Miss(ed) Manners

December 17, 2004

Miss(ed) Manners: Christmas Spectacular Extravaganza!

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 9:04 pm

Oh Jesus Christmas can’t you feel it? It’s everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, the holidays are on their way and there is absolutely nothing you can do. It’s like a giant freight train of wrapping paper, laughing children and drunken santas barreling at your face like a bat out of Macy’s.

And I love it. I love it I love it I love it. I love almost everything about Christmas. I love hanging ornaments on trees, drinking mulled wine in front of a fire, exchanging gifts, playing in the snow, passing out in a pile of discarded present coverings like a Yuletide caveman fresh from the slaughter of the Christmas beast.

I even like carolers. Yeah, that’s right, I actually admire these people. Anyone who believes enough in a holiday to get outside in the freezing cold and sing songs about some baby born in a garage has got some serious balls. I wish we had carolers for other holidays. Wouldn’t it be great if some church group knocked on your door and started singing Luther Vandross a cappella at your dome on Valentine’s Day?

Allllllwaaays and Forevvvvverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
*jingle jingle*

Anyway, I feel I should stress that I love almost everything about Christmas. There are really a few things about this time of year that just drive me up the wall hangings, three major ones, really.

Before I get into them, I’d like to quickly point out that none of them are the age old “Capitalization of Christmas” complaint. Everyone knows Christmas has never been about Christ, jeez, I figured that out when I was five and made my father retake a physics class so he could explain to me how Santa got around the world in just one night. If he had said, “Jesus gives him a lift in his Angelmobile,” I would have kicked him in the nuts, taped it, and then made a couple G’s on Ameria’s Funniest Home Videos.

But I digress, here’s what I hate about Christmas:

1) Christmas Specials
Frosty the Snowman is a holiday classic! No. No it’s not you retard. It’s a shambles of a plot line set to animation done by drunk junior artists who were bounced out of Disney’s reeducation center back in 1975. He’s a SNOWMAN. What on earth could you possibly learn about the spirit of Christmas from a snowman? Testicular health through sub zero temperatures is a Christmas miracle? Come on now.

Even worse were those scream a minute claymation specials. Was I the only child scared to death of that Abominable snowman? You try watching the Empire Strikes Back and then Rudolph, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Is this really the best kind of entertainment we can offer our children? Loosely knit fables told to us by a singing mailman and some clay raisins? Do we really need to advocate the segregation of our society by inferring that all handicapped people should be put on an island, a la the misfit toys?

2) Decoration Blood Baths
Whoever invented and marketed those blow up lawn ornaments should be dragged out into the street, bound in icicle lights and dragged behind a horse drawn carriage through an increasingly ornate series of nativity scenes.

Whatever happened to just outlining your house with a string of lights so when the sun went down you knew in what general direction to drunkenly stumble? What constitutional amendment formed s mandatory decoration contest in all suburban counties?

You might be asking, “Dave, how do I know if I’ve gone too far with the decorations? How much Christmas spirit is too much Christmas spirit?”

No problem, I’ll tell you:

If you have a nativity scene on your lawn, that’s a little too much Christmas right there. Refer to that earlier paragraph about everyone knowing Christmas has nothing to do with Christ. Do you hold Church services on your front lawn? I didn’t think so, get Joseph, Mary and that goddamned light up donkey out of sight you weirdo.

If you spell anything out in lights, that’s more Christmas than is needed for the entire continent of Africa. If it has anything to do with High School Sports, you should be rolled in a carpet and beaten with football helmets.

If you have a sleigh, some reindeer and a fat man in a red coat on your roof, die.

3) Christmas Compilation Albums
James Taylor you stupid, weak minded fucktard.

Why in God’s name anyone would ever record a Christmas album is beyond my comprehension. The only acceptable reason is that your daughter needs braces really bad and you haven’t toured in ages, and you just simply need the money. That’s fine, just call the album, “Give me $20, my baby’s snaggletooth needs a fixin'”

I know I said I love carols earlier, and that’s true, I do love Christmas carols. But I abhor having to hear them every single second of the day. This time of year brings the dreaded rise of the all holiday music radio station. These wouldn’t exist if there weren’t quite literally four hundred and fifty six thousand versions of “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

What do you think was going on in James Taylor’s mind when he recorded his holiday album this year? “Oh I really think I can add something special to [i]Winter Wonderland.[i]” I’m sorry, James, but nothing short of a choir made up of howler monkeys can add anything new to any Christmas Song, and that’s pushing it, what with that fucking dog barking song a couple of years back.

Or, even worse, you go the route that Chris Isaak went this year and make up some new Christmas songs. Brilliant fucking idea, Christopher. Let me guess, one of the songs will be about the troops in Iraq and another will feature you being separated from your true love during the holidays. Really original.

My message to anyone ever thinking of rerecording a Christmas song or god forbid trying to write a whole new one: Don’t. We’re all set in the Christmas song department. Have been for about 50 years. Write some Kwanzaa songs or something you no talent hacks.

So those are the things I hate about Christmas. I still think it’s my favorite time of the year, all I have to do is just turn off the TV and radio, which is a good idea any day of the year, especially when there’s so much I love about the season that’s non-electronic.

PS: I was listening to a Christmas station the entire time I was writing this, and I swear to God, I just heard an AC/DC Christmas song. Why?

December 10, 2004

Miss(ed) Manners: Running Latté

Filed under: Column — missedmanners @ 9:02 pm

Hey! I’ll be there at 6!

Awesome! See you there, don’t be late!

Seriously, don’t be late. I swear to God, there is nothing on this planet that annoys me more than people who are late. When you make plans to meet someone at a certain time, you’re making what amounts to the modern day equivalent of a blood oath; cut finger, medicine man and shrunken head, the whole works.

When someone’s late, that basically signals to me that they either a) don’t care enough to make the effort to show up on time, b) lack the basic eye to mind ability to read a fucking clock, or c) are a simpering slack jawed mentally retarded yokel who thinks they’re above the common decency of living up to their word.

If you’ve picked up that I’m a little pissed off, then congratulations, you win the prize, tell the kid what he’s won, Bob. Everything else I’ve ever written about, unappropriate touching, talking too loud, the mistreatment of pack donkeys while trekking through the Andes, it all pales in comparison to brain breaking discomfort I feel when I’m waiting around for someone to show up.

This has happened to everyone. Unless of course, you’re the person that’s always late, in which case, fuck you dude, get a watch and allocate more time for the subway than five minutes, it’s not a time machine, jack ass.

You know what I’m talking about, when you’ve made plans to meet someone, someplace and they don’t show up for like two hours. So you just sit there, not knowing anyone, and just stare at a wall, maybe sip a drink. Oh man, if it’s a bar you’re meeting someone at, and you’re all alone, that’s the worst. All of a sudden you’re the lonely sap who likes to drink alone. You slump in a bar stool and fondle your drink like it’s grown breasts and you’ve got Dad’s car for prom night, vodka’s almost as good as a hot russian chick.

I’ve always wondered why this doesn’t annoy more people, and why it’s always been such a problem for me. Fortunately, I think enough about myself that the answer was readily forthcoming. I grew up in a large family, four kids, and we were constantly late. Church, school, dinners, picnics, dentists appointments, folk rock concerts, animal euthenasia ceremonies, you name it, I missed the beginning of it.

I don’t blame my parents, like I said, I had three siblings who were enough like me to make child wrangling a living nightmare for my mom and dad. You try to make it to church in time for the children’s story when your two older sons have hung their little brother from a door knob by his under wear and are pelting him with legos. I’m constantly amazed that I was spared serious parental beatings.

No one to blame or no, it still made a serious impact on me. As soon as I got a car, as soon as I was in control of where I was going, I made certain that I would never be late again. I’ve been through about fifty six alarm clocks since the age of sixteen, I’ve tied ribbons around my fingers, I’ve had a watch that talks, I’ve put ben gay on my balls. OK that last one was more of a curiousity fries the cat’s nutsack sort of thing, but you get my drift.

Recently I made plans to meet a friend out and about, and after waiting about three hours for that person to show up, I was reminded just how angry lateness makes me. I mean really now, three hours? My scale of outrage shoots up asymptotically as time goes by. Fifteen minutes late? You’ll get the old stink eye and about half an hour of me lying and saying it’s alright. But around and hour and a half, as my perceived self worth drops through the floor, I start getting Popeye mad, steam out the ears and massive forearm mad.

Anyone who mentions the term, “fashionably late” is going to get a sharp stick in the eye. Let me give you a little background on being fashionably late. The term was made up by a half crippled socialite who had to crawl to every party she was invited too. When she’d show up and take off her back brace, everyone would just laugh it off and say, “Oh, Mabel’s just fashionably late.” So basically it equivocates to you being a hump backed social pariah. That’s right, think about that next time you show up and hour late and act like you it’s alright.

Help me out if I’m wrong here, but I guess I’m the only one to whom time means anything any more. For myself and most of my friends the majority of the time we see each other is out at parties, so everyone’s at least an hour late, which is fine, it’s a party, you don’t have to be there from open to close. We leave that up to guys like Bart and Carey.

I’ll be the first one to admit that I take all of this a little to personally, and certainly far too much to heart. After all, there are always reasons for being late. The train took too long, I got hung up at work, I cracked my back and had an acid flash back where I chatted with my hangnail for half an hour. Sure, I understand all that, but I think that we can all agree that the generally accepted time for a courtesy call is around thirty minutes. We all have cell phones, I mean we are super trendy urban hipsters after all.

As anyone who’s ever had to wait around for a friend to show up, you don’t spend that time waiting for them thinking about the comic genius of Joey on NBC, no, you generally cover that area in the time it takes you to order your second drink. You should understand that the whole time that person is waiting they’re wondering why you didn’t think it was important enough to be on time or at least let them know you were going to be late.

I know everyone loves to be thought about, but who wants to be thought of that way? Not me, I’ll leave fifteen minutes early.

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