1.) I will pay you 10 whole American dollars if you write a brief, funny and heartfelt maid of honor speech, stuff a sleeping bag into your bra, strap on a wig and deliver it as me tomorrow night at my sister's wedding. Because right now all I've got is an open Word document with the lyrics to "This is How We Do It" in comically large font.
2.) I'm kind of buzzed and it's all because
3.) This is how we do it.
4.) Our big announcement had to be moved to next week. (Hint: It's not not that Tulane Chris is gay.)
5.) Every time I remember that my dress isn't back from the tailor's yet and tomorrow's the wedding, my stomach drops directly into my asshole and a few more years are shaved off my life.
6.) Washing down a painkiller with a glass of champagne before the wedding ceremony is a good idea, or isn't a good idea? Advise.
7.) What if it's half a painkiller?
8.) Happy T.G.I. Hagman!
As of December 17, 2010, Larry Hagman is...alive! And has these words of wisdom for my sister and her fiance:
"A marriage is like a salad: the man has to know how to keep his tomatoes on the top." - JR Ewing ("Dallas" #13.24)
I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I am sure I'd like it read aloud by a loved one at my hypothetical future wedding. OK, I'm going to go google public speaking tips and continue to not eat anything. Have a great weekend and yay Becca and Geoff!!! Take it away, Chris.]
As you may have imagined, I’m not a big holiday person. If I were in charge of the calendar, we’d only celebrate Repeal Day (the American drinking holiday), St. Patrick’s Day (the Americans-pretending-to-be-Irish drinking holiday), Cinco de Mayo (the Americans-pretending-to-be-Mexicans drinking holiday), and Simchat Torah (the little-celebrated Orthodox Jews drinking holiday.) For some reason, though, this year was an exception. I was really looking forward to going home for Christmas, pouring some mulled wine into Mom, and making Texas-themed nativity scenes out of construction paper to confuse nearby children.
“This is, uh… Leroy, the Christmas Jackalope. He carried Mary’s bags out to the stable. He tried to get ice, but the machine was broken.”
I even bought a poinsettia, which looked very festive for the three days it lived. Today, thought, I made a mistake fatal to my newfound Christmas cheer: I left the house.
Is it Christmas or cold weather that makes street preachers emerge? They were everywhere today, like a swarm of devout locusts. In the ten or so blocks I walked, I saw:
- A man holding a book in the air and hollering. I assumed it was a Bible and he was hollering about Christianity, but it could as easily have been a Harlequin romance in a Bible cover. I could only make out the words “Jesus Christ”: “Manamah bok-tu wah boh! Jesus Christ! Fo-tah-nah boh Jesus Christ! Rama-lama-ding-dong Jesus Christ!” He was either from outer space, or had received the attentions of a very devout, very distractible speech therapist.
- A man wearing a hand-lettered sandwich board about how Ireland had declared war on the United Kingdom. I didn’t know if he meant in 1916 and just wanted to be sure we were all up to speed, or if he was part of a new “Al-Jazeera – Streetcorner Madman Edition.” He was handing out pamphlets and I badly wanted one, but… you know. Cooties.
- Some guy handing out copies of the Watchtower. Now, my understanding of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they believe that only 144,000 people will go to Heaven. I don’t consider myself a bad person, per se, but I’m reasonably sure I’m not one of the 144,000 best people who ever lived. (Best in bed, sure. Best at Yahtzee, you bet. But overall best, no.) Also, I’m reasonably sure there have been 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses by now, so isn’t joining that church kind of like buying a ticket for yesterday’s lottery?
- The Israelite PDKU (or similar.) Every weekend, four or so black men set up a little stage and loudspeaker somewhere on Market Street and explain how Jews aren’t really Jews, they’re the Jews, Jesus was the Antichrist, and women should stay in the home while the menfolk go out and kill Whitey. I’m more upset by the shouting than the implied race war.
So, I managed to get to Old Navy still a lapsed Anglican. Barely, though – coming to home to a hot meal and a blow job after a hard day killing Whitey does have its appeal. I had a spat with some bitch in the checkout line. Now, on Earth, time proceeds in a linear fashion. Night follows day, spring follows winter, and you wait your turn in line. As I was checking out, the next two women in line behind me interrupted the cashier to try to return things without a receipt. Woman A took no for an answer, but Woman B, a homely little number, would not.
Woman A: “Can I change this size without a receipt?”
Cashier: “I’m sorry, but no.”
Woman A: “Okay.”
Woman B (Homelina von Shrew): “How about for a different color?”
Cashier: “Not without a receipt.”
Homelina von Shrew: “Just a quick exchange?”
Cashier: “We’re not allowed, I’m sorry.”
HvS: “Just… can I just switch these tags here?”
Cashier: “No, I’m sorry, not without a receipt.”
HvS: “I can’t just trade this?”
Tulane Chris: “I’m sorry, I’m trying to check out. She said no.”
HvS: “Well! Merry Christmas to you too!”
She flounced out of the store before I could poke out her eye with the receipt spindle. Now, explain this to me: she interrupts my transaction to harass the cashier, won’t take no for an answer, puts the cashier in an awkward position, and I’m the asshole? Why am I not “in the Christmas spirit” if I don’t think she should get to line-jump and nag? Should I have handed her a cup of hearty Christmas ale and bought her the sweater she wanted? Is that festive? Is that Christmasy enough for you? After that we can go home, light a nice toasty fire with all our receipts, and call 911 to bring us cheeseburgers. They won’t mind! It’s Christmas.
So, increasingly sour, I went to the fancy soap store to buy a gift box for my grandmother’s new pug. Ultimately, I’ve spent more money on his gifts than those for my human family and friends: in addition to the dog bath gift set I bought at the soap store, he’s also getting a pack of rawhide candy canes and a chewable platypus with removable squeaky eggs. (The idea is that the dog learns to claw the eggs out, which gets more disturbing every time I think of it.) The dog gift box features shampoo, “paw balm,” and a dry rub which I was severely cautioned about:
Soap Man: “That dry rub is to be used sparingly.”
Tulane Chris: “Okay.”
Soap Man: “It’s got cornmeal in it.”
Tulane Chris: “Okay.” (Cornmeal? I’m not going to fry the dog…)
Soap Man: “You don’t want to overload its fur with it.”
Tulane Chris: “Okay?”
Soap Man: “Put it in your hand first, then rub it on the dog. Especially on its neck. You don’t want to use a lot. It’s just to get the stink out.”
Maybe I’m just a prude, but when I think about “getting the stink out” of an animal, my first thought is not “better put cornmeal on its neck.” I use an old-fashioned Southern remedy called “brush its teeth and wash its ass.” Also, I bought it and I’ll do what I want with it. If I want to rub it on my own neck, I’ll damn well do it. If I want to whip it up with an egg and spread it on the dog and let it dry into a crust and carefully crack it off and pour wax into it and make a wax model of the pug, I will. Dammit.
Then I went to the liquor store. If anything could revive my holiday cheer… but it was not to be. As I approached, a man going in politely held the door for an older man coming out, then let it slam in my face. You know what’s great about liquor stores? Liquor. You know what a side effect of that is? No children. So why did a woman bring her screaming toddler into the liquor store? “Come, Tansy. Let’s go annoy the drunks. It’s Christmas.” Also, why do people with screaming children approach the problem in one of two completely ineffective ways: by doing nothing, or by yelling at the child? Let’s plot it out:
Child makes noise -> ignore it -> child continues to make noise until distracted by snail.
Child makes noise -> yell at child -> child makes more noise to drown out adult.
It continued. At the pharmacy, the pharmacist hollered a question about my “narcotics” (generic Ritalin) to his co-worker across the room, in front of a line of several people. The “burrito technician” at Qdoba winked at me and said, “See you tomorrow,” which means I can never go there again. He apparently has me confused with someone who does go there every day, which means I look like someone who goes to the burrito store every day, which implies horrible things. Either that, or he’s going to break into my apartment. I’m okay with that as long as he brings a sprig of holly – after all, it’s Christmas.