Phew thank god it’s over. Another Christmas has come and gone leaving in its path a trial of frayed nerves but lots of goodwill. In past years I promise never to do what I do again and the following year I just do it all over again. This year though I made a note in my smart phone which is going to pop up in December 1st 2011 reminding me of this last Christmas. With some luck ill still have the same phone.
We generally have our gift giving at Christmas Eve, that way we don’t conflict with other families if the kids have to be elsewhere. For the most part it works out fine. Like the last 5 years in Calgary, we have a delicious meal, with lots of fat and calories and I always have problems sleeping after. Yes, I also have a New Year resolution.
After all the gouging, we set up the movie camera and frolic.
I don’t like the orderly giving of gifts, my motto is take what is yours and have fun. My oldest son however was handing out gifts, guess he is in training. My kid’s grandma went way beyond her usual gift this year and surprised the kids each with a very generous cheque. I knew what was in the envelopes so I lined up the 3 kids on the couch and had them open the envelopes all at the same time. Great memory. It is all on film.
I won’t chat about the frayed nerve part.
Christmas day was Phone day. We call people in all corners of the world, my brother in Germany, my sisters in England and brothers in St Kitts, and the Toronto gang. We have a long distance plan. We can call everywhere in the world except for the Caribbean. Jo and I fight for turns. I try to get in my calls first because she talks a lot and of course deny it. This year I timed one call so I could make my point. She talked to her old boss who lives in farm country Ontario for one and a half hours. When it was my turn I was so tired of listening to her that I forgot who to call next. Next year I will make a list.
When Christmas falls on the weekend it messes up your internal clock. Sunday came around, Jo was not felling well, I suspect her equilibrium was off, after all everything is related to the ear. We spent the entire day doing nothing. In the evening we looked at the movie Remembrance Day and then we went to bed. I don’t recall ever seeing that movie.
I look at movies on TV but I prefer the quick comedy shows and weekly realty shows. I hate The Apprentice and the modelling show. To get out of the house occasionally, I have been to the theatre twice in the past 20 years; I saw Ray Charles movie and Avatar. Probably take another 10 years before I go again.
That pisses Jo off, oh well.
There are lots of things I don’t view as entertainment, like random killing, blacks being treated like idiots, children being molested and women getting raped. Quite a list eh. Well what do I like? I like Christmas movies, you know some bad guy or girl enters to close the plant and then Christmas sets in. I also like movies about happy family situations. And I like Old Westerns, probably goes back to my childhood in St Kitts. The killing in those movies are not real.
I hated Ray Charles the druggy, but I love his music. I have 3 copies of the sound track and 2 copies of the movie. Jo told all my friends that I went to see the movie; you would think I was special or something, so guess what I got for Christmas that year?
I have a really bad memory for movies I have seen. I can see a movie on TV today and next week I have to see at least a half of it before I remember having seen it. No it is not my age.
For example, I saw a movie last weekend before Christmas where this black guy appear out of nowhere, didn’t fit with the story at all, so I figured he was going to get killed. He went into a dark room with his gun drawn, and I said to Jo, ‘damn he is going to get killed’, sure enough the idiot got shot. I think if he had some help he would not have entered that room. If I were in St Kitts and at the movies we would be shouting at him not to go into the room. So I got upset and changed the channel.
On Christmas day, I forgot that I had seen the movie the week before and the same thing happened.
What the definition of insanity?
So I am thinking, where do they find these guys? I know, I know It’s just a movie. But it is my story.
Jo thinks I take the movies too seriously. I pay my money so I want to be entertained. I like shows about nature. I have a zillion shows taped on my PVR (not sure what it stands for) and when I get bored I look at them. My absolute favourite is a show about pigeons; call Pigeon Genius, showing how intelligent they are. Well I’ve always known that. I love pigeons even the ones that live in the city. I can sit and look at them all day.
In the early days in Toronto, I was living with my sister, when a cousin fresh off the mother ship (BOAC) came by on the bus with a couple of pigeons in a box. I didn’t know where he got them, some park I think, but I knew he intended to eat them. I didn’t ask. He was from The Village, we ate pigeons there. He said he had to move and needed a place to house them for a couple of days. My sister, who had a back yard went against my advice and decided to help out. I protested, because I know pigeons. I like them but I didn’t want to live with them anymore. My sister would feed them every afternoon when she got home from work. I did not want them to see me as they tend to bond.
Well, my cousin did not come back for weeks and the pigeons got out of the box, I believe it was an accident, or not. They are not stupid birds; they know where the free food is. She tried for months to get rid of them and then she gave up. One day they showed up with babies, the way they were strutting I could tell it was a thank you gesture. I suspect their great, great, great, grand children still live in the neighbourhood.
Pigeons have markers encoded in their DNA indicating where they were born and they stay there. They are not into this migration business. As a kid I raised pigeons, we had some for racing and some for eating. Home is where the free food is.
Damn, it is easy to get distracted talking about pigeons.
Yesterday, two days after Christmas, I was thinking about my cousin, the one with the two pigeons. I was wondering where he might be as I had not seen him in years. He was one of those cousins you grew up with but you never quite knew how he fitted in. I was vegetating on The Couch. It did not take long for my thoughts to stray to St Kitts. I was thinking it would be nice to replace some of my older memories, pre 1970 St Kitts, with more recent ones, for that I would have to get off the couch and go home. Then I had a flask back of a more recent memory.
In 1998, I remember the year, because it was the world cup of soccer that France won. We started looking at the games in Toronto, then went to St Kitts for the music festival and finished the finals in Toronto. My oldest son, who has a French Canadian mom, was quite excited for France. He still has posters on his wall.
Anyway while visiting St Kitts, we went to Frigate Bay one afternoon to partake in some of the festivities, music, food etc and we were having a great time. It was the place to be. In the middle of all the excitement there were a couple of gunshots and you could see people running towards us. We cleared the way, my instinct is not to follow crowds, and we did not want to get trampled. In the middle of the stampede, there was a cop, who seemed to be in pursuit of the bad guy.
Comic relief, it’s hard to run in sand wearing cop boots, but I had to take the situation seriously for my kids’ sake, although I wanted to laugh.
Right behind him there was a young boy, 12 or 13 years old also in hot pursuit. He was bare footed so he was able to keep up and he seemed to be shouting something. As they got close enough, it all made sense, the boy had a gun in his hand and he was shouting to the cop;
‘mister, mister, you dropped your gun’.
I was in stitches, great comic relief.
This time I held my crotch, pointed at the cop and kid while clacking my fourth finger and thumb as I jumped up and down, dying with laughter.
I was in my late forties. Sorry you had to be there.
Once a Kittitian always a Kittitian no matter how long you stay away. (read about my DNA)
The only Kittitian Couch potato living in Calgary.