Okay. Ready? Here’s the final installment in this mirth-killing series about Yuletide disasters.
When we last saw our hero, (That would be me.) he was slinking home to Brooklyn after debasing himself in a Times Square porn movie house on Christmas Eve! I have entitled this cautionary tale –
Christmas In Queens
Remember how mean old Scrooge wakes on Christmas morn a man transformed? Remember how nasty old Ebenezer dances a merrie jig and sends a boy to buy a turkey? Not on this Christmas morn. Not in Brooklyn. I awake to the single worst toothache since Cicero’s oration against Catiline. It drives a spike into my head with every beat of my heart.
Ever try to find a dentist on Christmas Day? Don’t bother. Even Jewish dentists don’t work on Christmas. They want Christians who have been dumped by their bitch girlfriends on Christmas Eve to suffer. Bastards. Desperate for pain-relief, I swallow every pill I find in the medicine cabinet, including the unlabeled ones.
Is this my cat’s de-worming pill? Aw, fuck it.
Then, it hits me.
Oh, Christ, I gotta go sing for Ralphie’s fuckin’ mother in fuckin’ Queens!
My friend Ralphie will pay me one hundred dollars in cash to go to his mother’s house on Christmas afternoon and sing her a surprise Christmas song. I would rather have South American fire ants shoved up my ass but I need that money. God, do I need that money! So, heartache or not, toothache or not, I have to haul my sorry ass out to the sorry-ass end of Queens. No one goes to Queens. Ever. Why would they? I’m not even sure it’s open on Christmas.
Then my damn actor’s integrity kicks in and I determine to give this old gal a rousing “plum pudding” carol sing. It’s not her fault that “Lana the Cunt” dumped me or that Jewish dentists are getting revenge on me for centuries of the Blood Libel. So, I practice my song with a tape-recorder and even pack my pitch pipe. I put on my best “Dickensian” garb – a stovepipe hat stolen from a Victorian play and a scarf wrapped around my neck just as I’d seen carolers do in every production of A Christmas Carol. Then, with my tooth throbbing to an excruciatingly painful Tito Puente beat, I head for Queens – wherever the fuck that is.
It is cold. It is very cold. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, it is very, very, cold. The subway is running slowly. Very, very, very slowly. I just miss a train and wait on the unheated platform for one hour. (Throbbing tooth.) I just miss a bus and wait on the unheated street for another hour. (Throbbing tooth.) It begins to snow. It is getting dark. (Throbbing tooth.) It takes me four hours to reach my destination.
Why does Queens exist?
My frostbitten fingers ring the doorbell and a sweet old woman answers.
“Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! I have a special song for you from Ralphie!” I tweet through chattering, throbbing teeth. My scarf is now wound around my head Victorian-toothache-style. Mom lets me step into the vestibule where I whip out my pitch pipe and sing I’ll Be Home or Christmas. But, why haven’t I seen this coming? I am teleported back to the California 7-11. By the miracle of bi-location, I am sobbing next to the Taco melted-cheese dispenser in Oxnard while sobbing in a vestibule in the ass-end of Queens before an embarrassed, confused and frightened old woman. I get through the song and wipe my nose while mentally evaluating my vibrato. (Once an actor…) Mom invites me in for cake and coffee.
“Oh, no, thank you. I have several other stops to make. I don’t want to be late and disappoint anyone. Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!”
The return journey is colder, snowier, slower. It takes me five hours to get back home. I eat a can of tuna fish for Christmas dinner, carefully avoiding my throbbing tooth. That’s all the food in the house. A can of tuna. I then bounce off the walls until dawn with toothache and heartache my only companions.
To my long suffering readers –
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and an even better New Year!