It’s the most wonderful time of the year … to scramble, screaming, from one crushing deadline to the next. A time when something as simple as a dull drill-press bit can cost you a day of running around and improvising that you really don’t have. A time when you fret over ruining someone else’s holidays at the expense of getting into the spirit yourself.
Been there, right? Typecast Press sure has.
You know, instead of embracing what the holidays mean to our families, our friends and our neighbors, we obsess over what the holidays mean to our customers and businesses.
Rather than look forward to a big Thanksgiving dinner with a group of friends, or to stopping and smelling the evergreens, or to marveling at the beautiful (OK, tacky, Mary says) Christmas light displays, Shop Boy wonders how in the world he’ll help Mary through the holiday rush and still lower the broom on the dust bunnies before our houseguests arrive. How will we make time to keep house and home going when every new day dawns with fears of letting someone down.
And, of course, how will I compile this week’s Letterpress List?
But these are such small things.
First, we should be thankful that we’re healthy enough to do the heavy lifting required of the letterpress printer. We should be thankful that we’re busy, with new business lined up. (Check and check.) We’re thankful that our friendship hums along — that there’s no place Mary and Shop Boy would rather be than flailing about, side by side, in the printshop.
See? It’s all perspective.
As they usually do with all things tasteful and entertaining, Carl Schurr and Wil Love, the dear gentlemen up the street from Shop Boy and Mary, have the answer to this particular rush: Enjoy the moment. Decorate irrepressibly. Turn the room lights down low — use candles when possible — and keep the cocktails and charm flowing. Let the dust bunnies stay where they are. No one will notice.
And they won’t eat much.
Letterpress List No. 62
How about a little less than an hour’s worth of thanks-filled music — as I said, we’re scrambling a bit — to drown out the poorly rehearsed, teleprompter-fed happy talk that is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade commentary team. Yeesh. And all that phony singing. Humbug! But it’s the spectacle that brings us back year after year. Clowns, Rockettes, corn-fed, middle American marching bands and majorettes who washed cars all year to afford the airfare tooting and tapping and twirling their hearts out. Not to mention the huge cartoon-character balloons and their costumed handlers! Too much fun.
True story: When we lived in New York, Mary and Shop boy used to go out the night before the parade, buy hot praline peanuts from a street vendor and watch the balloons being inflated and then tied down. When we moved away from the city, we’d sneak back every couple of years, eating room service breakfast and peering down from our hotel room toward a far-off street corner, hoping for a glimpse of Garfield’s ear or one of Kermit’s bulging eyes. (I’ll show you my impersonation of the Spider-Man balloon sometime. Brilliant, or … ahem … so I’m told.) We’d watch the TV for clues to what was coming down the street next, though tape delay meant we were mostly wrong. Oh, and there was the time Mary and Shop Boy got to the parade route early for a primo spot — and witnessed the awesome, stupid male fantasy that is the McDonald’s All-Star Cheerleaders, 1,000-strong, screaming down the street toward you. (You should see Mary’s impersonation of Shop Boy’s face at that very moment.) And no “I’m-here-and-smiling-by-contractual-agreement” announcers! Then, of course, we were shoved and shamed toward the back of the pack by pushy parents using their kids to get themselves the spot up front. It’s all so New York. So weird — or so magic, as Mary would say.
Anyway, enjoy the parade, the holiday and the merry month to come.
Macy’s Day Parade – Green Day (Not quite as joyful.)
When I See You — Macy Gray (It might be across a crowded avenue.)
Thank You — Sly & the Family Stone (No, thank you, Sly, etc.)
Spoon Man — Soundgarden (Pass the gravy.)
Feed Me – from Little Shop of Horrors (Must it be turkey? You betcha. Carl and Wil introduced us recently to the guy who was the first Seymour on Broadway. Mary fell at his feet.)
It’s Not Easy Being Green — Kermit the Frog (Not easy being a parade balloon, either. Kermie’s earned a few bandaids through the years. Oh, and Shop Boy will never get over this.)
Jim Henson’s Dead — Stephen Lynch (Our bad-boy comedian’s a softie after all.)
Thank U — Alanis Morissette (Or this one, just for the video.)
The Polite — Katie Todd (Sit there and say, “Thank you,” with a smile and wave.)
You’re Gonna Miss This — Trace Adkins (This one goes out to the dude in the red-checked pajamas on Adkins’ parade float, just kind of taking in the spectacle, clapping completely out of time, smiling as if there wasn’t a big yellow butter pat on top of his head. Tomorrow, this fellow’s just another Macy’s employee. Today? A star!)
Only 364 More Shopping Days ’til Xmas — Cletus T. Judd (Much like Santa arriving at Herald Square to slap a The End sign on the Macy’s Parade … just ain’t the Christmas season without it, ya hear?)