Thursday… October 13th… 2022… around about 5:37 in the pm; location: locally located at local trampoline park. Saw 3 (that’s the grandson) has a monthly membership, so he can visit regularly and tramp on the jumpolines till his heart’s content. We usually hit the joint at least twice a week to insure getting our money’s worth.
Do I join in on the jumping of tramps? Not on the regular (and I’m happily married). Perhaps, to quote Roger Murtaugh (played by Danny Glover) of the Lethal Weapon franchise- “I’m too old for this s***!” Or to further quote Sidney Deane (played by Wesley Snipes) from White Men Can’t Jump “White men can’t jump!” (That seemed a bit redundant). I’m not, and I can (last I tried).
Honestly, my preference is to spectate. Let him do his thing, at his pace, without me trying to keep up. Content to sit on the sidelines, always attuned to cries of, “Pappy watch this!” with smiles, nods of approval, OMG don’t do that, and thumbs-ups at the ready. Settled into an under-stuffed pleather chair with a good… well, mediocre, book titled 999, a hardcover collection of 29 tales of horror and suspense. Thankfully it was a thrift store find as most of the tales are rubbish.
The park itself is attuned to the season. Spooky decorations hang about. The lights are dimmed with occasional blasts of color and strobe. The music is an eclectically selected, season appropriate mix of creepy hits from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Will Smith’s “Nightmare on My Street” to the immortal all hallows classic, “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett… until suddenly… it wasn’t.
As Sheb Wooley’s “Purple People Eater” wound down, a new tune that didn’t register on any horrific holiday playlist, wound up. Baffled, book forgotten, it wasn’t till the pre-teeny boppers nearby started dancing and singing along that its origin occurred. It was Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”?
A wave of nausea washed over and a quick glance around confirmed there was no flux capacitor in sight, so we hadn’t just leapt two months into the future. Maybe it was a system error? Maybe the holiday tracks got mixed? Surely to gawd this wasn’t on purpose! Then why is it being followed by another X-mas song… then another… then another. For gawd’s sake it’s mid-f***ing October! We had to escape… okay 15 more minutes… but then we gotta go!
By the following week X-mas ads began flooding the airwaves. Santa selling shoes and boots between bashing bolsters by Beasley and Budd. Shortly thereafter it hit the storefronts en masse polluting the auditory aspect of the shopping experience. For the love of Skellington people, it’s not even Halloween yet!!!
The following, following week, literally days before tricks and treats, all spook-tacular merchandise was resigned to the clearance rack. A thick forest of mutant evergreens sprang up in its wake. Prefabricated plastic pines of all shapes, colors and sizes with varying levels of distasteful bougieness. Nutcrackers greeted you at the door guiding you down the candy-cane infested path to yuletide oblivion. But wait… where are all the fall and Thanksgiving decor? Oh there they are… on that one endcap beside the clearance rack. Around this time ads for Black Friday Month sales began.
Wait… what? Black Friday Month? How in holy Helsinki Sweden can you have a Black Friday month? If it’s the entire month shouldn’t it be a Black December Sale or just the Black Month Sale? Hmmm… it feels like we may be accidentally sliding towards some diversity here so we’ll let it go… for now.
Every year the “most wonderful time of the year” expands backwards. Slowly encompassing and overpowering the other holidays. Where’s the abandoned anticipation that used to contribute to the excitement and joy of the season? When will people realize they’re not celebrating a holiday, but submitting to commercialism? When will it end? How far back can it go before becoming resonant of an endless orgasm, fun at first but after a while rather mundane and monotonous?
Why it comes earlier each year is obvious: people have no patience. The true ironic mystery is why no one tries to extend it. When it’s over, it’s over and everyone’s tired of it. Maybe we should take that into consideration.
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