Monday, January 21, 2013

The Dispatch From Escalatorville: HollowDays and Wasted Nights.

As he often does, Mister Universal Truth rode by me on his bag and box laden two wheeler  the other day, offering the following kernel of wisdom:
"Man, people here LOVE it when it's warm, but the minute it gets cold -
they biiiiiitch."

Days of Yersteryule

Our recent cold snap has done a little to extend the holiday season here in Florida - mainly because it's been too cold to think about taking down the decorations. It's also helped to hold tight those long past and semi-current holiday memories.

This most recent Christmas Eve, I found myself as one member of the four generations of my family that gathered for Mass with my 92 year old Grandmother. Nearly a dozen of us took up an entire pew of The Holy Comforter, Episcopal in my home town of Richmond, Virginia.

We sang hymns together, enjoying the readings, and scanned our fellow attendees for familiar faces from times when we were regulars. The last act a more difficult one for your truly, having not been a practicing parishioner for nearly three decades.

(Confidential to the youngish, modern female church-goer: that peek-a-boo style blouse and thong-revealing jeans - more appropriate for sun worship than, y'know, Son worship. Just sayin'...)

To be completely honest, I can't recall the words spoken from the Christmas Eve pulpit, yet I could feel a sense of warmth as the preachers prose coated all in the sanctuary with a momentarily unified sense of belief.

The belief that there just may be a higher force guiding parts of this universe, the belief that there still exists a sense of common good in the world, the belief that justice exists, the belief that your check won't bounce if you write it to charity, the belief that cooler heads will eventually prevail, the belief that this coming week will be free of car trouble, the belief that the cute gal you've been eyeing will indeed call you back, the belief that manipulating 'pressure points' will make a headache vanish, the belief that the perfect pizza is waiting for you somewhere, the belief that my sister still has possibly the best singing voice of that entire congregation.

Of course, only the latter is close to verifiable - but for just a moment in the Holidays, it's nice to embrace the warmth of infinite possibility.

Yet, nobody has any fruitcake left, wha?

One thing I enjoy about these post-holiday weeks is the abundance of Holiday themed goodies that linger in the convenience stores. They're not going bad, not completely out of place, yet no longer seasonally trendy - and sometimes, they're on sale.

Such is the case with Eggnog.

I don't know when I first began to enjoy eggnog, but I have found it to be a near perfect apres-yule beverage. It mixes so well with so much, and turns any drink into an instant "Christmas" drink.

Normally, I shouldn't even go near the stuff. It's two main ingredients are things that, as separate entities, I despise wholeheartedly in their natural form.

Milk and eggs.

I'm not a milk drinker by any circumstance, no sir. Oh, I'll pour some of it into java if the creamers unavailable, and I adore Ice Cream, for certain. Yet, milk, standing alone in a glass - never gonna happen.

And Eggs; either simply yolks, or the whole damn embryo - slightly stirred to avoid separation. Ewww. For me to even eat eggs -much less drink them- they have to be prepared as to be nearly unrecognizable. Forget 'over easy or 'runny' - mine have to stop dead in their tracks. I cook them so harshly, it automatically raises the reputation of tofu.

Yet, when blended together - that milk and egg concoction just mixes so perfectly, with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to cap off whatever tasty beverage you may prefer - it goes real well in coffee, so I've heard...

Tales From The Retail Rodeo, part X in a seemingly never ending series (in which X = # of Years in Customer Service multiplied by the square root of Wages Earned/Wages Deserved +  Amount of Force used in "Choke Resistance" Per Day)

* A middle aged patron eyes the selection of cheapo slingshots available at the front of the store. Upon picking one up, she gleefully recalled,

"Oh, we had these when I was a kid..."

"But,..." she stated while dropping the item haphazardly to it's container "...they're weapons now."

*Near the cash register (the "Point Of Sale" for those in the game, also affectionately referred to as "P.O.S."- for all that abbreviation implies), we have a few similar tchotchkes that come in two very distinct sizes.

Our display sign indicates prices for "small" and "large."

More than once, I have been asked:
"Which are the small ones?"

*Simply a point of observation - any customer facing a situation in which they feel compelled to alert you to the antiquated dictum "The Customer Is Always Right" - is usually dead wrong.

I have  a degree in English as well as Theatre - in these situations, I combine my knowledge of both to create something we call "Tact."

The Worst Tinsel
On my morning walk, I noticed that a neighbor a few block overs had been a victim of a prank that I had long thought had it's heyday. A house, yard, and trees, all covered in streams of toilet paper. Floorboards to chimneys,  roots to bird nests - toilet paper everywhere - blowing ever so gently in the morning wind. Unspooled rivulets of bleached, processed  pulp draped lazily over branches and power lines.

I would have taken a picture - was about to - but I realized how un-amused I might be if it were my place that had been rolled in comfortably soft and fluffilly absorbent "papier hygiénique."

For a moment, I even thought that maybe, just maybe, I was looking at a half-hearted holiday display that had grown haggard and worn with time and weather.

Nope. They definitely got pranked.

The little kid part of my brain thinks it's hilarious. The old man part wonders if anyone is going to help them clean up. Yeah, it would be an oddly tedious job  - but hey, free toilet paper.

Because "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" hadn't been written yet.
Cruising the Intertube video feeds at random, as I am wont to do - I happened upon a 1980's commercial that used as it's background music, an instrumental version of the '60's song 'Georgy Girl.'

Yup, 'Georgy Girl' - that pop tune which includes lines such as:

"Hey there, Georgy girl
Why do all the boys just pass you by?
Could it be you just don't try - or is it the clothes you wear?


Life is a reality, you can't always run away
Don't be so scared of changing and rearranging yourself

And what, pray tell, was this ode to near anti-feminism used to hawk, you ask?
Why, Barbie Dolls, of course...

Ermagherd, The Derspertch Ferm Erscalerterverlle!

Z.F.Lively, Proprietor/Mistletoe-Stubber
for platitude, gratitude, quotes from The Dude. (link NSFW)

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