Sunday, November 25, 2007

Warm and Safe and Loved

Christmas Song of the Day: Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

Now we're all so proud of Grandpa
He's been takin' this so well
See him in there watching football
Drinking beers and playing cards with cousin Mel

The first of my "favorite Christmas songs". I listened to Christmas music almost exclusively on the ride home from New York today. I remember when this song first came out. I thought that the line "They should never give a license to a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves." was frighteningly laden with meaning. For the first time, I was in on the joke. You know. The abnormally suggestive, he "PLAYS with ELVES."

I just finished watching my first episode of "Pushing Daisies". Overview: Young man Ned has a gift. He can touch dead people and bring them back to life. If he touches them for a second time, they die never to be brought back to life by any means. If he doesn't touch them the second time, someone else dies. For the most part, he will "wake up" a dead person, determine who or what killed them, touches them again to let them pass this mortal coil, and then collects the reward for finding the "real killers" (that's right, a la OJ!).

There are several interesting complications in the series, foremost is that of his lady love. Her name is Chuck. Well, her nickname is Chuck. Her real name is Charlotte. He loved Charlotte always, starting when they were young. Charlotte died. Ned touched her and brought her back to life. He can't touch her again, lest she die for good. That means they can't kiss, they can't touch, they can't anything. Sexual tension baby.

It avoids the whole "I Dream of Jeannie" jump the shark peril.

I have not watched "Pushing Daisies" from the beginning, though my daughter has urged me to do so. The show has an interesting geek vibe (we have already established that I am rife with geeky goodness) and has wrydry sense of humor.

The first episode I watched was about smells. Genius smellman author-type writes a book about the smell of success, attempts are made on his life, blah blah blah, twist twist twist, the end. I expected Paul Reubens to either be lead villain or the author of the adult "pop-up" books. He turned out to be the unexpected good guy...well, for now. Foreshadowing would indicate that he won't be a good guy for long.

I found the intro most appealing. The narrator talked about young Ned. Ned's Mom baked pies. Wonderful pies that would fill the house with their comforting aroma. Ned's Mom died. Ned saved her. Ned's mom came in to give him a kiss goodnight not long after that. She touched him, and the second kiss killed her for good. Macabre really (which intrigues me), and our young hero can't stop dreaming of his Mom. Wanting her back. Aching pathos. Young Ned in the orphanage sneaks into the kitchen, brings some rotten apples back to life and bakes a pie. Pie smells like his Mom. He's finally able to sleep. He is warm and safe and loved.

Utilizing his amazing gifts, besides going after all manner of twisted killers, Ned is the owner operator of a desert specialty shop. He calls it "The Pie Hole".

Interesting time of year to have that episode on. Thanksgiving. The start of the Christmas holiday. Scent transports. Turkey baking in a 325 degree oven all morning. Stuffing. Apples. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Dough. Thyme. My clean sheets. The furnace is turned on. The smell of heat. My daughter's hair. Pine needles. Pumpkin pie. New clothes. Snow. Fallen leaves. My mom's musky perfume. My Dad's neck.

Scent, like music, transcends space and time. I am five years old again. Mom is chopping onions, cooking giblets, snapping at us not to touch the black olives until dinner (we each of us sneak 10 and pretend we are e-vil monsters clawing our way out of the depths of hell). My Dad is still alive, there are seven of us siblings, and we are care free. Someone meets every one of my needs without my even having to think about it. My greatest challenge and my greatest accomplishment is remembering to yell "I CALL IT!!" before I jump out of the easy chair assuring my prime spot while watching Johnny Whittaker in "The Littlest Angel".

I am warm and safe and loved.


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