Hello-Hello, all. The Consort here dashing mikeside to amuse and baffle you while The (lovely and extremely talented) Princess meets her volunteer obligations. I thought we might spend a few moments grappling with holiday deadlines, old friends and whatever else wanders into the wasteland that remains of my mind. Let’s begin!
I’m considering the merits of beginning my Christmas shopping. Now some of you might be chuckling and wondering if I’ve lost my mind. Yes, but that’s not the point. The point is I understand time. After decades of working in broadcasting I know one minute is truly a long time. Don’t believe me? Stare at someone for one minute. Do not speak. Do not avert your eyes. Just stare for one minute. See what I mean? One minute is a long time. Now string together sixty of those minutes and you’re talking some real time. So I have plenty of time to buy holiday gifts. And that’s another thing: I don’t shop – I buy. Most guys do the same thing. We walk into a store and head directly to whatever it is we intend to buy. It all comes down to prep work. A little research can be a timesaver and a lifesaver this time of year. Or it can work in the other extreme. When that happens I call it Zen buying. Walk into a store with a empty mind (not hard for most guys) and listen for the gift to speak to you. When it happens it’s a truly magical feeling. When it doesn’t happen then everyone gets gift cards and it’s time to head to the nearest bar.
I’ll be having lunch in a couple of days with some guys who have been my friends since middle school. Some of you are young enough that that’s not too remarkable. For this bunch it’s quite a feat. There will be eight of us around the table. Through the decades we’ve seen weddings, divorces, births and, sadly, deaths. Some of us have moved around in our careers while others stayed close to home. Now a couple of the guys are even retired or considering taking that step. We’ve all followed our own paths but managed to stay connected. It’s more than just a lunch. For a brief time we’ll be eighteen again. We’ll tell the same stories we’ve always told and poke fun at each other. We’ll laugh at the old jokes and wonder “whatever happened to…”. It will be one of the best gifts I will receive this year.
The Princess and I tossed Tilly in the back of the Prepmobile and went for a short ride around the neighborhood the other night. We thought it might be fun to look at the decorations. It was nice but in a couple of instances I wanted to get out and ask the homeowners if they had lost their minds and any shred of decency they might have possessed. Garish does not begin to describe some of these houses. I struggle with the idea of someone randomly draping thousands of dollars worth of decorations on every available inch of space on their property. We saw one house that was likely setting off seizures with the incessant strobe effect of the lights. Too much is often just that: too much. It seems the over-the-top decorating is everywhere and so I better get used to it. There are entire streets where the neighbors combine their efforts to create a well thought out wonderland of light. But some good can come of this. In some cases these neighborhoods are accepting donations for local food banks or other charity groups. Maybe I should just get over myself and appreciate some people’s willingness to add a little light and color to the world.
But I’ve blathered on long enough. The Princess will return to this space tomorrow with items of much more interest than I brought to the dance today. So I’ll leave you with the usual reminder to take good care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today. Good night, everyone!