Thursday, July 04, 2002

How Elmo Saved Christmas and How Halley Saved The 4th of July

You must have seen the movie "How Elmo Saved Christmas" where Elmo gets three wishes and first wishes for a glass of cold water, since he's thirsty (it's bedtime) but then gets serious and with his second wish, decides it would be cool to HAVE CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY. This ends up, of course, being about as much fun as eating chocolate for every meal, every day, for the year -- it's a disaster. Maya Angelou comes in to straighten him out, but surprisingly, to no avail. Even hearing her simply say the two words, "Now, Elmo" in that haughty, soulful tone scares the shit out of me. Elmo continues partying and Christmas continues day after day after dreary festive day.

Soon enough, we see Christmas every day is just about killing the Sesame Street residents. The gift wrapping alone looks unbearably tedious. By Easter, they're having a pretty lackluster red and green only egg painting party, but by late fall they are completely disheartened, dragging themselves around in faux cheer bordering on total desperation. Elmo still doesn't see what havoc he has wreaked with the relentless celebration of Christmas day. At Santa's urging, with help from the whole burned out Sesame Street crew, and Maya Angelou's arched eyebrow and daunting scowl, Elmo is yanked back into reality, he realizes it must be remedied and he wishes it would all go back to normal and sanity resumes. (It's actually more complicated than this and involves a few reindeer, a sleigh and spinning the world backwards.)

This is all a long drawn-out preface to say -- anyone noticed IT'S BEEN THE 4TH OF JULY EVERY DAY ALL YEAR, SINCE SEPTEMBER 11TH.?!?!? Talk about an impossible day to celebrate! Today will be the anti-climax of all anti-climaxes. And my wish for all of us this year is we can go back to normal one of these days. How? Well, would that I could spin the world backwards, but no such luck. I suggest rather that everyone pick a favorite holiday and surrepitiously celebrate it today. Next to that bowl of strawberries, blueberries and whipped cream with little paper Amerian flag garnish, feel free to plant an obvious bowl of orange, yellow and brown Halloween candy corn. Nothing goes better with hot dogs and hamburgers than Passover matzos. And over by the keg, feel free to stack those iced "Erin Go Braless" St. Patty's Day green beer mugs.

Personally, I'll decorate my red, white, and blue barbeque table with some roast turkey, cranberry sauce and canned yams to give thanks we're all still here to celebrate the 4th of July. But can't we get back to normal one of these days?