We were late getting the tree, most of our Christmas music was stolen last year, and I have the flu despite getting the shot – but we are definitely gearing up for a great Yuletide anyway, so sucks to your assmar, world!
Mom and I spent the day at the Crossgates Mall in Albany, and I’d just like to add that when we were kids, there was always parking at the mall, even if it was clear across the asphalt field. This is no longer true. Grown men and women were staking their claims to parking spots at the ass-end of humanity with the kind of fervor last recorded at the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. Fortunately, we were driving the Prius around, so we could zip in and out of tiny spaces while the gas engine was off.
While Mom searched for a bathroom, I got stuck at the entrance to the Wal-Mart, allowing me to see every single human being exiting the store for 20 minutes. “People watching” doesn’t come close to describing the activity; it was like a crash course in semi-rural American sociology. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the two truths of middle-American fashion are Slutty and Large. I’m all for the roomy women wearing naught but halter tops, bandana bikinis and ill-fitting jeans, as long as our country is on the way to curbing eating disorders. This particular populace seemed to relish in their flabbiness in a way that contradicts the numbers on anorexia and bulimia, so I confess that I really don’t know what’s going on in the mind of your average 14-year-old girl from Utica.
Being sick is bad enough, but being sick at the mall is something else. Like a long plane flight, there’s something about the atmosphere of a mall that robs your body of moisture. My eyes began to hurt, my skin began to itch, and I craved water, gallons of it. Thank god the Apple Store was there to provide emotional salve (they also have the best bathrooms in America, for those of you playing at home).
The guys at the Verizon Wireless booth got in fisticuffs with a disgruntled patron trying to return a phone that had obviously been dropped down a garbage disposal. Dealing with cell phone dealers at a kiosk is always bad news (those dudes HATE their jobs) but this customer deserved a swift kick in the nuts. We got out of there before we got totally depressed.
Back home, Laurie and George had arrived, joining Michelle, Tessa, Steve and my Mom for dinner. Michelle made some kick-ass lasagna, and then the gals decorated sugar cookies until they were comatose. My task, you ask? I was asked to pluck every hair out of the Christmas Goose. I’ve never had a goose before, in fact, I don’t think any of us have, but Tessa, ever the holiday romanticist, wanted to try it for Christmas. After hearing the horror stories about plucking hairs out of the goose (apparently this is a job that has been doled out to unlucky Christmastime children since the 10th century), I had an epiphany.
As Laurie later said, “this is probably the only Christmas goose in North America that is getting shaved by a Mach 3.” And lo, the angel of the lord looked upon it, and it was good.
1st annual ceremonial goose shaving