Today, my buddy Jeff Cohen makes a return visit to Dazed and Confused. Jeff's latest book is A Night At The Operation will have you laughing all the way to the box office of Comedy Tonight--so don't miss it!
So, try to come up with a pet peeve while you’re doing that!
Well, I have a real one, a juicy one, a pile of bile that gets me going every year around this time. And many of you reading this are going to be good and annoyed with me, cuff me around, call me names, possibly stop reading my books, or (more likely) find out what books I have written and then go out of your way not to read them. But I’ll say it anyway.
The Christmas season is as annoying and irritating a time of year as I can imagine. And yes, you can say it’s because I’m not one of the American majority who celebrate said holiday, although I am a member of the minority who take the day off to go to the movies and eat Chinese food.
But it’s not Christmas that bugs me. You want to have a day to celebrate the man who founded your religion? That’s lovely—go ahead and do that. I’m happy to have my wife and kids home and to go see that movie and eat that Chinese food. Everybody’s happy.
The problem is, you guys aren’t satisfied with one day. No. I have to be hearing about Christmas since before the end of the baseball season. Christmas stores open up for business in SEPTEMBER, for crying out loud. Entire radio stations are devoted to playing nothing but Christmas music. You can’t get near the Post Office for at least the last two weeks in December, and I have to mail stuff a lot.
“Oh Jeff,” I hear you say, “don’t be such a Scrooge.”
That’s another thing. The first 150 versions of “A Christmas Carol” weren’t enough? It wasn’t enough that this story has been the basis for everything from a classic Mr. Magoo cartoon to an episode of “The Odd Couple?” We had to have a 3-D version using digital technology with Jim Carrey playing, you know, everybody? What, nobody understood the scores of tries that came before it? The idea of a Christmas movie itself is weird--what other holiday has become a genre? I'm waiting for the first Tu B'ishvat movie. Once I find out what holiday Tu B'ishvat might be.
Imagine this: For Independence Day next year (I chose what is a secular holiday, at least for Americans), we started getting the fife-and-drum music in, say, late March. Radio stations devoted themselves for a FULL MONTH to playing the score of “1776,” and nothing else (especially that endless song about the slave trade and the depressing ballad about a mother searching for her son killed on the battlefield). Every year, someone decided to produce a new version of “Ben and Me” until it became an action movie starring Nicolas Cage and a CGI mouse with the voice of Jim Carrey. Everyone felt the need to buy 4th of July gifts for everyone they’ve ever known, and those who didn’t were considered “Benedict Arnolds.”
How would you feel THEN?
There’s nothing wrong with Christmas. Except that it goes on way too long.
And what's bugging YOU today?
Check out all of Jeff's Double Feature Mysteries and his web site.