Return to the Village of the Damned: Sunday in the Parking Lot with Brian

Off-camera person that we cannot see because this shot was poorly planned: “Excuse me. Do you have time for a few questions?”

Brian, center: “That depends. Who are you and why are you holding a microphone?”

Person: “My name is Humadora von Swizzlestick. But you can call me Hugh.”

Brian: “I wasn’t planning on calling you anything. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m late for a Christmas dinner party where they will be serving Cornish game hens. And there’s a rumor that somebody on the guest list met an untimely end in a recent post on this very blog. I’m not sure which plot point I’m more excited about.”

Hugh (at least to her friends): “You seem to have a lot of focus issues, both literally and figuratively. Why are you so fuzzy in this shot?”

Brian: “Well, two things are at play with my wispiness. One, I just did a blog post about adult beverages. There were 15 cocktails, and I tried them all, because I believe in the integrity of research. But as someone who is rapidly approaching the age of 54, it takes me a bit to recover from such an adventure in an admirable manner.”

Hugh: “I wouldn’t know anything about that. I’m 27 and still under the illusion that my body will last forever no matter what I do to it.”

Brian: “Good for you. Embrace your invincibility with nihilistic gusto. Back to me. Two, the person who took this photo, also known as ‘my alter ego on the other side of the keyboard’, is essentially useless with a camera. That ineptitude, combined with the low-light conditions one usually finds in a low-wattage Christmas Village, has led to me looking as ill-defined as the policies of the Trump Administration.”

Hugh: “You do realize that making political statements in your blog posts both makes the posts dated and limits your audience, yes?”

Brian: “You know what? I think we’re done here. This enormous candy cane is really heavy and I’m going to be late for the dinner party if I don’t go shove this stick somewhere, a phrase that only makes sense in the surreal world of Bonnwood.”

Hugh: “Uh huh. Okay, I’ll let you go on your merry way, with your stick and your attitude. Oh, unless you’re interested in making your blog finally have some relevance after all these years.”

Brian suddenly forgot all about his stick, a surprising achievement on its own, never mind what might follow: “What are you saying to me?”

Hugh: “Oh, nothing that you haven’t already heard, it’s just that you refuse to listen. I’m the Ghost of Christmas Past Blogs, just to set the narrative straight.”

Brian: “Now you’re throwing me, especially with the straight reference, because I haven’t been that since the age of two, when I heard my first Original Cast Recording of a Broadway play. And you’re only 27. How can you be a ghost?”

Hugh: “Ghosts can be young, you twit. Do you want to continue with your unrequited ageism or do you want to listen to me?”

Brian: “Sorry. Listening. Emotionally destabilized, but still listening. Something I’ve also been since the age of two.”

Hugh: “I think we can move past your childhood, even if you haven’t. But speaking of getting beyond, let’s talk about the George Bailey character in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.”

Brian: “Oh my god! Please don’t make me act out a scene with Donna Reed. She was so vapid and uninteresting, just like Melania Trump 70 years later. And her performance as Miss Ellie in the ‘Dallas’ TV show that one year? American television has never recovered.”

Hugh: “This would be a good point to mention that your over-stimulated, self-imposed drama is not helping anyone. Let’s stick with the script. What did George learn at the end of that movie?”

Brian: “Well, based on the manipulation of the director, we’re supposed to realize that George had a wonderful life after all. But I had a problem with the end bit.”

Hugh: “That sounds like something you should discuss with your proctologist.”

Brian: “No, really. That quote the one guy scribbled in the Tom Sawyer book? ‘No man is a failure who has friends.’ That always bugged me. What about the people who don’t have friends? That quote makes it sound like they are not worthy.”

Hugh: “Everybody has friends.”

Brian: “No, everybody has acquaintances. There are so many people who feel lost and alone, especially in this modern age where technology is negating human interaction. Granted, some people don’t want to deal with other people, and that’s fine. But what about the people who want a sense of belonging, a sense of camaraderie, a sense of being among other people who will not judge you for what you have to say, even if they might disagree somewhat with your thoughts?”

Hugh: “So, what are you saying? Destroy the Internet?”

Brian: “No, I’m saying welcome to Bonnywood Manor. Where we sing show tunes all the time and there’s plenty of room in the choir.”


18 replies »

  1. ♪♫♪♫ I am the very model of a very stable genius (sans penius)..♪♫♪♫ …. I am the Ghost of Christmas Presence (a clever play on words that I stole from someone else. I ain’t that sharp. Blame the Dayquil).. Well you DID mention ‘show tunes’ but you said nothing about people doing parodies of those same tunes… I’m here to remind folks that it’s the PRESENCE that counts, not the present(s). And without you, dear Brian, we’d all be losers. Thanks hun! *exit stage left humming something from Transiberian Orchestra…which may have been “What Is Christmas??” which sort of echoes my attitude towards it..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha ! I was just composing something about being an adult orphan all year long, but that people only seem to notice / go crazy about my status at the holidays.

    Sheesh ! Seriously, it’s not like I can’t entertain myself the other 364 days of the year, so why go bonkers about this one day? It’s almost as irritating as people DEMANDING surprises on their birthday, like they were entitled 5 year olds.

    Frankly, honey, if people don’t share their time with you for the rest of the year, why add to everyone’s stress just because it’s Christmas? Life is not a Hallmark Channel Christmas story, even if I still read Harlequinn Romances.

    Merry Christmas, Brian. May you have a lovely holiday at Bollywood Manor, with all th music, cocktails, people and festivities you desire.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Very good points, and I think we’re on the same page here, although I may not have quite expressed myself in the way intended. I do have some very good friends, but at heart I’m a loner and I can easily go for long periods of time without any human interaction. And I am not much of a fan of “enforced” celebrations based on a particular date or a tradition that I had nothing to do with starting. For me, the best life moments have always come on a random Tuesday when we spontaneously embark on a lark with no admirable goal in mind…


    • Oh, we mix it up as well. Especially when alcohol is involved, when my belief in my own vocal skills grows as the octane-intake increases. I will sing along with just about anything, as long as it’s a good song with decent lyrics…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You nailed it — even the friendless and lonely and blurry have value.
    And I cannot guide you, now you’re on your own
    Only me beside you, still, you’re not alone
    No one is alone, truly. No one is alone.
    Sometimes bloggers leave you, halfway through the wood
    Others may deceive you. You decide what’s good
    You decide alone.
    But no one is alone
    Merry Christmas, Brian. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww. This is quite warming, flipping the script so I’M the on with something in my eye. But I think you’ve just inspired me with your lovely words, although perhaps in an additional way that you may not have intended. Now, when folks ask me what I want for a holiday or birthday or such, maybe I’ll just ask them to write me a little something. Much better than a Starbucks gift card, yes? (Not that there’s anything wrong with those, mind you.)

      Merry Christmas, Christi. [Insert heart emoji that I’ve never been able to make work on WordPress. Most likely pilot error.]

      Liked by 1 person

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