We live in the age of Pinyata Television; keep hitting the remote until rewards appear.
It’s Tuesday and I’m supposed to be at the film festival office at 9am because I’m on the screening committee and that’s when we’re meeting. 9am. Except I’m not there on time and somehow I’m running late and Laura has taken the boys to school and I’ve forgotten to ask her to give me a lift. So I try calling her car but we haven’t put any minutes on the car phone…
And it doesn’t work; the call doesn’t go through. So I get in my car and slide out of the driveway, on the snow, and head on into town. My phone immediately starts ringing. I juggle the steering wheel and manouever the Motorola menace out of my pocket. It’s one of my fellow screening committee members. She can’t make it. No worries. She can pick up the box of stuff we’re watching and catch up.
I find myself in a queue of traffic, two lanes have become one with some big traffic machine monster blocking one of the lanes. I pull off the main street and get myself into the parking structure. Which is silly really because I only have two dollars in my wallet and it’s going to cost more than that when it’s time to leave. But anyway. I’m there. And I’m late.
I find a space on the fourth floor. Well, it says four on a big yellow sign. It could be the third floor in real life because Americans count the ground floor as “one”. I park too close to someone’s Hoon Mobile and can’t open the door. I try to pull back and look for another space but another car is already coming around the corner and it feels like they’re all over me, so I just pull in and deal with it. I bump Hoon twit’s wing because they’ve parked over the middle of the line and they’re bastards for doing that so they deserve it.
I get down the stairs and to the corner of the street without falling over on snow or ice and that’s pretty good, although everyone else manages it here so I guess it’s nothing that special. And, of course, as I get there, the lights change and I can’t cross. Shit. Why does the universe do this to me? Me??? I let out an enormous belch, venting my spleen against the invisible forces ranged against me. Burrrrrppppp! Oh, yeah, baby. Take that! Pretty good. I feel highly satisfied with myself. The world is put to rights again. Heh.
I look around and somehow, quiet movement, unheard arrival, there is now someone standing next to me at the crossing. And of course they heard me. And the joy of belching free into the frigid morning is greatly diminished. They may have a Constitutional Amendment protecting my right to vocalise but it makes no difference. I burped. It was good. And then I realised someone else heard and maybe disapproved and a measure of joy is taken out of the insouciant exclamation.
Why does that happen? I mean why do these people just appear like that? Not why does it diminish the joy of the moment but why are they there, in my head space, when I want that solitude to be free in public? Pah. Whatever. That’s a spicy meat-a-ball. It’s funny again now.
We went to the travelling exhibit by Yoko Ono (performance art’s most apt surname) in Ann Arbor the other day. Lots of Lennon whimsical sketches up for sale at ridiculous prices. I call it the “Napkin Doodle Paradigm”. A not-so-ingenious method for parting people from their money based on an artist’s ability in one field translating to perceived value across the board. The sketches were fun, though, but I gagged at the reproduced copies of Beatles lyrics with only one writer’s, John’s, signature copied and Photoshopped on.
On a completely unrelated note, last night we had pizza. On the box, Pizza Hut are doing a series of graphic burbles (much like these except PH has mass production). The latest one has questions for kids to ask parents and questions for parents to ask kids. One question (hastily looks in fridge) was “If you could have only one possession what would it be?” Sam’s answer was “Color blanky!” Mine, New Zealand. Another question was, “What character from a book would you like to be?” Jack would like to be Harry Potter. Sam? Garfield. Perfect.
This morning they were up and fighting over the remote control. Somehow it developed into a discussion on whether Santa Claus really exists. Jack’s convinced it’s us but Sam doesn’t think we’d have time to go out on Christmas Eve, get presents, wrap them up and put them under the tree. Ahh, the magic of youth. Strange that Harry Potter boy wouldn’t believe in magic, though.
All of which, well the last bit, got me thinking about the fact that some day the magic of Christmas has to go and reality must settle in. And I was thinking about Mike’s house where they draw names out of a hat then all buy one gift for each other, like a secret Santa thing. Then they open them on Christmas Eve. I know other people do that too.
Now, I know it’s not magical, and I like the magic and would like to keep it alive for a while, but in the end I think having a family of Secret Santas is the way forward. Everyone shows they care for each other and as a bonus with the Christmas Eve thing, you don’t get woken up too early on Christmas Day. Maybe that last bit doesn’t matter. I guess what’s important is how you make the transition from, “okay so the presents from Santa thing was a fairy tale” to “Christmas is really about showing how much we care for each other”. There’s a film somewhere isn’t there?
Last night we had people round for drinks. Okay, it was a party. And it was a fine party to boot. I think I may have said various ridiculous and/or innappropriate things throughout the evening. I can’t be sure but I think I can remember…
K: “This is Basil. Sorry, did I say Basil? It’s Stuart. He looks a bit like a Basil.”
J: “I’m the fifth child in a family of nine.”
K: “Oo! You should talk to Pat. He’s Catholic too!”
K: “Mmmmm… peanut M&Ms!”
K: “Mmmmm… single malt!”
J: “Well, hello there!”
K: “Greetings! You know, I felt a tingling in my pocket and I thought, ‘Aha! Jim Selleck!'”
D: “Thank you for having me.”
K: “Did I have you?”
K: “Are you drinking a rum and mango?”
L: “What’s a rubber mango?”
K: “I find, Americans, can understand me better, if I talk, like, Michael Caine.”
K: “Hey, nice bracelet. Is that a cock ring?”