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Week 5 on Stands, Week 4 Right Here!

December 11, 2006

     The newest issue of Night Life is out today with a brand new Big Words column that’s a classic from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ entitled ‘I Don’t Wanna Go On With ‘What Did You Want On That?’ about the aggravation of drive throughs.  They were kind enough to list the web site address and the mailbag address this week, so hopefully we’ll ring up some hits here.  Don’t forget that I’ll be running a reader mail column the last week of every month in Night Life, so send all responses and criticisms about the columns to:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com  

Since I specifically wrote ‘Interesting Locales For Mistletoe’ for the Big Words column, I’m reprinting it right here for your reading enjoyment in the event that you couldn’t get the print edition.

     Also, keep your eyes peeled for this week’s ArtVoice as it will be featuring my interview with author Alycia Ripley and possibly more.  I’ll be running that interview in its entirety with photos right here next Thursday.

     And if you haven’t gotten a chance yet, you really are missing out if you haven’t visited my YourHub site.  I’ve been padding the site liberally with stories, event listings and pictures.  It’s a lot more local and the focus is less on the writing and publishing than it is about friends, family and community.  I’ll be posting based on the site traffic, so visit often and rate even more often.  The direct link to my ‘Big Buffalo I Know By Heart’ site on YourHub is:

 http://buffalo.yourhub.com/~tomwaters

SEEYA!

Tom Waters

Interesting Locales For Mistletoe

This is it. The pre-holiday season is upon us. The next month is going to be a living, breathing, weight gaining, hair-pulling, ulcer-inducing, anxiety riddled gauntlet of pain for adults. Traffic gets five times worse, old women hold up post office lines, psychotic soccer moms with crispy short hair dos bark out orders in every department store, and we open our Sunday papers to find a small bible full of coupons, circulars and sales offers. This is gonna suck. The Christmas season really sucks once you’re a grown man. You don’t get toys anymore, there are in-laws or near in-laws to contend with, and holiday related activities chew up any time you might have had to sit on your ass on days off watching television or flipping through comic books on the toilet with a fresh cigarette and a small silo of strong coffee. Well, maybe that last part was just me.

I know that the weight I lost from this last flu bug is going to come right back to roost. If it isn’t Thanksgiving, it’ll be Christmas. And if it isn’t Christmas, it’ll be the cavalcade of drinks that go along with that week after Christmas leading in to New Year’s. The end of November through the end of January is a busy, drunken time. Getting obliterated is almost a prerequisite for making it clear on through to February, and by then, we all have staggering credit card bills and astonishing weight scale results. I might as well buy a few pairs of loose fitting pants now because I’m sure as hell not going to get any under my Christmas tree. I’m at an age now where I get a check in the mail or knick knacks. I can’t stand knick knacks. Buy me a bottle of scotch or a Bukowski book, don’t give me knick knacks. My girlfriend and I get tandem gifts, too, which are nice and practical and all, but, well, I want toys!

I shouldn’t complain. Her family doesn’t need to buy me anything. We’re not legally together in that way (a fact that never escapes any gathering which I even taunt and encourage on occasion), so any gesture is nice. I’m happy with the plate of pepperoni and cheese that they stock and serve especially for me. And her mom makes phenomenal home made stuffing for the Thanksgiving bird. This goes a long way with me. Plus they bring the reserve bottle of whiskey out from under the cupboard in the event that I want to enjoy one to eighteen cocktails during the all day family blowouts that her family is fond of throwing. It’s a culture shock, I suppose. After I moved out, I used to go to my parents for family get togethers, tear open the gifts, inhale my food, nap, and then leave. With them it’s an all day escapade. We show up at two in the afternoon and get home at eight. It’s a good thing that my parents fly south for the window and that my big brother and I only see each other two or three times a year because if I had to do the double family get together, someone would end up getting shot or beaten over the head with a manger scene.

I’m horrible about buying gifts, too. Forget that. Leave it to the housewives to chew each other’s throats out over scarves and epileptic Elmo’s, I’d rather give my money to ‘the wife’ and let her pick the stuff out. I don’t know from people, and I’m not good at figuring out what they want. I’m good at buying things for me, though. Maybe I should charge a small fee to my friends and family to pick out gifts for myself that they could give to me. I wonder if there’s a market for that? Anyhow, the aforementioned big brother and I have a wonderful arrangement where we don’t buy each other anything. We call each other on the phone on Christmas Day, exchange token pleasantries and go on with our day. We’re both cold, calculating corporate whores, so it’s a mutual respect that we share for each other. It’s not that I don’t love my big brother, because I do. It’s just that he has his Holiday Gauntlet to run, as do I. So I’ve only got ‘the old bag’ to worry about for presents. This year I believe I’ll stick a sprig of mistletoe into my belly button. Kidding.

And New Year’s is always a fiasco. The sad thing is that the Millenium was the best, craziest, drunkest New Year I will ever have and I realize that. It would be impossible to top that day. I went to one girlfriend’s, went to my parents’ house, went to another girlfriends, spent some time with her in her car outside of her parents’ house, and then left her to get f-ed up twenty ways to Sunday at my buddy’s house with all of our friends at his apartment out in Cheektowaga. I spent the next New Year’s with an exotic dancer at her apartment with a bottle of Goldschlager and a whip (a story that sounds more exciting than it was), which was pretty cool, too, but those days are long behind me. My current girlfriend and I threw a big bash at our apartment last year that was fun, but anticlimactic. There was a chocolate fountain and three or four bottles of champagne, strawberries, good whiskey, and thirty or forty of our closest friends. It gets old. You don’t want to drive to a party because you know there are going to be eight thousand cops just waiting to haul your ass in, you don’t want to go to the bars because it’s amateur night and people are going to be acting like total jackasses and you know there are also going to be eight thousand cops just waiting to haul your ass in, but you don’t want to stay at home alone like a seventy five year old couple that gets up the hour before Dick Clark’s ball drops just to have a small plastic glass of champagne and then go back to bed. It’s a real pickle. I think we might do the mature, apartment renting, Woody-Allen-esque thing this year and have two or three couples over for smart cocktails and engaging conversation. Than after midnight I’ll parade around the house with a champagne bottle up my ass. Maybe not.

I love turkey, I love whiskey, and I love checks in the mail, but can’t we fast forward and drop the madness for one year? I’ll be happy when it’s February and I’m looking at the bottom line on my filed tax return statement and we really start getting walloped with snow. Snow is Christmas enough for me. It sucks to drive in, but there’s something people down south rarely (if ever get). Waking up in the morning with a cigarette, scratching myself and looking out the window at a perfect, silent patch of freshly fallen snow. That, and watching ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ on DVD on Christmas Day for the eighteen millionth time. I never said I wasn’t festive, I just prefer to be festive without moving, talking, or spending time with anyone else. Does that make me a grinch?

Getting a colonoscopy to find last year’s cork,

Tom ‘Kwanza’ Waters

Questions, thoughts, criticisms and comments? Drop us a note online at ‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’ For more rants, reviews, interviews and other nonsense, visit ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ online at www.tomwaters.blogspot.com.

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