Friday, December 23, 2011
Well after much sterm and drang, and after almost a month and a half of Christmas songs on the radio, the Holidays are finally upon us.
I love Christmas celebrations, but after all the gift-opening, eating, drinking and recollections of your past failings by your family, enough is enough. It is time for the celebrating to end, and for you to get everyone to go home.
This can be a hard thing to do. Especially if you make the mistake of throwing a beloved Holiday movie into the DVD player. Showing a classic like, "It's a Wonderful Life", "Miracle on 34th Street" or even "Elf", can have stray guests hanging about forever. Long after all "tidings of comfort and joy" have disappeared.
As my Christmas gift to you, dear readers, I offer up two Holiday-themed films to pop into your DVD player, that all but guarantee your guests will flee your home in no time flat. Be warned: The two films I am about to describe are not for the faint of heart, the easily traumatized, or anyone who enjoys the Magic of Christmas. Please do not send me any of your therapy bills.
The first film is a Christmas "classic" I have mentioned here before: "The Christmas That Almost Wasn't". This film features Italian actor Rossano Brazzi in the heartwarming tale of a villain who attempts to destroy Christmas by buying the North Pole and evicting Santa. Although I'm sure that there are some children out there who enjoy all the drama and thrills of high finance and the various legalities of real estate, this movie is one of the worst films ever made. While I enjoy the sheer awfulness of the film, and treasure the horrible, scene-chewing performance of Brazzi (His ultimate moment in the film, when his character "Phineas T. Prune", celebrates his apparent "victory" over Santa I have illustrated above. It is such a wonderful, and almost indecipherable delivery of a line, it never fails to make me smile.), I can all but guarantee that a showing of this film will clear your house of any and all Holiday hangers-on. In no time.
You can read more about this film here, and check out the trailer (which includes the golden moment I mentioned above) here.
If that film doesn't make every last stray guest flee your home, it's time to pull out the big gun. The "big gun" in this instance, is the creepiest Holiday-themed film ever made. It's the Mexican-produced 1959 production titled, "Santa Claus". Instead of trying to describe this film in my own words, I'll just quote the official description from the makers of the film: "Santa works in outer space and does battle with a demon sent to Earth by Lucifer to ruin Christmas by killing Santa and making all the children of the Earth do evil." Believe me, this gentle description does not do justice to just how creepy this film is. I saw it as a child at a "kiddie matinee", and it has left scars that I still feel to this day. In preparation for writing this post, I watched a few scenes on YouTube, and it still unnerved me. Go look for it on YouTube yourself, or just read the full description of the film here. Again, screen this film only in the event you really want everyone out of the house pronto. I hereby absolve myself of any lingering trauma that the film leaves you with.
As absolutely awful as these movies are, though, they still carry a message that I think is important: Don't ruin Christmas. For anyone. No matter how annoying your relatives are, and no matter what happens, even if you have to kiss Aunt Gin, remember what this Holiday symbolizes and make it a happy time for all.
That said, thanks to all the loyal readers of this blog. Especially those of you that take a moment to post a comment. I am very grateful for your continued support.
A Merry Christmas to one and all!
Monday, December 12, 2011
"The Night Before Christmas" Wrap-up!
Regular followers of this blog have just finished reading my take on Clement Moore's immortal tale, "The Night Before Christmas". I hope you all enjoyed it. New readers can check it out by scrolling down or (if you wanna read it in the correct sequence) by clicking the links to the right.
I was inspired to do this series of posts after I looked through a version of the story Perfect Wifey had dug up that really had horrible illustrations. "I can do better than this!", thought I. No one, though, really needs to see another traditional version of this tale. So, I thought maybe a parody version might be in order. Yes, I know, there are too many of those too, but this would be my version.
Since it was doubtful I would ever find a publisher for such an effort, I decided to post it on this blog. Since illustrating an entire book in time for Christmas was a daunting prospect, I decided to take it page-by-page. That way, I could squeeze out a verse or two every day, and still make the Christmas deadline.
I planned nothing. I wrote and drew each post in about a half an hour, with no plan as to where I was going with the story. I didn't even know how the whole storyline was going to turn out, but I thought that this "seat-of-my-pants" approach might produce some interesting results. It did. What I originally planned as a hilarious parody of the original poem, with all kinds of Un-Christmas-y shenanigans, instead became the somewhat saccharine, very preachy piece you've just read. I did learn a thing or two in producing it, though. I learned:
• I am a lousy poet.
• Santa's sleigh and his reindeer team are a pain in the eggnog to draw.
• I should take a bit more time with my drawings. Even if they are "only" for this blog. Some of the drawings really make me cringe, even now, after "just" drawing them. Too late. "They belong to the ages, now."
• I was also toying with the idea, if the results were any good, of collecting the whole thing into a POD book. Unfortunately, it turned out far too short for that. Do they publish POD Leaflets?
One other thing I learned is that, all cynicism aside, I really believe in the message of my story. Especially the part about continuing the Spirit of Giving throughout the year. It's easy to give at this time of year (Again, I will direct you to Infinite Hollywood's Toys for Tots Drive, but there are lots of opportunities for extending your generosity out there), however it's not so easy to keep doing it all the year long. I'm gonna try, maybe some of you will too.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed all of this. Thanks for at least tolerating it, and sharing your comments. If you didn't enjoy it, and just wish I'd get back to ranting and raving about various bits o' nonsense, no worries! The posts to follow should take care of that!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
"The Night Before Christmas" Part 8/The End!
"As St. Nick flew off, he said, 'Be of good cheer!
'And do something for someone who needs it this year!'
His advice was the best gift ever given to me.
Well, not quite: He left a toy Boba Fett, under the tree!
So help someone this season. Do whatever feels right.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
Next time: No "Next time"! We're done! Well, maybe I'll add a post-game wrap-up to this series.
Friday, December 9, 2011
"The Night Before Christmas" Part 7
"So try to be grateful, your life is so grand!
You should take time this year,
to give OTHERS a hand!''
I knew Santa was right, I needed no toy.
I should count my blessings, and be full of joy!
''And why just stick to Christmas?', Santa said with a wink,
'Do it all the year long, it's not as hard as you think!
'Donate food, money and clothes, and give of your time,
When you give to help others, EVERY DAY'S Christmastime!''
Then he was gone. Up the chimney, away!
Out into the night, in his noisy ole sleigh!"
Next time: Our thrilling, preachy conclusion!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
"The Night Before Christmas" Part 6
"As if reading my mind Santa said,
'NO gifts this year!
YOU should count all your blessings,
and be of good cheer!
'You have LOTS to be thankful for,
while others do not:
like Riley and Rocco, and your WIFE! Man, she's HOT!
'I do what can, to help people out there,
those who are struggling, who don't have a prayer.
'I DO deliver some gifts, to good girls and boys,
but you should think of the people that need MORE than toys!
'YOU should think of all those that don't have what you do,
and do what you can, to make THEIR dreams come true!'"
Next time: What is this guy's point?
"The Night Before Christmas" Part 5
"And then in an instant, I heard on the roof,
the clomping and stomping of each giant hoof.
As I pulled in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney Ole Santy Claus came with a bound!
He was wearing the suit that all of us know,
and he flicked off some bits of ashes and snow.
One thing that I noticed: Santa carried no bag!
Where oh where, were our presents?! Our sweet Christmas swag?!"
Next time: The big guy explains.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
"The Night Before Christmas" Part 4
"I saw Dasher, and Dancer, and all of the rest,
but I didn't see Rudolph, and he's the one I like best!
I realized he was fictitious, and felt like a goof,
then I heard Santa land with a 'thud!' on my roof!"
Next time: Santa breaks into my home. It's okay though, because after all, he's Santa Claus, and he might have new Doctor Who toys for me!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
"The Night Before Christmas" Part 3
"When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I crawled out of bed to see what was the matter.
I stepped around Rocco and looked out to see,
who was causing that ruckus?
It's a quarter past three!
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
gave a luster of mid-day to objects below.
I didn't care about all that though, because,
as I screamed out to Wifey,
'I JUST SAW SANTA CLAUS!'"
Next time: Did I really see Santa? Or was it my drunken neighbor out on a late night lawn-stumble?
BTW: This is my 300th post!
"The Night Before Christmas": Part 2
"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in the hope that Ol' Santy Claus soon would be there.
Rocco was hogging up all of our bed,
his snoring nose inches away from my head.
Perfect Wifey exclaimed, "'Rocco, SHADDAP!,
You're ruining our wonderful, long Winter's nap!'"
Next time: What is all that clattering on the lawn? Is it those teenagers again?!
Monday, December 5, 2011
"The Night Before Christmas" Part 1
Merry Christmas, all! As a Holiday treat, over the next few days, I'll be posting my own take on Clement Moore's classic poem with illustrations by me, day by day. One verse at a time, give or take. Here's the first:
"Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
'cause Riley had eaten the mouse!
Up next: Is Mama (aka: Perfect Wifey) really sleeping in her kerchief? Is there a cap large enough to contain my giant noggin? Come back tomorrow and find out!