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Monday, December 20, 2010

Do you think wieners grow on trees?

Well, it's still pouring. Steady, unrelenting rain. I went out yesterday, as we needed groceries. It was okay walking to Vons, but coming back, with eight bags full (milk, soup mix, juice for the kid with the cold, cat food and the requisite pot roast) I realized that, with both hands full of plastic bags I could not hold an umbrella. I got home literally soaked through to find the hubster putting a stamp on the familiar looking envelope...the one that goes to the Employment Development Department.

It's not awesome news but we're getting ONE weeks worth while they "file" the new claim that congress voted we could have. He sent my older son out to catch the mailman with it, as the mailman was on the other side of the street. My son couldn't find him and came back.

Not to be deterred, I slid into a pair of loafers and grabbed the envelope and umbrella. The mail truck was still parked at the corner, I was going to find him. By the time I got down the stairs and to the curb I was knee deep in water. Literally knee deep. I left my shoes in the gutter and sprinted towards the blue and white truck, the precious envelope in my shirt to keep it dry. Yes, I found the mailman, nice guy. I waded back across the street, slid back into my floating loafers and dragged myself upstairs. This wasn't easy as I was wearing jeans which were now soaked up to my thighs and weighed 20 pounds. I've got enough to haul upstairs, adding all that waterlogged denim to my already ample butt was something akin to rock climbing.

Out of the clothes and into a robe, full of soup, finally beginning to warm up and knowing I had made my last trip out for the day (and I didn't CARE what we ran out of) I decided to fire up the internet and catch up on Conan.

I think it was last Wednesday's show. Anyway, he was featuring some guy who specialized in "retro" Christmas. THIS was just want I needed. The ghost of Christmas Past, right here in my messy living room. How awesome is that? I settled down in front of the monitor, ready for a warm and wonderful trip down Christmas Tree Lane.

There's Mr. Retro. All dressed in green, including the apron, and wearing a little Christmas ribbon tied in a bow around his neck. He looked like a cross between Betty Crocker, Chef Boyardee and that elf in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - the one who wanted to be a dentist? I was suspect about his "retro" credentials already. I was a kid in the 50's. No one dressed like that.

Well, after some odd, inappropriate and only borderline Holiday black and white photos that looked decidedly set-up everyone went to a counter where Betty the dentist elf showed everyone how to make a "retro" hors d'oeuvre Christmas tree by sticking weenies and doughnut holes on toothpicks and poking them into a Styrofoam cone covered with tin foil.

It occurred to me that this guy is the victim of a practical joke. He went looking for "retro" traditions one day and some college sophomore handed him a file full of the most outrageous stuff the sophomore and his buddies could come up with while stoned. "Dude! There were WEENIE TREES!"

Okay, you want "retro"? I was THERE. In the first place, as I said, we didn't dress like that. Our fathers didn't dress like that, nor did our mothers. Aprons tied at the waist, at least any apron being worn outside the barn. The ribbon tied in a bow in place of a necktie meant only one thing...a poofy dime store cowboy. Or Colonel Sanders, who had the dignity to wear a black one. I know of NO ONE who stuck weenies, doughnut holes and possibly gherkins on a tin foil tree and served them. The classic 1950's Christmas Cocktail party consisted of full skirted dresses for the moms and sport coats or suits with very skinny dark ties for the dads. Occasionally a v-neck pullover instead of the coat.

Yes, there WERE cocktail weenies, usually in some sort of sauce and presented in the precious chafing dish. Right next to the rumaki, which was usually followed up by a platter of cleaned and cut celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese and pimentos.
The men all talked business or sports and the women were bright, friendly, beautifully dressed and coiffed. They discussed kids, recipes and the PTA. They were happy and content. This was largely due to the fact that the last thing each one did before leaving their house was to down a Miltown with a martini, but I digress...

My grandmother had an aluminum tree, complete with a color wheel slowly turning behind it. Don't like the silver tree? No problem, wait a few seconds, it's gonna turn pink. And even SHE didn't put weenies on a tin foil cone.

I don't know where he got his information. This display was NOT a "retro" Christmas. This is Christmas with the Jetsons.

For what it's worth, Conan didn't seem to be taking much of this very seriously either. I've never been a talk show guest but even I know you don't go on a show like Conan and discuss poking wieners.

So, my apt is still a dump, the tree is two feet too tall, my jeans are still soaked, the rain isn't supposed to let up for at least another two days, no one's getting any Christmas gifts and I have no clue what I'm serving for Christmas dinner but least I know how to properly serve a cocktail weenie.

It could be worse.

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