Friday, December 12, 2008
The nightmare before Christmas
We went to a Christmas party where everyone was asked to bring a gift to "regift."
We brought gift received a while back that just wasn’t our kind of thing. But what came back home keeps me awake at night in fear. It leads our pre-holiday Deezo Friday Five.
1) This frightens me. It really does.
Ignore for a moment the cowboy caps and bandannas. I think that was the previous owner’s attempt to use humor to dull the horror.
Let’s start with the fact that this is a statue of babies. I realize that Ann Geddes has made an entire career of photographing babies, sometimes in odd settings or costumes. I don’t care for her work, but I get that some people do. But rather than I book you can flip through, this is a sculpture standing about a foot tall.
Then, they’re naked babies. Anybody who has had babies around the house knows that naked, they are armed and dangerous. Your rug or clothes could be soiled without a moment’s notice. I see naked baby artwork and all I can think of is how we needed to keep the Bissell Little Green Machine plugged in and ready to go at all times.
Then we have the pose. Babies don’t stand. They just don’t. When they do, they’re called toddlers and their legs are longer, and not the stubby newborn legs we have here.
And here, we have a baby standing on one leg. And what exactly is he — or she, we can’t tell by the pose — doing with that other leg? I don’t want to know.
But note the truly startling chain of events that had to happen here for this...thing... to end up on my mantle.
First, some one had to roll out of bed and decide that he was going to carve a statue of two naked babies doing who knows what and not only call it a productive day, but actually show it to someone else.
Then, someone had to see this and say, "Hmmm. That’s lovely. We should buy this, mass produce it and offer it wholesale."
Then, some shop owner had have seen this in some distributor’s catalog and say, "Hey, I gotta get me some of those naked three-legged baby statues for the store."
And then, and this is the part that scares me most, some shopper looking for a gift for someone they liked saw this, paid actual money for it, wrapped it and offered it as a present."
I can only imagine the tact required by the receiver to open this and not immediately hurl it out the window.
Of course, if they had, the thing would not be on my mantle right now wearing red cowboy hats and bandannas, so I guess I should be ticked off.
I understand that taste is subjective. Not everyone understands why I think like Kiss and Twisted Sister.
But I’m counting the days until next year’s regifting party, because I know what we’re bringing.
2) The sculpture is only slightly less scary than our trip to the immigration office in Cozumel, Mexico.
I love getting my passport stamped. Given my obsessive nature, I started looking for the immigration offices the moment we set foot in each of the countries on the cruise.
As the harried staffer in Grand Cayman told us, I’m not the only one who feels this way. You’d think each country would have an employee armed with a stamp pad sitting at a table as you disembarked.
But no. In Cozumel, the office was on the fringes of downtown, away from the places tourists flock. And since there were not street signs as we know them, our little map was not entirely helpful.
We were a block from turning around and heading back — running back, actually — when we found a small white building with a locked door and bars covering the glass.
An employee opened the door a crack to ask what we wanted — at least I think that’s what he asked. My Spanish is limited.
I held out the passport and made the international gesture that says "please stamp this so we can get back to the tourist area to buy a straw sombrero and more $1 Coronas from guys in coolers."
I will say that the stamp is really cool.
3) I’m not a casino guy by any means, but I’m expecting high-roller treatment should I even step foot in another gambling den.
This is because percentage-wise, I made more on the cruise ship’s casino than anyone else in the family.
Oh sure, my brother was walking around with a stack of cool chips after several stints at the black jack tables.
But I held high a dollar bill, and announced that I was feeling sassy and lucky and was going to hit the nickel slots.
I learned that most of the slots today are video screens with no moving wheels. I also learned that they quickly eat your nickel. I was down to about 30 cents when the screen showed three sticks of TNT in a row, blinked a lot and indicated that I my 30 cents was now up to $1.50.
Kenny Rogers has no clue when to throw a strike to Bleeping Andruw Jones, but he knows when to walk away and when to run. And I printed out my coupon — the machines don’t spit out nickels any more — and fled with my winnings!
4) One of the fun parts things about foreign travel is seeing the different traffic signs.
But this one in Ocho Rios is a classic. "Keep fatalities down, drive, ride and walk good."
Aside from the immediate grammatical issue — it should say "well" or even "safely" instead of good — how does one ride in a not good manner?
And this is in a country where, you are encouraged to climb waterfalls covered in jagged rocks. I'm not sure they're all that concerned with my safety.
And above it, a billboard for margarine?
5) It is so on with the Phillies.
Pitcher Cole Hamels isn’t content to just sit back and enjoy his team’s rain-soaked World Series victory.
No, he’s appearing on WFAN calling our Mets "choke artists."
"That’s kind of what we believe and I think we’re going to always believe it until they prove us wrong. Yeah, for the past two years they’ve been choke artists."
Hamels is an idiot. Because if the Mets choked, that means his Phillies didn’t earn their division titles, we gave them away.
Hamels also forgets that he pitches in a league where pitchers bat, and goodness knows some of our pitchers don’t have great control. And some of them have very good control, if you know what I mean.
A smart player says "The Mets are a good team, but we were a little better." I bet Cole Hamels has naked baby statues, but they’re wearing little Phillie caps.