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?”
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!