Everything Is Sticky

We are at a major crossroads, like Magellan coming around an angry cape and thinking: “Do we push through these harsh seas, or do we go back to Spain and eat paella?”

Beats me.

Certainly, we are at the juncture where it would be easier to move to a new house than to clean up the one we’re in now. Everything is sticky. Candles have melted into the woodwork. The place is still littered with half-bottles of Cab. Our living room looks like the set of a Noel Coward play.

And I don’t like the body language I’m seeing from the tree. No one is watering it anymore. This morning, I told the tree, once the centerpiece of our holiday, an object of worship and adoration: “Go ahead, die.”

On a more positive note, I did manage to make a nice big salad yesterday, using a lot of the stuff I had lying around: banana cream pie, mac n’ cheese, 14 pads of butter, chicken wings, a crumble of blue cheese, bacon, eggs, crab meat, half a donut, the shoulder loin of an elk, topped with a light vinaigrette.

“What’s that, Dad?”

“A little salad,” I explained.

“No lettuce?” he says.

Can I ask you kind of a personal question? Ever heard of a meat called breasola? They eat it in the Alps when they run out of reindeer. It’s like a salami, but darker, richer, faintly Victorian … somewhere between dried blood and burgundy. It’s the kind of food woodsmen eat off the edge of an axe.

Breasola is also among the oddball leftovers that are in our fridge right now. Just made a small sandwich of some breasola and sopressata. To go with that salad. It just called to me: Chris? Chris?

Know what doesn’t call to me? Exercise.

It was 74 degrees above zero on Christmas morning, warm enough for a quick walk down the boulevard. Yet, I barely moved all day. Tuesday, I went jogging at the park. One lap.

Point is, one lap at a time, I’m coming back to life.

Why bother? Because I have high hopes for 2023, that’s why. I mean, could things get any worse?

Till then, I’ve decided to hide from Suzanne and the kids — under a blanket on the couch, where no one can find me. My skin, normally the color of apples, looks like school paste. My schnitzel, the massive butt tendon on which all human movement is based, the same male muscle that won World War II, feels shredded, like a spiral-cut ham.

So, from my research lab (this couch), I have these important findings to report:

Evidently, we now live in a country where it’s perfectly acceptable to run the same television commercial over and over again —  T-Mobile being the worst, the one where the hipster sticks his tongue to the pole and the other annoying dude cackles and takes a photo. On Tuesday alone, that commercial ran about a billion times.

The thinking, I suspect, is that they will run this commercial till our brains turn to pudding – and desperate to stop this commercial from ever appearing again – we rush out to T-Mobile.

Those nasty, awful, sadistic marketing geniuses (is there any other kind?).

Then there’s the commercial where the girlfriend whistles for a new truck, which then comes bounding through the snow. That’s been on about a billion times too.

First of all, no woman every whistled like that. That whistle was clearly whistle-synced by a burly New York cop.

Second, who is driving that truck? Her other boyfriend? To me, that commercial poses more questions than it answers.

Finally, there’s that commercial where the big red bow flies off the roof and lands on the Lexus, and the dad, who’s been drinking since noon, is so sloshed that he thinks the $75,000 sedan is for him.

“Are you kidding me?” the 70ish father asks, in the vernacular of a 14-year-old ad whiz.

Yeah, Dad, they probably are.

Hey Madison Avenue, what’s happened to the holiday classics, the ones that looked like Christmas cards? Where’s the ad with the team of Clydesdales pulling a sleigh through the countryside?

Hey, Coca-Cola, what’d you do with the Christmas polar bears?

Did they go extinct? Did you lay them off?

Those were the real Decembers to remember.

Hi gang. A few slots have opened up for tonight’s Gin & Tonic Holiday Bash in Montrose. If you’d like to come, please email me at Letters@ChrisErskineLA.com. I’ll send you more details. Cheers!

20 thoughts on “Everything Is Sticky

  1. You definitely hit the nail squarely on the head with your comments about the ubiquitous commercials. My neighbors were concerned about my screams when there appeared to be no reason for them. When I explained they were reactions to the commercials you mentioned, they completely understood.

  2. I completely agree with you about those insipid commercials…yet…weren’t you surprised by the Walmart commercial with families celebrating all of their different holidays?! I say, ‘Kudos to you, W-mart!’ Personally, I haven’t set foot in the place since taking my mother to one in North Carolina. It was the sight of rifles sitting helter-skelter in a big box that did it for me. This new commercial gets me every time…but I’m still not going inside!

  3. Good morning, Mr. Erskine:
    My New Year’s resolutions are to attend a Gin & Tonic Society meeting and to beat Carroll Schwartz to the post.
    I think I have a better chance with the former, unless someone conveniently misplaces Carroll’s alarm clock.
    I would have made it tonight to Montrose (my hangouts are Portobello and Basin 141) but I’m seeing Jesus Christ Superstar at the Pantages (it’s 50th anniversary!) and even for a spry 70yr old, one outing per week about does it for me.
    Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!

    1. Kutch, I don’t even use my alarm. When it’s a Wednesday or Saturday, my eyelids just fly open in the dark, in anticipation of another Chris post to enjoy.

  4. Worse than those commercials are the weather reports six times in an hour. Obviously the lack of real news creates a space to be filled with those commercials and weather. and of course a car chase works.

  5. You might add the Spectrum commercial that a man yells $29.99 about 100 times in 30 seconds. They run that commercial at least twice during every commercial break!!!

  6. What an adorable little girl! Yes, those ads were tiresome. I swear one station played Baby It’s Cold Outside several times in a row. Tired of that as well! Happy New Year to you and your crew.

  7. Another wonderfully descriptive, memory evoking, inward smile generating and head bobbing article. I believe that this is your 487th in a row that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed…… Here is one of my favorite winter beer commercials – probably too inappropriate for today’s politically correct world. Enjoy!!

  8. You’ve done it again Chris! My wife and I look forward to your posts and are never disappointed. They always hit the right note and take us back to our family’s memories. Here’s to a much better 2023.

  9. Have been enjoying your posts for some time now — solution to the endless commercials — unless you are following a sports game, why keep the mindless tv on?? I stopped it long ago — when folks informed me it was “white noise” (makes some I guess need to fill empty spaces)? I now so enjoy kusc classical musical station — understand it’s not for everyone but so much better than endless brainless tv ads I feel. Thanks again for all your sage advice and comments — and best wishes to you and your lovely family for all the best in 2023! keep on keeping on :)!

  10. Thanks, Chris for your observations. I have been analyzing why, on the day after Christmas, we begin to detest every little annoying bit of mess left over from the holiday. I suppose it is just regret that the fun is over. And then it might just be dreading finding a place to stow all this stuff. Certainly, the preparation is more work, but the cleanup is torture. I am trying to find some joy in this period of winding down from the celebration.
    I fight feeling too nostalgic about past Christmases. That can keep us from noting the good things in this one.

  11. I get it.. Dear commotion, seas of lights, consequential debris of Christmas can lead to a falling need for a place of remove; and what better place to go to ground than the couch? It’s hiding in plain sight, and signaling a brevity of purpose,

    You’re down, your eyes close. Faintly and far away “A Foggy Day…(Gershwin!) arises in your head. It’s going to be a misty, rainy weekend, the looming. New Year similarly clouded in uncertainty; as always. And then…

    Just Because

    Time is much in mind between the blaze
    Of Christmas and the cold sere white fire
    Of the New Year now flickering
    Icily on the dim horizon abead;
    It is as if time was like water
    In a great blue bowl of pale sky
    Leaking through the fissure of the day’s
    Dying flaws, the emptyness of the old
    Year looming large in the way desert
    Does, vast and drawn, aged and vacant
    Like the disappearing moon, waxing
    Pale then gone, fading into the dark;

    The mood is paused, sort of like glaze
    One feels when confronted by desire
    In the absolute, when it’s riches sing
    In the body in the loft of the bed
    It’s chorus of surprises later
    Erasing the moment in memory
    When the water fall began, the abyss
    Of water mysterious, heat and cold
    Mixing, as in the genesis of art—
    Something beautiful yet absent
    Building its house of light, taxing
    Imagination with flares of stark
    Insistence on an ending and beginning
    All things in between tired and thinning;;
    How exquisite the float of the pause
    Tilt and surge of the whirling planet’s laws
    And dying light, up ahead it’s cause
    Life beginning, yet again, just because…

    Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…

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