Sunday, December 21, 2008
Jingle Bell Crock
A year ago at this time I was healthy, happy, and in Hawaii.
Now I’m sick, cranky and freezing in Brooklyn.
This is progress?
I am really trying to get some Christmas spirit going now, honest I am.
My sister and I got the Christmas tree (a mere 75 bucks), dug the decorations out of the basement—all the lights work, praise Jesus—and brought out the best china in preparation for our family Christmas dinner on Thursday.
Even as I write this, I’m listening to Christmas music, trying to get the yuletide feeling again. But it’s not happening.
I’ve had a cold for the last 10 days and it’s not just any cold. This is the Blagojevich of colds: vile, debilitating, and it won’t go the hell away.
I was coughing so much last week I sounded like Tiny Tim about to kick the crutch. This blows.
One of my neighbors has an elaborate holiday light display, which features the word “JOY” crucified to the front of his home. It seems like an order or a curse instead of a proclamation.
I’m tempted to put up an equally large sign reading “WHERE?!?” But it’s too damn cold out.
After a week of hacking and cursing, often simultaneously, I cracked down and went to my doctor on Friday, which really is not the best way to kick off your holiday vacation.
I should be out getting plastered in some dive bar hovel while chasing after women half my age until I fall face-first into a vat of week-old fondue. Now that’s an old fashioned holiday.
“I want to enjoy the city at Christmas time,” I whined to my physician.
“You want to go to empty malls?” he demanded. “I went to a mall the other and it was empty. It was very depressing.”
I know he was trying to cheer me up by bringing up the stock market crash, but I’d rather have a choice in where I go rather than being laid low by disease.
Last year, when we were in Hawaii (oh, God) I remember thinking that it didn’t really feel like Christmas.
I was running around the beach on December 25 and wearing shorts and a t-shirt every day. It just didn’t seem normal, which is actually the point of a vacation.
Now I’m back in Brooklyn, shivering, exhausted, and growling at the very sight of Santa. Yeah, that’s more like it.
For a while there I was getting ill nearly every holiday season. But I’ve been on a good streak for the last three or four years and I was hoping my luck would hold out.
The really bad thing is that this is my second illness in three months. I had a nasty sinus infection in September and now this. And the damn winter has just officially started.
In the immortal words of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, “oy vey iz mir.”
The good news is that I don’t have to be back at work until January 5. (Let’s hope I have work!) I got the R train Friday night at Rector Street and saw someone had marked up the poster for the new movie “Valkyrie.”
“Tom Cruise,” the poster shouts in big letters, to which some pen-wielding smart-ass added “…is really short!” Ouch! Where’s the Christmas spirit, dude?
I might have laughed, but I had a woman dump me because I wasn’t tall enough, so this may be the only time in my life I actually sympathize with Tom Cruise.
But then he’s got Katie Holmes and I don’t, so screw him.
I did get a chuckle out a Stolichnaya poster a few yards down the platform. This one displayed a photo a hot-looking woman wearing a Russian army officer’s hat.
Somebody—perhaps the Tom Cruise defiler—scribbled next to the woman’s face “I marry American and now I have green card.”
Maybe if I had enough Stolichnaya I’d forget about my cold. Or, better yet, I could hook-up the hot-looking woman in the army hat and help her get a green card--assuming I pass the height requirement.
I wonder how you say “piss off, half-pint” in Russian.
Okay, so it’s time like these when you have to count your blessings. I’ve a roof over my head, a—fingers crossed—job, my friends and family. I have all this time off, which I will use to build up my health, both physical and mental.
I want to detox, body and soul, so I’ll be able face ‘09 with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Or a song on my face and a smile in my heart—with enough vodka it won't matter either way.
I kind of wish I had planned to go somewhere during this time. It seems nearly every one I know is heading out of New York to some sunny place.
But I’m so sick and tired that the idea of a stay-cation was too tempting to resist.
I promise I’ll make a big trip for my next vacation and see new places, despite my fear of flying. Only this time if I wind up in some place warm, I’m not going to come back.
Right now I’m listening to Johnny Mathis (yeah, I know) singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and I’ve decided I’m going to cheer up. I’ve got a few more days to recuperate until the family shindig and then I can hibernate until it’s time to return to work.
I’ll get through this Christmas and I’ll get into the spirit of the season. But keep a bottle of Stoli’s handy just in case.