn’t have to do everything for you people. Take some initiative ferchrissakes!
In the meantime, I’m going to keep looking for the keys to the trophy case, I’ve got a new coffee mug coming and I’ll need to make space for it among the rest of my award swag.
Good luck at your holiday parties, if you’re going to be dropping my name when you visit The Green Study, try not to drink too much and end up making an ass of yourself. I’m trying to build a brand here.
*Michelle has since revealed that during the contest judging she was battling a particularly nasty strain of flu-bug and may or may not have inadvertently over-medicated herself and/or suffered periods of delusion. I took a quick look at the judging criteria and it clearly states that all decisions are final – no backsies.
** To be completely honest, my “body of work” includes interviews with The Easter Bunny, an infamous penis, and multiple essays on the human condition – most specifically, my frequent attempts at avoiding cleaning up dog dookie from the yard and generally whining about Facebook.
Once upon a time, we had a perfectly good holiday. It was steeped in tradition, as holidays tend to be. It was non-denominational and based upon the universal notion of pausing to take stock of how much each of us has to be thankful for. How could it possibly be ruined?
I’m not talking about the Thanksgiving when Aunt Glenda drank too much wine and subsequently wet herself. Nor am I referring to when Jimmy Jr. and Cousin Earl stirred things up over at the kid’s table when they staged an epic farting contest. Those events are called “memories” people, and given enough time, they can become ones we cherish (though Glenda may not fully agree).
One sure way to ruin a holiday is to let time-honored traditions be replaced by new things, which may or may not turn out to be tradition worthy. Here are just a few ways that folks have managed to make hash out of our beloved turkey day:
Tradition: Cook an elaborate meal, centered around a sizable turkey, which fills the entire house with a its intoxicating aroma while roasting for hours and hours.
Replaced With: Deep fry the turkey out in the driveway, investing as little time as possible.
Result: Congratulations on taking the turkey cooking chore away from Mom so she’s free to bend the elbow with her sister Glenda. In doing so, you’ve unwittingly pinned the responsibility of turkey cookery on Uncle Phil, who is also known as “Nagasaki Phil” for what he’s done to various cuts of beef at 4th of July barbeques. The timeless aromas of roasting turkey have been replaced by the scent of several gallons of heated oil intermingled with a hint of gasoline from the lawn mower which sits adjacent to the propane tank by the shed. As an added entertainment bonus, there’s a chance Uncle Phil will live up to his nickname and light the dog on fire.
Tradition: Taking time off to reflect on what we’re thankful for.
Replaced With: Squandering precious vacation hours on rampant consumerism.
Result: For many, Thanksgiving has already become nothing but the day before Black Friday, wherein we immediately discard being thankful for what we have and focus instead, on what we want. Since Black Friday can’t come soon enough, America’s heartless retailers have started having stores open on Thanksgiving itself for even deeper discounts. It’s only a matter of time before even deep fried turkey and instant mashed potatoes will not be quick enough for the schedules of bargain crazed shoppers – precipitating the change over to Wendy’s Turkey Gobbler Wrap with a side of fries. At this rate, Halloween will eventually become the start of the Christmas shopping season with Thanksgiving being demoted to the unofficial midpoint of gift buying frenzy.
Tradition:Scores of special side dishes are made and brought by family members from far and wide to accompany the turkey. Oftentimes, these rare culinary gems are only seen on Thanksgiving, due to the closely guarded nature of secret family recipes and the labor intensive realities of making Grandma’s famous creamed onion and mashed rutabaga casserole from scratch.
Replaced With: Increasingly simple and/or instant dishes which require little more than adding the right amount of water and knowing how to use a microwave.
Result: It stands to reason that if you’re going to deep fry a 22 pound turkey in 13 minutes, you can’t spend hours and hours in the kitchen screwing around with the sides. Besides, gourmands agree that the taste of deep fried meat is best complimented by instant mashed potatoes, Stove Top Stuffing, Pillsbury dinner rolls and of course, a freshly opened can of cranberry sauce.
Tradition: Rivalry football games. In the halcyon days of my youth, the football teams of neighboring towns would meet every Turkey Day for bragging rights. Win or lose, we’d return home to the smells of roasting turkey and Grandpa’s White Owl cigar smoldering in the ashtray. Later, a couple of teams from the NFL or college ranks would square off on the TV.
Replaced With:The NFL has totally taken over Thanksgiving football. There may still be some other games played, but you’d never know it. The Lions play someone each year, then the Cowboys play someone else. This year, San Francisco played yet another game after the other two contests were over.
Result: Now that the NFL has cornered the market on televised sports for this holiday, their focus has shifted to covering even more time zones to create constant grid iron action. They’re trying hard to land a team in London, and rumor has it they have plans for franchising teams in Hawaii and on a special floating stadium in the north Atlantic. Let’s hear it for the Fightin’ Cod!
Tradition: The kiddie table
Replaced With: The phasing out of the kiddie table due to hovering parents who can’t stand the thought of their kids being alone. Surely there have been kiddie table lawsuits filed claiming discrimination and/or forced segregation as well.
Result: Letting the kids sit at the table with the grown ups inhibits parents from spending the entire meal talking about this year’s strategy for Christmas gift shopping once they’ve finished speed-eating. This will also give parents insight into what a mediocre job they’ve done teaching the young ones table manners. Honestly, when Little Brittany bit into that Turkey Wrap without holding her pinkies out, I could have just died.
I’d like to go on at greater length about this sad topic, but the time is already running out for my whining about the ruination of Christmas. I hope I didn’t give you indigestion.
I’m tempted to come up with some elaborate tale of intrigue to explain why I’ve been absent. Kidnapped by land pirates, I’ve been held hostage in their underground lair and tortured daily as they tried in vain to get me to divulge the passwords to my 403b and savings accounts. With that knowledge, they could abscond with the few remaining nickels of my nest egg which may still be been left since the Target data breach and laptop theft from the offices of my dental insurance company in Newark a few weeks before that.
Alas, I have no such story. There is nothing to report of my overcoming adversity to acend from the ashes like a bald phoenix. There’s been no bravery to report nor any triumph of spirit against overwhelming odds.
It would be easy to pin this on the holidays. Who could blame me for caving in to the impossible pressure of trying to live up to the uber-consumerism of Lexus commercials or the Norman Rockwellian family bliss of nearly every one of my friends’ posts on Facebook? Surely it would be easy to connect my lack of productivity to jolly old St. Nick and the hollow feelings which hover close by nearly every December.
If the holidays weren’t daunting enough, I could blame the weather. Though many people have suffered far worse weather than I in recent weeks, the lack of sun and chilly temperatures could be the problem. Seasonal affective disorder could be the root cause, but it’s not. If anything, the lack of any excuse whatsoever to go outdoors should be making me write more, not less.
It would be ludicrous to think that my dwindling posts have been due to a lack of fodder. Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity knows better than that. I can crank out 800 words whining about damn near anything at the drop of a hat. In the past week or three, there have been more slow-pitched, beach ball-sized topics lobbed over my blog plate than I could count. Even if I swung my giant cartoon bat like a girl, I would have had home runs nearly every time. Yet, I never even made it to the on-deck circle, preferring to sit in the dug-out gnawing on sunflower seeds and ignoring the game.
I will admit to having spent more time than usual tending to my seasonal duties, putting up and then taking down Christmas lights and decorations. I was also relegated to the kitchen for 3 straight days, cranking out feasts for the usual suspects. Still, those tasks coincided with my being free of my work-for-pay responsibilities, so there was ample room in my days for a little blogging, and yet I didn’t write a stinking word. In fact, I’ve barely read any blogs in weeks.
I just haven’t felt like writing, or reading, or participating. In reality, I’ve been nothing more than an intellectual squatter in these parts for these past weeks. Squatters by definition reside in empty or abandoned locales, so it wouldn’t really apply to WordPress, where the rest of you appear to be very active occupants. I consider myself a squatter more because I paid no rent, made no contribution and had no business being here.
Alas, with the coming of a new year, comes grandiose promises. If I’ve learned a damn thing over the past 50-odd new years, it would be that it’s wise to keep my foolish promises to yourself. Rather than set myself up for failure, I’ll just leave it at this: I’m going to stop being a WordPress squatter. Hopefully, I’ll accomplish this feat by writing again.
Rudolph’s the famous one, but only since he showed up. Before that foggy night, he was nobody. I was one of the original stars, me and Vixen. We’d go clubbing, carrying on till the wee hours. Show-girls go nuts for a pair of antlers.
One time, we’re at a ritzy club in Paris in the roaring 20’s, in the offseason. Vix and me are feeling no pain. Sometime after midnight, he switched from gin rickeys to shots of absinthe, I’m drinking champagne like it’s 7-Up. We’re hanging out with these two wild chicks from the Folies Bergere.
Just two eternally-young reindeer bucks, a couple of frisky can-can dancers and under 3 hours till dawn.
I don’t know when, but a leprechaun from one of “The Lesser Holidays” starts mouthing off to Vixen. Vix is starting to get a little trippy from the absinthe, and I’m not sure he even knew the wee man was real. I’m flying, but I know an insult when I hear one. Stumpy turned to me and called me a name which I won’t repeat here. I turned to walk away, then gave him a “Nordic tattoo” – two rear hooves to his chin.
All hell broke loose and next thing I remember we’re badly hungover and getting bailed out of the pokey by Santa’s lawyer. Sure, we caught some flak, but the memories of a good party were more than worth Santa’s reprimands – like he’s got room to talk anyway.
Below is a list of links to all the other Blogfestivus writers. You’re welcome to visit their blogs and even read their posts – but any comments should be limited to telling them how witty my post is.
Blogdramedy (Ring Leader, reindeer enthusiast, generally cool chick)