Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Oaklyn Holiday Light Show

I slept until past 9 today...and since I worked at noon, that didn't give me a chance to do much besides work on a crocheting project and watch another Faeirie Tale Theatre episode. "The Emperor's New Clothes" is an adaptation of another Hans Christian Anderson story that takes us out of the realm of the purely magical and into something a little more realistic. A vain emperor who thinks of nothing but his fancy wardrobe (Dick Shawn) is taken for a ride by two con men (Art Carney and Alan Arkin) who convince him that they've made a cloth so fine, only the most intelligent person can see it. Fools will see nothing. While the Emperor and his court marvel over the wonders of the fictional "cloth," the over-taxed citizens, including the tavern-keeper befriended by the con men (Georgia Brown), know better.

My favorite of the purely comic episodes along with The Three Little Pigs. Arkin and Carney are hilarious as two tricksters out for one last score; Shawn is a riot as the clotheshorse ruler who learns that it takes a lot more than a well-cut suit to make the man.

Work was on-and-off steady up through rush hour, after which everyone started coming out of their first day back at work and the lines got crazy. They put out all the half-price candy and leftover Christmas items today too as the stock people pulled out this year's Valentine's Day inventory. Some grandmothers bought as much as $50 worth of candy and small Christmas toys for their grandchildren! I settled for a bag of the 3 Musketeers Hot Cocoa Minis, the Betty Crocker Hot Chocolate Cupcake Mix (who knows when we'll see hot chocolate/cocoa-flavored items again?), a bag of bows for next year's Christmas presents, a Veggitales DVD, and a Russell Stover peppermint bark snowman for a treat.

I got off at 6PM, which left me plenty of time for a longer-than-usual bike ride on the way home. I hadn't had a chance to look at all the neighborhood lights yet. It was really cold by then, probably in the 20s, and I figured I'd be warmer on the bike. I love looking at Oaklyn's light displays. While none of them are quite as big as my neighbors across the street, who literally cover the front of their house and the large tree in their front yard with lights, there are some really lovely ones.

I saw lights of every description. Some houses had roofs dripping with "icicles" in gold or blue-white. Others were criss-crossed with tiny colored lights that made them look like a Jackson Pollock painting. Bushes were draped with LED lights that had such deep colors, the blues almost looked purple. Windows were festooned with garlands of greenery, large wreaths, or softly glowing candelabras. Some of the inflatables were really cute. My favorite inflatable this year was the Snoopy Sno-Cone with Charlie Brown and Snoopy on either side of the famous dog-house-shaped ice scraper.

I rode all around the neighborhoods behind Kendall Boulevard and near the school. I would  have done more, but it was really too cold. My knees were nearly numb by the time I finally made it home.

Ran the Veggitales DVD while having the last of the leftover tuna casserole for dinner. The first story on this two-parter from last year was a short that revolved around Junior Asparagus having a bad day. He thinks everyone's forgotten his birthday! His mother sings him a gentle song to remind him that others are looking out for us when we're hurt...and that every four years, February has a day added to the calender.

The main feature was a spoof of Robin Hood. Larry the Cucumber is the famous Sherwood Forest bandit...but he doesn't really want to steal from people. What he wants is to raise funds from the rich to buy hams for the poor. His friends are frustrated that this isn't working. Selfish, cowardly Prince John is hogging all the hams for himself, while making the Sheriff (Bob the Tomato) do his dirty work. When the others leave him alone, Larry tries to convince Prince John that his people need the hams more than he does. The Prince not only doesn't care, but tries to have Robin Good thrown in the Dungeon of Despair! Robin's hurting, but a song from an elderly lady and the discovery that his men need him reminds him that, even in the worst despair, we can always find something to comfort us.

On one hand, this one did get a little into preachy territory. The Christian sentiments, while well-meaning, don't really work with the story being told. On the other hand, I like that, unlike most adaptations of Robin Hood, the Sheriff of Nottingham was depicted as a nice guy (uh, tomato) who was just following Prince John's orders. Veggitales fans will enjoy it; fans of Robin Hood stories may want to be a bit more cautious unless they're already into the cartoon.

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