It's about life - not "lifestyle"
Crikey, as the strange man is wont to say on television. It's Screed Time here at old, and it's been a while. We'll see just how fired up I can get.

I was already under pre-holiday stress, vainly searching the endless sports channels for a quick glimpse of my two favorite Christmastime advertisements. Both I think, are for beer. They might both be for Budweiser, since they both involve a light choral background noise with scenes of horses drawing a wagon through the snow. One is just that, and the other features a romp through a snow-covered New England style town during that last little bit of light for the day, when the sky turns almost a lifeguard-tower blue and the colored lights in the shopfronts all sparkle like colored diamonds. They both give a vision of peace which is so frequently absent from holiday season activities in the termperate coastal belts of the world, where the sun shines a lot and the grass is always growing and where you can always be doing something. There simply isn't any rest - just loafing. Friends and family have moved to cold Eastern and Midwestern climates and settled in and hardly even visit anymore. Snow days mean everyone sits, and they don't last forever.

But what did I get? More and more viewings of those absolutely stupid, insulting burger ads from Carl's Jr. If you have a television, you know the ones I'm talking about. A college-age guy sits and bites into a large burger and a bunch of
ooze glops out onto the floor...or maybe the carpet, his desk, your desk, your car seat. The tag line is something like "If it doesn't get all over, it doesn't belong in your face."

Or to put it in English:
You stupid slobs! Unless this f$%^er is a member of Phish or is a major cocaine dealer he's never going to get laid, except by crackwhores. But I think you're too freakin' dumb to understand this ad. I think you're so stupid I can insult you to your face - show you, my customer, as a stupid sloppy butt monkey, and you'll still buy these crappy chunks of fast food.

"If it doesn't get all over, it doesn't belong in your face." So we know for sure that whoever came up with this ad campaign gets to deduct the cost of a lot of porno vids on their next tax return.


This past Saturday was the 41st Annual Christmas Parade in the town I grew up in. For the last couple of years we've lived in the old neighborhood, close enough to walk to the parade route.  It still is a pretty big deal around here, although the glory years of the parade seem to come and go. This year barely had anything which qualifies as a real float per se.

Some years we sit and swelter in 80 degree temperatures, desperately applying sunscreen to exposed flesh. It was overcast this year, however, which made parade viewing very comfortable. If you pick the right side of the divided road to watch from you can find youself so close to passing high school bands that you have to move your feet to keep from tripping some of them. The theme this year was "international" and participants were supposed to dress somewhat accordingly.

This had marvelous consequences, especially with some of the bands and flag girls and that type of entry. The local high school band went in costume and had really nothing to signify they were from the local school. Their cross-farmland rivals were, in contrast, fully uniformed and were preceded by a banner announcing who they were. This is funny now because most of the kids who live in the town-proper are now bussed to this rival school, while the local namesake high school is choking on kids from closer suburban sprawl which has sprung up in the past 20 years. A strange observation.

Some of the better funded schools had outfitted their participants with costumes, like the representatives of "France". The girls wore tops which draped over one shoulder and were about navel length, a design which only a really nasty gay man could have come up with for girls of this age. Others had tight stretch pants, and still others were in freaky white outfits which we never could figure. It was a lot of fun watching them, tugging to keep tops up, or down, or costume pants from falling. Some girls were stuck in such totally graceless clothing that you could feel their pain, rigidly staring straight ahead and hoping this ordeal would end soon.

I'm a fan of jiggling rolls of babyfat, but one has to wonder where the common sense was among the adults. Our tax dollars at work. The kids would march by, and kids on other entries too, watching the adults along the parade route smiling and laughing and the kids probably thought we were nuts. Soon enough they'll be on the sidelines.

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