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Holiday overload

Posted: December 4, 2017 3:44 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2017 1:00 a.m.

A couple of weeks before Labor Day, I walked into a major big box store. I was amazed at how expensive the Halloween stuff was.

A couple of days before Halloween, all of that super expensive stuff was marked down ruthlessly -- the $35 light up mummy head was now around $11. The store, however, was already decked out for Christmas, right down to the 20-foot tall rubber Santa -- the creepy one that makes little kids shriek in abject terror the moment they lay eyes on it -- and the blaring Muzak Christmas carols.

As an aside, I suppose I have always found the idea of Santa just a little creepy. “He knows if you’ve been sleeping, he knows when you’re awake” is just not that far  a stretch from the classic Stalker’s theme. “Every move you make, every breath you take I’ll be watching you...”

But back to rampant commercialism -- I suppose it’s always been that way. I can remember knowing it was time to start compiling my lengthy and ambitious Christmas wish list when I started seeing those electric razor commercials -- the one that constantly aired between Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Grinch -- featuring an animated Santa riding a Norelco razor down a snow-covered cartoon hill.

Is it just me or does “The General” from General Insurance look like that Santa in drag?

Along those same lines, I often wondered, way back in my raging insomniac years, if Rudolph was either a communist spy or just a raging sot – the red nose and all that. 

I must admit I’ve still got a lot of kid in me. I have to catch all my Holiday TV specials. Rudolph (hey, me and Rudolph are the same age) The Grinch, Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and of course, Good Old’ George Bailey. There’s just something about all those sappy holiday shows -- incessant commercials notwithstanding -- that lets me know there’s still  a little that’s right in the world, that peace and goodwill wishes are still alive and well despite being sandwiched between wall-to-wall exhortations to spend money you probably don’t have.

Still, the jaded part of me always likes the idea of re-writing some of the classics to fit modern times. I mean, take “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I love the message, the idea that each person is special and touches lives in ways they don’t realize.  But as a friend of mine and I discovered a few years back, one of the more hilarious insights we are given in that movie is that, of all the evils visited upon the world because George Bailey got his wish that he had never been born -- the pharmacist becoming an alcoholic ex-con because he accidentally poisoned a child, his uncle’s business failure and subsequent suicide, his mother not knowing him, his brother dying in a childhood sledding accident and subsequently being unable to save the crew members in his plane during WW II, the entire town turned into sin city, by far the greatest evil is that his wife, Mary, is a single woman with a career.

“She’s an old maid, George! She’s closing the library now,” intones Clarence in his most heartbroken pronouncement of doom.  

I’m thinking that it might be fun to have George joyously running down the street once he comes back to the real world yelling things like, “Merry Christmas you old crack house! (to his drafty old house) Merry Christmas you old payday lender! (to the building and loan) Merry Christmas you conniving old son of a bachelor!”(to old man Potter).

Of course, in this day and age, if George had been busted for embezzling, he would probably not have gone to jail, but instead would be given a billion dollar taxpayer-footed bailout golden parachute and sent to ponder the sins of his sticky fingers in the hell that is some Caribbean Island, right next door to Old Man Potter. Either that or he would be elected president.

On the other hand, all that carrying on with Viola Bick might just earn him a trip to jail after all.

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