Thursday, January 20, 2011


called “Why I Now Hate Christmas” or “How I spent two days in captivcity at my aunt’s house…as told through a series of Facebook updates.

11:08 a.m. Dec. 24 “Going to a Christmas party at the Nakitomi Building tonight. Should be a low-key affair.”

11:10 a.m. Dec. 24 “Just kidding. That was a ‘Die Hard’ reference. I’m not REALLY going to be held hostage by a team of German terrorists. I’m just going to my aunt’s house in Sherman Oaks. Of course, it’s hard to tell the difference.”

11:15 a.m. Dec. 24 “You guys keep asking ‘what’s so bad about visiting my aunt for Christmas? Have you seen ‘The Devil Wears Prada’? It’s like a reality show about her life. And yes, she’s the Meryl Streep devil lady. NOT Anne Hathaway.”

3:35 p.m. Dec. 24 “My aunt’s best friend Luisa just picked me up to go to the Christmas dinner. I use best friend lightly. She’s hated my aunt too for at least 20 years, but she’s almost 80, lives alone and knows that my aunt makes a good dinner. So away we go!”

4:20 p.m. Dec. 24 “We pull up at my aunt’s. I’ve just spent 45 minutes serving as Luisa’s therapist as she gave me her annual update of my aunt’s horrible behavior. I’m now filled with the Christmas spirit!”

4:28 p.m. Dec. 24 “Eight minutes in, and my aunt has already given us air kisses and managed to insult our outfits at the same time. She’s also just informed everybody that she’s wearing an $1800 dress. Apparently, this left nothing for the catering budget. Her latest illegal housemaid, Rosa, is going crazy in the kitchen trying to finish a 20 pound duck.”

7:25 p.m. After secretly foraging for snacks during the interminable 3 hour wait, I find that I’m now too full of chocolate and nuts to leave any room for dinner. This is the one time of year that I actually regret doing this. But that duck can’t die in vain. So I prepare to stuff myself like a Roman nobleman.”

8:17 p.m. Dec. 24 “My aunt has managed to not only carve up the duck, but the pride and self-esteem of everyone in attendance. When exchanging Christmas wishes aloud around the table, she told me her wish for me this year is that I lose a hundred pounds.”

8:44 p.m. Dec. 24 “I remind myself of two lessons: Christmas builds character…Christmas builds character…Oh, and it’s not Christmas until the police get involved.”

9:48 p.m. Dec. 24 “I may hate being at my aunt’s, but man am I getting material. Just wait til you hear how I got duped into taking her, my mentally challenged other aunt, my 80 year old visiting Polish aunt and their Polish Scientologist assistant with me on my post-Christmas trip to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I think I finally have my HBO special.”

1:05 a.m. Dec. 25 “It’s actually Christmas Day now. Somehow everyone got drunk enough to ignore my aunt, but too drunk to drive home. Suddenly it’s me and six elderly relatives, fighting for couch space in a geriatric slumber party.

1:10 a.m. Dec. 25 “Since I’m under 70, I’m on the floor. Hard wood. Oh and we’re out of blankets. My aunt insists I wear pajamas but I have brought none. (BEAT) Ironically.”

1:21 a.m. Dec. 25 “It’s a Christmas miracle: I fit into my dead uncle’s size medium Pajama pants so my aunt can stop bellyaching about my having brought shorts to sleep in!”
(To which a friend replied, “I’m with your aunt on this one. I wouldn’t want to see your balls either on Christmas morning.”

8:49 a.m. Dec. 25 “Whoever came up with the idea of bringing us some figgy pudding should be shot. That and the reindeer sausage. At least that’s what I think the duck tasted like last night Now I’m sick. Run, run, Rudolph indeed – straight to the toilet.”

8:52 a.m. Dec. 25 “My dad just hung up on me after the family sang their annual offkey we wish you a merry Christmas. My wish would be to sleep another couple of hours WITHOUT hearing any bad singing.”

9:11 a.m. Dec. 25 “My Uncle Ted’s awake and offering this bit of Christmas logic: “Yeah, I got drunk again. But I didn’t piss the couch this year. That’s progress.”

9:13 a.m. Dec. 25 “They say never to give a dog chocolate. Well you can add eggnog to that list.Guess who’s cleaning up after Aunt Martha gave the dog a bowlful?

9:51 a.m. Dec. 25 “With so many extended family in one impossibly tight spot, I realize it may be easy to laugh at Kentucky for all the in-breeding, but I’ll tell you one thing: you save big-time on holiday travel when your entire family lives in the same compound.”

1010 a.m. Dec. 25 “Another favorite holiday ritual begins: leaving for Mass ten minutes after it started, guaranteeing we make the biggest scene of anyone there.”

10:22 a.m. Dec. 25 “We enter the church from the back rather than the more discreet side-door option, and proceed to make an unholy racket as six elderly women in heels and 2 uncles with canes clang and echo their way up the center aisle so my aunt can claim her royal perch in the front row. It ain’t a Mass until the priest scowls at ya.”

10:10 a.m. Dec. 25 “I guess you’re not supposed to announce loudly that you can tell better jokes than the priest. At least not in the middle of sermon.”

1:47 p.m. Dec. 25 “So after Mass we got taken for a walk. AKA the annual Christmas Death March – 5 miles roundtrip into the hills of Sherman Oaks. Highlight was my having to stop an obviously unneutered dog from sexually assaulting my aunt’s poodle.”

2:45 p.m. Dec. 25 “I’m turning philosophical amid my despair. Christmas: when you want to be with the ones you love. Just not for 2 days straight.”

2:51 p.m. Dec. 25 “I’ve tried to hide in front of the upstairs television. My aunt’s found me. Now she’s gone and ruined the TBS marathon of a Christmas story. She kept asking how they can show children the flagpole scene. I finally changed the channel before losing MY tongue.” I couldn’t hear anything anyway because her stupid dog Queenie will bark at the sound of a cricket outdoors.”

5:40 p.m. Dec. 25 “Apparently there IS a sound more horrifying than the incessant highpitched barking of my aunt’s dog Queenie: the banshee wail of the teething 1 year old the neighbor family just brought over for dinner. Make. It. Stop.”

7:43 p.m. “So everyone, I was radio silent for the past two hours because I fell asleep after watching the documentary Wes Anderson made about my family: The Royal Tenenbaums. But now I’ve been awakened by the neighbor’s 3 year old slapping me in the face. Let the fun resume!!!

8:03 p.m. Dec. 25 “I’m locked in the bathroom to protect my sanity. The two tots have commandeered the piano while their mommy sings carols offkey. Joy to the World indeed. If there’s anyone in the vicinity of Sherman Oaks who can help me break for it, contact me NOW.”

8:44 p.m. Dec. 25 “Awkward dinner update: That roast pig we spent 12 hours on has gotta go because our dinner guests are reformed Jews but the wife’s mother is Orthodox and only eats kosher. Anyone know where we can order kosher at 7:30 p.m. on Christmas in the middle of a driving rainstorm?”

9:33 p.m. Dec. 25 “And so we behold – a full 45 minutes later – a kosher pizza. Just like in the Nativity story!”

8:49 a.m. Dec. 26 “Finally escaped my aunt. Headed directly to the Arclight theater to see ‘True Grit’ so I can watch people shoot each other for two hours and get it out of my system. Tomorrow night I’ll continue my therapy by watching people get punched in the face in ‘The Fighter.’”