JUST SAY THE WORD

Humbug: a willfully false, deceptive, or insincere person. –Miriam-Webster dictionary

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As my faithful followers know, from time to time I’ve posted a post (or commented a comment) critical of our Charlatan-in-Chief, Donaldo el Trumpo, aka The Grinch who stole Truth (if not the 2016 election). In the spirit of Christmas season, Dec. 21 seems an appropriate day to atone for the profusion of impertinence heaped upon Individual-1*, a day when everything I’ve said about him can be reduced to one essence-capturing word:

But why, Individual-1* may wonder, is December 21 “an appropriate day” to sum up the grossly inappropriate in one word? Because, Your Lordship/t, it’s HUMBUG DAY….your own very special (be)little day. And so, for every heartless, “false, deceptive, or insincere” thing you’ve ever said or done, I wish you a Hearty Humbug, for verily thou art a HUMBUG.

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TO V OR NOT TO V….

To V or not to V….  Verily, I wouldst
say, That is the question; methinks I shouldst
look for those old V gals wherever I couldst.

From what I’ve heard, there were at least three….
including one who’s as inViolate as she can be.
Now I remember “My Song” — will she hear me?

This time of year, many newspapers reprint an editorial which appeared in the New York Sun on Sept. 21, 1897 — an editorial which famously responded “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” to a letter written to the paper by eight year old Virginia O’Hanlon. Today I would further respond to Virginia that not only is there a Santa Claus, but Santa assures me that, just as in those indelible childhood days, he is coming back to wherever is home on the night before Christmas — and this time he hopes to stay, if only in spirit:

As for #3: They say it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. Far be it from me to say any such things.

None-the-less, and in any case, it’s over.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS LINES FROM SONG & FILM

I hear that Dec. 25 is Christmas, so I’m departing from my every-five-days schedule to post a day early. For this post, I thought I’d make a little game out of several of my favorite Christmas lines from song and film. It’s simple enough: below are the lines; you name the song or film from whence they came. If you’ve been good, attentive little girls and boys, you should get all of them right; otherwise, I’ll tell Santa you’ve been naughty. However, if you’re a big, grown-up girl, I’ll let him know — ere he shows up down your chimney tonight bearing gifts — that you plan to behave yourself (unless you have other ideas).

 1. He’s making a list. Checking it twice. Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.

2. Christmas Eve’ll find me where the love light gleams. [SONG TITLE] if only in my dreams.

3. SCROOGE: “Let us deal with the eviction notices for tomorrow, Mr. Cratchit.”
KERMIT: “Uh, tomorrow’s Christmas, Sir.”
SCROOGE: “Very well. You may gift wrap them.”

4. You can’t fool me – there ain’t no Sanity Clause.

5. Although it’s been said, many times, many ways….Merry Christmas to you.

Now for the answers:

1. SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN  (song)

2. I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS  (song)

3. THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (film)

4.
Chico Marx to Groucho in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

5. THE CHRISTMAS SONG

You say you answered them all correctly, and you want to know what you get? BAH HUMBUG, that’s what! Nonetheless….

 

MARRYING MADE MAID MARY MERRY

Mary Christmas is her name.
Merry Christmas is her game.
So, Merry Christmas, Mary Christmas!
Merry, the way you made your list less
The merry day you lined off your wish list
The last name that you became
When you married Mister Christmas.

And now you’ve heard the gospel of how Christmas, Mister,
Made Maid Mary’s Merry Little Christmas….a tongue twister.

 

‘TWAS THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS

Yesterday may have been Christmas, but heaven only knows the exact date of Christ’s birth (Christmas wasn’t celebrated on December 25 until the 4th century A.D.). So, here it is the day after Christmas, which is a lull of a day following as full of a day as there is all year, and I’ve decided to find out who (of note) actually was born on December 25. Why? Not why they were born on that day (presumably, something naughty and nice happened one night nine months previously), but — why do I bother? Because inquiring minds want to know, that’s why….and my readers, being wise men and women, have inquiring minds (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt).

Believe It or Not, Robert Ripley was born on Christmas day (in 1890). If you’re a lover of trivia, you can thank Robert Ripley for making it a popular pursuit even before you were born. Ripley was a cartoonist and amateur anthropologist who created Believe It or Not! as a panel series in Randolph Hearst’s King Features Syndicate in 1929. A year later, Ripley famously expanded into other media, including radio and short films such as this 1930 Vitaphone curio (it’s a hoot!):

Can’t get enough of his wonderful stuff? Then tune in January 6th to the PBS series American Experience (here’s a half-minute preview):

Ripley was voted the most popular man in America by the New York Times in the 1930s, a decade in which he opened (in six cities) museums called Odditoriums. He died 1n 1949 and is buried, appropriately enough, in Oddfellows Lawn Cemetery, Santa Rosa, CA.

Other notables who were born on Christmas day include Clara Barton, American Red Cross founder (1821); Kid Ory, legendary early New Orleans jazzman (1886); Humphrey (we’ll always have Casablanca) Bogart (1899); and Cab Calloway, jazz band leader (1907).

And while we’re at it, since Christmas both giveth and taketh away, here are some notable December 25th deaths: Charlie Chaplin (died 1977); two Martins, Billy (1989) and Dean (1995); and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown (2006).

And with that, I believe I’ll call it a day.

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A ST. NICHOLAS DAY THOUGHT

It’s only (almost) Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day, but we’ve already received several Christmas cards at our house, including one with a “generic” Christmas letter enclosed. If past be prelude, that was but the first of quite a few such “catch up” letters, which are welcomed by Mrs. Muse and not unwelcomed by Mr. Muse, understanding that who has time to write individualized holiday missives (though that would be nice) to dozens of friends and relatives?

Thus, we bow to the same exigency, with she doing the initial writing and me doing the editing, which often consumes as much time as the writing, because I don’t take such tasks lightly. This has me thinking, why should we start from scratch every holiday season? It would save both of us a lot of bother to come up with the mother of all generic Christmas letters and be done with it — a glorified form letter, if you will, which would serve the purpose every year, with perhaps a blank space or two here and there to fill in, if one wishes to be specific about something that happened during the year, such as:

As you may or may not know, (namedied of (diseasein (month). At least, we assume (name) died, because they buried the old fart.

Need I add, heed should be taken not to send same to the immediate family of the (assumed) deceased, which shouldn’t be a problem, as there are always a few Christmas cards you set aside where you just write a few words without enclosing a letter.

Of course, no Christmas letter would be complete without recounting your vacation and/or travels during the year. Unfortunately, Mr. & Mrs. Muse don’t get around much any more, so we may have to embellish slightly our trip to the Amish farm market an hour’s drive away:

This past summer, we ventured to an agrestal land of bearded men and oddly dressed women whose rustic appearance spoke of a time before civilization came to be. We nonetheless managed to befriend them by giving green paper in exchange for some of the fruits (and vegetables) of their labors. However, as we were leaving, a strange-looking, horned animal took an interest in our bounty and began chasing us. Fortunately, we barely beat the ferocious beast back to our car and escaped with our lives.

Happy holidays.

  

 

GOOD OLD BOY

My kids haven’t been kids for many a decade. I, on the other hand, have almost decayed, but am still a kid. The old saying must be true that you can’t take the boy out of the man….at least, I think it’s an old saying. My memory isn’t as good as it used to was.

Anyway, what prompted the foregoing musing was a Children’s Books catalog I got in the mail the other day. Why the sender thought a V.A.P. (Very Ancient Person) might be a potential buyer of young children’s books, I can’t say — but upon perusing the catalog’s oft-amusing titles, I must admit I’m tempted. What young-at-heart reader wouldn’t be thrilled at the thought of receiving any of these books (words in italics quoted from book description):

ME HUNGRY! by Jeremy Tankard (sounds like he might be thirsty, too) — Book begins with a cave boy saying, “Me hungry!” Ignored by his family (“Me busy!”), he suddenly is inspired to hunt. But rabbit hides, and porcupine is too sharp, and tiger is too mean.
And you think you’ve got trouble.

DUCK IN THE TRUCK by Jez Alborough — While driving home, Duck gets his truck stuck in the muck.
Does duck have the pluck to buck such yuck? Or is duck schmuck-out-of-luck?

I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS by Michael Morpurgo — Eight-year old Tomas Porec hated school, hated reading, and hated stories, until the unicorn came to the library.
Why not? According to Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell of Answers In Genesis, the absence of a unicorn (mentioned in Job 39:9-12) in the modern world “should not cause us to doubt its past existence.” Tomas Porce was probably in a very old library in the very old days.

SANTA RETIRES by David Biedrzycki — Things up north are going south. “Sacks are getting bigger. Chimneys are getting smaller. And you never know what the weather will throw at you.” So Santa announces that he means to retire.
Say it isn’t so, Santa! Will Santa go the way of the unicorn? Come back, Santa!

There are more fascinating titles such as THE GREAT FAIRY TALE DISASTER and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS, but I’m already overwrought just thinking about the books I’ve already covered and wondering how they’ll turn out. Maybe you could order me one or two for Christmas. Hopefully Santa will change his mind and deliver them like a good old boy.