There, now. That disruptive heading is just my little way of pissing off any Politically Correct human mutants who might accidentally stumble upon this column. The ones who insist on substituting the word holiday for Christmas while being too stupid to know that the root of holiday is holy. The ones who would rechristen a timeless seasonal cartoon A Charlie Brown December. The ones with the fervent desire to suck the tide from my yule. A hearty bah and humbug to them all, say I.
This premature-by-one-month yearly wrap-up will address events, ideas, and items that have made 2015 distinctive to my fragile heart and twisted brain. Of special personal interest is the fact that most of them seem to have come in pairs. As the year readies itself to be filed away in the cabinets of history, an urge arises to label it “Charlie,” since it was nearly bookended by the curious team of Hebdo and Sheen. And by the city of Paris itself, this year’s favorite playground to a rising swarm of subhuman freaks with their bogus religious justification for their intense enjoyment of immersive sadism. Sorry for that ugly run-on sentence, but that’s the only way I could find to accurately state the truth about those extremely horny freaks. Wonder if it’s something they put in that Middle Eastern food…
Death took away two people who entered my life during the fifties. One was the mother of my dear friend Miff Laracy (among decades of shared history, Miff was also a member of the band I played with for so long and miss so terribly, the Troy Dante Inferno.) “Maude,” as she was known by her family, was, along with her husband “Slats,” responsible for raising little Miffer to become what he is today: as fun and talented and honorable a person as I’ve ever known. Having Mrs. Laracy there during some of our Nowhere Man shows and rehearsals was truly special, and a recent song Miff wrote and recorded for her is haunting in its beauty. Maude wore pretty little chains on the ends of her glasses that would encircle her neck, and even as a little boy, that stuck me as efficient, glamorous, and very classy indeed. My heart commends itself to Miff, his dear sister Mary, and their families. Arnott street is forever changed.
Actor Christopher Lee left us in June, with a “Sir” attached to his name. I first saw him on the screen of the Spreckles Theater downtown in 1959. It was at a screening of the Steve Reeves Hercules, before the feature during the previews. A color trailer for The Mummy introduced me to the only two actors whose every new film (as well as each rare re-release) during the next 15 years or so I would actively await, seek out, and attend: Lee himself and “Saint” Peter Cushing. The main thing that thrilled me about Lee’s Mummy in that trailer was the swiftness with which it walked—this was one dangerous dude, so different from the lumbering Lon Chaney Jr., Tom Tyler, and Boris Karloff versions I was used to on television. And what’s always going to be amazing about Christopher Lee is the sheer number of films he made over so great a number of years. In real life he seems to have had an over-healthy ego, but he certainly was an accomplished scholar. When it actually came to acting ability, he was… an accomplished scholar. Just my opinion. But truly, a thrill to watch. I think he showed his greatest acting chops in Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers. He always looked great as Dracula; heck, the guy had magnetism in everything he did, and I’m convinced there are no more like him. Thanks for all the exciting times, Sir Chris, and the great films I’ll never tire of watching.
A pair of television commercials exposed themselves to me earlier this year and continue to hang around in my wounded memory, each giving my mind a remarkable case of acid indigestion:
A rather young, genderless, curly-haired human has knocked a guy down to the ground and has pounced on his chest for a bout of nipple twisting, in close-up. “Ow! I have sensitive nipples!” screams the guy, to which the attacker shrieks, “Shut up and write me a check!” Really. This is an advertisement for something called Sling TV, an enterprise of unknown purpose but one that I will purposely avoid for the remainder of my life.
Then there’s that cute-as-a-bunny English lady who interviews people as they leave public restrooms, asking them if they’ve just “wiped [their] bum” and if they’re “clean enough to go commando.” This, by the concerned folks behind Cottenelle toilet paper whose secret, insane purpose seems to be putting underwear manufacturers out of business. The whole notion is disgusting or at least deeply ugly, the English accent allowing for the use of the word “bum” when absolutely no American equivalent would make it past Broadcast Standards. I dream of one of the interviewees offering the English lady the opportunity to get her answer first-hand. So to speak.
On local TV, there’s a morning weather girl who drives me nuts with repeated use of the phrase “little bit,” which she pronounces as “liddabit.” Something like, “It’s going to get just a liddabit warmer today and don’t be surprised if we get a liddabit of rain during the morning commute” (this is blatant, manufactured “adorability,” especially with her putting a heavy accent on the “lid”). It goes on and on until I can’t take anymore of the cuteness, then grab hold of something adorable on my own person and scream “Bite this a liddabit, babe!” before changing the channel. Where inevitably, some other local modeling school alumnus apprises me of the current “tempacher.” Then more exercise, more vocal calisthenics, more channel changing. Gets the aggression out.
2015 brought The Hose back to live performance, with a pair of one-man shows in June and another pair in August, and at press time I got a call with an offer to do it again in a place I’ve never done it before. Lawd have mercy, I’m going to Vegas! I can’t think of a better way to finish off the year than to sing in Sin City (well, maybe there is a better way, but it would involve Sharon Stone, Diane Lane, Taylor Swift and a hot tub—logistically impossible). The Jose Sinatra 2015 Farewell Tour will be stopping by the Golden Tiki (look ‘em up on the web) for a show on Monday, December 7. If the date doesn’t change, I look forward to gliding through the remainder of the month on its intoxicating fumes. And if you were in Las Vegas, I would hope to have seen your face. At least.
Happy New Year! Merry Christmas! Loads of Love! and Many Thanks!