Ah, Christmas. The day when a jolly fat man in a red suit, hopefully legally, comes down your chimney (or through an unlocked window) and leaves you a collection of news articles to chew on while unwrapping economic incentives:
- Ugly Sweaters. It’s become a hipster phenomenon — ugly holiday sweaters. It has even been written up in the Los Angeles Times, so it must be hip. They are even going so far as to make ugly Chanukah sweaters: Berkeley clothing label GeltFiend has introduced a line that includes a sweater featuring Chasidic snowmen (complete with beards and peyos) or $65 for a dreidel cardigan. As for Christmas goodies, Tipsy Elves offers reindeer dancing in a conga line and a multitasking Santa spelling out “Merry Christmas” in the snow as he relieves himself. Kitsch is the reason for the season, right?
- Celebrity Christmas Deaths. Two celebrity deaths to report. First is Jack Klugman, an actors’ actor. Wonderful roles include his performance in 12 Angry Men, Gypsy, and of course The Odd Couple and Quincy, ME (the latter being the prototype for CSI, in my opinion). The second is Charles Durning, who also had many great roles, but I’ll remember him as the governor in the movie version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (whose author, Larry L. King, also just passed away).
- Baker. Another near death to report: The community of Baker, CA. The world’s largest thermometer is no longer working or being maintained, and the town is slowly dying due to the recession. Of course, there is a plan to save it. A UFO-themed hotel attached to a jerky stand. I kid you not.
- Pay Phones. Also reportedly coming back from the dead (to continue our theme of the reason for the season) are pay phones. Evidently, the superstorm Sandy alerted people that cell phones are not always reliable, even if they are installed in churches. It appears that copper wires with independent power are much more reliable, and people surged to the remaining pay phones during the emergency.
- The Reason for the Season. Of course, this all boils down to the apparent real reason for the season (note the use of the word “apparent”): money. So what better to end with than a link about money. The US Mint is testing a number of different metal alloys to develop a coin that actually costs less to produce than its face value. That’s one way the US Government makes money.
As Stan Freberg says, “We going out on that joke?” To which I say, “No, we do reprise of song, that help. But not much.” Oh, and speaking of Stan Freberg and the reason for the season, we go out on this classic: Green Chri$tma$.
Music: All American (1962 Original Broadway Cast): “Our Children”