Just like a fruit cake, I am infused with holiday cheer. Remember that guy standing behind you in the check-out line the other day, whistling along to “The Little Drummer Boy” playing over the intercom? That was me.
So for the last week, I’ve been wanting to share that special fruitcake glow with my readers. Not that I’m going to start pouring shots of brandy and eggnog for you all (that’s only for frequent commenters), but I did want to mark the season for my readers. Unfortunately, this same season is also marked by my panic over all the stuff I got to get done, including this post. Which makes me whistle even more, since I whistle when I’m upset too.
My brother is in town for the holidays, and my whistling has been driven him crazy for years, which is good, since annoying your big brother is a key performance indicator for every little brothers’ job description.
[I’d like to pause this post here for a moment for a shout-out to the great crew at the most excellent D’Aiuto Bakery, who so graciously mistook my brother for my Dad today. Just gave you guys five stars on Google Maps. Thanks!]
Anyway, since I wear my panic on my sleeve, my bro is trying not to disturb me, what with my fingers poised over the keyboard trying to get this holiday post written. So instead of asking me where the hacksaw is, he only asks if I have a hacksaw so he can look for it, since he really doesn’t want to bother me. I didn’t ask why he wanted a hacksaw, because I was just relieved that he had found something to keep himself occupied for a bit, since he had already emptied out our IT closet looking for some kind of special plug that he had forgotten to bring for his laptop. Later, when I was once again squarely facing the terror of the blank screen, I got the report that it had been found, so that I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. And then there was the downstairs guy bugging out over the whole garbage collection problem which has reached the certified letter stage, and then the news that a certain relation of mine is in danger of expulsion from boarding school, an academic martyr to young love.
Then amid the wreckage of this morning’s productivity, another another opera translation gig, which means I have to whistle Nessun Dorma with all the pathos of the great Pavarotti. (See if you can find me in the crowd during this Pavarotti performance in Central Park. I’m the one crying like a baby in the blimp shot). My brother closes the door on my wife’s office since he is sure my whistling must bug her as much as it does him. But since writer’s block is an active state, I whistle my way into my wife’s office to let her know about the big sale. So they laugh at me, because even a slammed door could not hold against my whistle. I laugh at me too, as the end of the year approaches, as I frantically whistling away at Mr. Fezziwig’s ball. It is all good, all a blessing.
Thanks to Mr. Magoo, the spirit of the season lies for me somewhere between the comedy of A Christmas Story (you’ll shoot your eye out!) and the tragedy of a Christmas Carol (bah humbug!) where the skeletal finger of the Ghost-of-Christmas-Yet-to-Come points Scrooge/Mcgoo to his lonely grave. That scene is the most searing moment in cartoon animation, and where I lost my immortality, sitting on the hooked rug in front of the TV in my red cowboy shirt.
So I whistle past graveyards of Christmas yet to come, and whistle over carols of Christmas past, and whistle up Christmas lights against the darkness in my own heart. The darker the night, the brighter the candle, the louder the whistle!
I would whistle for you too, but I still haven’t gotten the tree up, and I’ve got to check those old lights, because one bad bulb can spoil the whole string. Perhaps you’ve got a bad bulb or two of your own in need of some attention. Give them a whistle.
Plus, I’m more of an enthusiastic whistler than a good one. So Bing Crosby, the best whistler of all time, is filling in for me this season with the best whistling Christmas song there is.
Thanks to all my readers for helping me to screw in more bulbs on my string of Christmas lights this year. May your days be merry and bright.