If you have an email account, then doubtless you receive at least half a dozen jokes every day, forwarded by other friends, relatives, acquaintances, mailing lists, friends of friends, or total strangers. There is one classic piece that makes its way around at this time every year. It's the one that starts out, "Dear Diary, We've just moved to Maine, and the snow is sooo lovely and romantic." Each successive diary entry describes more snow, and grows more agitated at the sight of the white stuff, until the diarist finally cracks and is forced to move south for mental health reasons.
The circumstances aren't as extreme in this household, but the novelty sure has worn off the sight of snow. It was pretty in November and expected at Christmastime, but we can do without it for the rest of the season now, thankyouverymuch.
Okay, I've been living in the freakin' Arctic all my life, so the white stuff is never unexpected (except in May). However, I don't ski, and my favorite winter sport is crossing off the days until Opening Day at Fenway. I want my roads back, so I can drive to the gym, the yarn shop, and the grocery store without the fear of being smashed flat by some crazed I-think-I'm-immortal-in-this-huge-gas-guzzling-hunk-of-iron bugger in an SUV.
(Mind you, I don't speak for Charlie or for Greg. Those two lunatics like nothing better than to go romping in the snow. More power to them, and more cocoa for me.)
Great Moments in Kitsch History
Today is Elvis's 70th birthday (and David Bowie's 50-something-th). It makes you wonder how well preserved the old hound dog would be if he'd lived. We'll probably mark the occasion with another ceremonial viewing of "Bubba-Ho-Tep." It's only appropriate. (Last year, my company's cafeteria served fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches to mark the occasion. No one can say how many were sold.)
I'm just old enough to think of anything before the Beatles as the Jurassic Era -- I never much cared for any of the popular music coming out of the '50s, and it was old, dusty stuff long before I started buying rock records. Still, who couldn't love the Cult of Elvis as it appears in pop culture today? The amount of Elvis kitsch available today is mind-bogglingly funny -- almost as funny as the folks who buy it.
Many birthdays ago (mine is at the end of January), some friends of mine bought me a velvet Elvis as a gag gift. We roared ourselves hoarse over the thing. It passed through many incarnations since then: first as a decoration for the inside of my closet, then as a gag gift for some friends in Vermont, then as an archery target in upstate New York, then as a featured item in a fund-raising auction (arrows still protruding) back in Vermont. I believe that the velvet Elvis still lives somewhere in the Northeast Kingdom, and that some day when I'm looking the other way, it'll reappear on my doorstep, with or without arrows.