12.2111: Ol' Sealin' Lid



Ahhh, I got nuthin’. End of the day, end of the month, end of the year, the great blank slate ahead. Or at least it seems blank; turns out it’s already covered with all sorts of scribbles and crossed-out words and pictures that look a little like our fears and a lot like our hopes. You’re always the same person in January, which is why I can’t stand A) the idea of resolutions, and B) the idea that something has changed, that the New Year means anything but the resumption of the tune you were humming before you dropped it for carols and yule-flavored standards.

I’ve been playing different Christmas songs this year. Vow: aside from a tight selection of favorites, nothing from the 40s pile. Nothing from the 30s files at all. That’s easy; there isn’t any. At least I don’t have any. Christmas music as popular music seems to have been an invention of the 40s, a spontaneous unplanned reaction to hideous dislocation and war and boys shipped overseas, away from the hearth. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” after all, is about the opposite; possibly the most depressing end to a Christmas song ever. It’s like “Rudolph” ending with his nose burning out and the sled crashing into a mountain as Dasher and Blixen scream PULL UP! PULL UP! Or Frosty melting, getting licked up by a thirsty dog, then excreted against a fire hydrant at day’s end. PLUGGY THE HYDRANT WAS A VERY MERRY SOUL. There must have been some magic in that stream of pee they say, for when it hit the hydrant’s side he tried to jump and play! But he was bolted to the ground and tied to an immovable metallic infrastructure, and lacked physiognomy that allowed him to shape his thoughts into words and familiar facial gestures that might produce sympathy in onlookers.

No, that wouldn’t work. As for Frosty, who combines necromancy and possession for that ultimate Christmas message, we all know what he had for a nose: a carrot. Which explains this doll I saw at Target. Seig Hi!


I don’t know if that’s Skipper or Biffy or Midge or whoever; daughter passed through the Barbie phase a long time ago, and even then it never extended to the ancillary characters. This was in the great row of Stocking Stuffers at Target, crammed with things that will find their way to the dustbin by the second week of January. This doll will end up staring and waving from the bottom of a plastic bin, where she will live for a year or two until Mom has one of those fits of enthusiasm and cleans out bins unrelated to daily or weekly life.

Unless it’s the only doll the kid has, of course. In that case you can imagine it sitting on a nightstand. It’s not a Barbie - they’re expensive - but it’s someone who knows her.

Today on the doorstep: the annual box of Starbucks from our investment banker, who is also a dear relative. I prepared myself for the ENORMOUS MUGS usually contained within - I think I mentioned this before, how they come in sizes as a big as an Orc’s noggin, and there’s no way you can use them for coffee. It’s a lethal dose. Well, this year the box contained a sleek metal travel mug, and that’s great: my wife needs a new one. I use disposables, because I enjoy hearing the Earth cry when I throw them away. Well, no, but they’re superior: travel mugs either impart the taste of plastic or metal, and the synthetic cups I use - that odd slightly fuzzy material - are much better. The stainless steel mug had a card that contained necessary information. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO ENHANCE THE ENJOYMENT OF YOUR NEW DRINKWARE WITH SEALING LID.


That’s what we’re calling it around the house: Ol’ Drinkware with Sealing Lid. Number one: do not microwave. Doesn’t everyone know not to put metal in the microwave? If not, they have to learn somehow. Two: do not use with carbonated beverages. Because if you seal the lid - it is, after all, a SEALING LID - the pressure will build up, and foam will come out, and your enjoyment will not be enhanced. Three: Keep out of reach of children when filled with hot liquids. Never would have occurred to anyone. Four: Do not overfill - hot liquids can burn user. Poor user, who does not grasp such things without instruction. Five: Do not use cleaners containing bleach or chlorine. Oh, c’mon. Coffee needs a little hint of swimmin’ pool to give it some kick. Six: Grasp mug firmly around the middle when securing or loosening lid. Ahem: it is impossible to do otherwise. And so on. Last one: Should you have a product question, please call us toll free at 1-800-235-2883. Yes, hello? One question. How stupid do you think I am?

Mentioned the book trailer yesterday. Can’t post the trailer until the site for the books is done. Sorry to get hopes up. I’m still debating the sequence in which I should release them, and it looks like I’ll release “Autumn Solitaire” and “Stop the Presses” as the first and second, since they’re closely related, with the Dinkytown 1980 novel, “Too Much English,” coming third. And now back to writing “Stop,” which contains the finest set-up to the finale I’ve ever done. Doesn’t mean it’s good, but it’ll surely be worth $2.99.

Hey, you have to see this: A Black and White World update of a film you’ve never heard about. The trailer promised audiences that it was as “GRIM” as anything they’d seen before. Hey, dollface, want to see that new Robert Montgomery movie? Folks say it’s GRIM. Sure, Johnny! Anything you say. It's worth a look for a variety of reasons - the lovely star, whose career was short, and the highly peculiar name of the movie itself. If Bogart had starred in this one, they'd have called it something else. DANGEROUS CORNER, maybe, or DARK NOUN, or anything but this, which might have been called "Periwinkle Equis."

It’s here! See you around.




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