Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An Illuminating Experience

We all have our holiday traditions. One of my favorites is driving around local Connecticut neighborhoods with my good friend Abby to check out Christmas lights. During our annual December drive, we come across a variety of displays. Some houses are lighted and trimmed in a way that would make Clark W. Griswold proud; others look like the family pet did the decorating. Some houses are awe-inspiring; others are awful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course. In a sense, holiday displays are works of art, and, for one day, Abby and I are art critics. It's exhausting work. Builds up quite an appetite, too, which is why we pick up food — pizza and, because Abby admirably attempts to get more veggies into my life, salad in 2011 — after our holly, jolly drive-bys and head back to Abby's house to relax and watch a movie. This year we saw The Debt, starring Helen Mirren. We both give it a thumbs-up, though the end left us wanting a bit more. Turns out we're art critics and movie critics.

Before we settled on The Debt and settled in for a long winter's movie night (113 minutes, to be exact), a channel-surfing Abby spotted the squirrelly material seen here. She almost choked on her garden salad trying to notify me of the misspelling. Thanks, Abby, for finding an error — and for not choking.

Art critics. Movie critics. Writing critics. It's a triumphant holiday triumvirate!


  1. There is more than just the misspelling of squirrel. It should be "fear of flying" not "fears of flying", right?

  2. Ah, nice catch, John. I'd have to agree that it should be "fear of flying" because the reindeer has an all-encompassing fear of the act of flying. It's a stretch, but perhaps the writer was trying to convey the notion that the reindeer has many different flying-related fears, including, perhaps:

    * turbulence
    * engine failure
    * crashing
    * going broke because of exorbitant bag fees
    * sitting next to a nonstop talker
    * sitting behind a crying infant
    * sitting in front of a child who just loves kicking the backs of seats
    * being trapped in a germ-ridden cabin
    * bumpy landings
    * sitting on a runway for hours
    * being groped by security screeners

    If the young reindeer has feelings of anxiety or dread over some of these situations, I can relate. ;)