Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sessions with Santa - Christmas Captions

“If there was a way
I'd hold back this tear
But it's Christmas day
Baby, please come home” – Barry, Greenwich, Spector

“Christmas, Christmas time is near
Time for toys and time for cheer
We've been good but we can't last
Hurry Christmas, hurry fast” – a chipmunk

That silent night is very noisily approaching - not much is calm and not too many are bright (and just try rounding yon a virgin.) The very fabric of our nation is being torn asunder in a bitter debate over the ignorant and hateful words of an irrelevant, hillbilly, reality-star duck hunter. Meaningless sensation rules the day as calm, rationality and intelligence have bid a bitter and bilious adieu to the daily discourse. The President battles a pre-Civil War mentality from half of (the birth of) a nation, and the obstructionist Congress continues upon its feckless, infantile, mean-spirited way. Sleep in Heavenly peace. 

Clearly, what we require as we finish up our final, festive preparations for the yearly, benevolent, birthday bacchanalia for the Prince of Peace (awkward segue ahead) is some seasonal, jolly, good-natured holiday humor; the variety of jests and jabs that would please Andy Williams and Perry Como as appropriate Yuletide yuks. For while it may appear that the proper spirit of the season often seems solely to exist in the Miracles of 34th Streets and with the angels who get their wings, wherever a blogger takes cheap, easy satiric shots at shots of celebrities and Santa Claus, Christmas still lives in the hearts and dreams of those, young and old, and lo the many Whos down in Whoville.

No contemporary Christmas would be complete without the finest Rock-era holiday hit, and performance.  Darlene Love’s annual appearances with David Letterman have become one of television’s superlative season’s greetings – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home.)

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions? Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Creature’s Been Stirring

Where the Wild Things Are: Hell's Kitchen Edition 2

All creatures, great and small, are my brethren

“Hey, do the mouse, yeah,
Hey, you can do it in your house yeah,
On the rug, or on the wall
If your folks get bugged do it in the hall" - Linzer/Randell

“You scare my girl, you eat my cheese, you even drink my wine.
I try so hard to catch you but you trick me all the time.” – Allen/Merrell

 In our initial installment of “Where the Wild Things Are: Hell's Kitchen Edition,” we encountered that airborne, marauding, metropolitan menace, the pigeon. Now, we share our exhilarating and electrifying escapades with its earthbound, urban associate, that terror of the terra firma - the mouse.

When suspecting a rodent may be afoot it is, of course, always a relief when clues and evidence lead to the revelation that the current home intruder is but a mouse and not a rat as it is well-known, world-wide, that the New York City strain of this vile vermin can oftimes grow to the size of a standard Shetland Pony, with an intelligence and acuity far surpassing that of a typical Tea Party member. 

There I was, one recent evening, prone and prostrate on the settee, seasonal fare emoting from the Samsung LED, Spanky the elderly cat curled up and catnapping on my sweat-panted legs, when the mouse alarm – skittering, scratching, and most definitively, squeaking, warned me of a possible confrontation to come. I was alert and unhappy; meanwhile, Spanky, supposed natural enemy to our uninvited guest, was about as attentive as Miley Cyrus in charm school. His body remained motionless, his breathing steady. Where were his predatory instincts? Had he not been made aware, at some juncture in one of his nine lives, of Tom and Jerry? What about all the pre-“jump the shark” years when we enjoyed The Simpsons together, surely he had witnessed the continuing animosity between Itchy and Scratchy! But perhaps this is what happens when one’s pet is so aged that he creates a Haircut 100 playlist on Spotify.

Supports comprehensive immigration reform

Once again, Minute Mouse let its presence be known, and this time the identifying sounds rose in volume. And as for Spanky, he remained as lost in his lie-down as Uncle Joe in his rocking chair on the porch of the Shady Rest Hotel. We ask so little of our cats. They sleep. They eliminate waste. And they eat. And we are happy.  So much so, that we heap praise upon them and brag of their superiority and wonderment to family and friends. But if our tabbies do have any job, any responsibility in the household from which they gain so much, if there is any arena in which they can repay us for the many years of food, shelter and clothing (what can I say, he fancies himself a bit of a Beau Brummell) it would be in protecting the homestead from these municipal menaces.

 So, in need of his particular set of skills, I stirred Spanky from his slumber and anxiously awaited the inducement of nature, the call of the wild, to overtake my four-legged Liam Neeson.  Did he answer the call to duty? Did he defend his beloved owner from this unwelcome, unwanted and unwarranted assault? He arose, paraded passed the perimeter of peril, ignoring the still on-going activity like a Republican ignores facts, snacked from his food bowl and then returned couch-bound, to resume counting his, certainly never to be in endangered by him, sheep.

My close compadre of nearly 18 years, like Sarah Palin on a polygraph or Marcus Bachmann on his honeymoon night, failed me. Isn’t a cat much more properly equipped for a mouse melee than a human? What equipment did nature provide me with to repel a rodent? Our claws and teeth have long been dulled through eons of use of fine cutlery. Am I to punch it, challenge it to fisticuffs, Marquis of Queensbury rules? Am I to impress it with my intellect? Shatter its spirit with irony and scathing sarcasm? That’s what man is equipped to do.

What mouse deterring weaponry would I possibly possess, this is a Manhattan apartment not a New Rochelle family room – no bats, hockey sticks, golf clubs – I don’t even have a shovel, I have a Super. I do own quite the posh
walking stick, so although I can’t harm him, we can walk up the avenue. Yes, we'll walk up the avenue. Yes, a walk up the avenue's what we'll take. 

Most relevantly, my bleeding-heart, beating heart wouldn’t allow me to exterminate anything more anthropomorphic than an insect. Should Mickey not depart my domicile of his own accord, ideally he would be humanely trapped and then released to blessed freedom in Central Park. I want it to frolic and run free and twirl its little arms around in song and jubilation like a rodent Julie Andrews; free to live among its own and procreate and scare toddlers on picnics and strolls; free to spread incurable diseases and plagues. That is the compassionate fate of which I dream.

This apartment is not a place of death, but a place of life – and of love and laughter and song and fine wines and gourmet foods; of beautiful women and of crushed velvet smoking jackets – this is not an abattoir. (“I'm sorry. We want a block of flats, not an abattoir.”)

"Here I come to maim your face!”that means that Mighty Mouse snuck in your place
For now, the mouse maintains his rent-free residence somewhere within the walls of our humble home, with continued opportunities to dangerously gnaw at electrical wires, contaminate my food and defecate in my shoes. And when the wee small hours approach and feline and I retire for a long winter’s nap, we ponder the notion of leaving ample incandescents aglow as to efficiently alight both Times and Trafalgar Squares on the eve of the New Year. Then, Spanky and I are nestled all snug in bed, while visions of waking with a mouse on my face dance in my head.
Say goodnight Eddie, so I can attack you in your sleep
We join Topo in saying a, somewhat less nefarious, goodnight with two relevant songs from my long-ago childhood - Soupy Sales sings "Do The Mouse" followed by Lou Monte with "Pepino the Italian Mouse."

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions? Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.