Thursday, December 23, 2004

Throw another blog on the fire.

The night before the night before Christmas
‘Twill be a meager Christmas here in the chilly Kessler house. Using coal from the stockings (if the lumps don’t fall through the holes in the toes), we will drawing a picture of a Christmas tree, and put Post-its beneath it, with brief scrawled descriptions of the presents we wish we had the money to give. It will be very much like O’Henry’s “Gift of the Magi,” as re-imagined by Franz Kafka, we hope.

By the way, the short film “Franz Kafka’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” is well worth seeing, if you ever get the chance. Richard E. Grant, the wonderful British actor, stars.

Bad Santa?
In Hampton, Maine, a boy showed up at his junior high school dance dressed as Santa Claus, and was told he had to leave.

Principal Fred Muscara told the Hampton Union: "It was a holiday party. It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that."

His statement leaves many questions unanswered. For which holiday was it a party, if not Christmas? Sort of a Hanukah/Kwanzaa combo? How is Santa Claus church-related? Since when is a school dance a "state?" What "different religions" are offended by Santa Claus? And what about Santa-worshippers? Don't they need to dance too?

An extra-special gift just in time for Christmas!
Lloyd Grove, who writes “Lowdown” for the New York Daily News announced today that he is banning Paris Hilton from his gossip column: “If she discovers a cure for cancer, wins the Nobel Peace Prize, launches herself into outer space - or even gets her high- school diploma - I'll be happy to revisit the issue. But until then, this is the last time you'll see Paris in Lowdown.”

More room for Britney, I say!

Bad Santa 2?
In today’s Los Angeles Times, I learned that being Santa is no bed of roses.

"When the last gig of the season is finito," says Victor Nevada, 61, a professional Santa Claus in Calgary, Canada, "I have a bottle of rye whiskey and some Diet Coke by the bed, and a couple of novels, and I'll phone in for pizza, and I won't get out of bed for two days, and if I don't see another child again till next Christmas — that's OK with me."

In the feature, reporter J.R. Moehringer writes, “What used to be a three-week gig has become a two-month grind, from the day after Halloween to New Year's. Often you answer to three equally demanding bosses — the parent, the mall, the photographer — and one all-powerful overseer, the child, who has come to view Santa as a cross between a birthday party clown and a miracle worker.”

Grim news!

“Maybe all this added pressure isn't the reason a Santa in Atlanta earlier this month knocked a woman cold with a 2-by-4. Maybe it's not why 30 Santas got into a drunken street brawl two weeks ago at a charity fundraiser in Wales. (Five Santas were arrested.) But it's undoubtedly why so many professional Santas sound edgy, spent, as if they might come down with the flu before they come down the chimney.”

Stocking stuffer?
For $9.99, the trade paperback, COOKING WITH A SERIAL KILLER: RECIPES FROM DOROTHEA PUENTE, by Shane Bugbee, can be yours. She ran a boarding house in Sacramento, you might recall, where she not only murdered her boarders, and buried them in the back yard, she also made fabulous home cooked meals!

Or you can order the Duck’s Breath DVD! Here!


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