Friday, December 28, 2007

He Must Have Missed Mister Magoo in the Part

Big load of snow today, beginning in the morning, continuing into the afternoon. Heavy, wet snow, the sort that inspires death in snow shovelers, and makes snowmen easier to make. Lilly was out in the late afternoon, as I risked death on the driveway, making a three-tiered snow figure. She managed to construct one tall as she is.

Abdomen, thorax, head. It never occurred to me until I lived in Japan that there was any other way to building a snowman -- mostly theoretical knowledge, anyway, growing up in South Texas -- but in Japan, snowmen are typically two balls. Perhaps it is because Japan is a crowded place, with only room enough for two.

Today's snow covered barren ground. Back on the 22nd, what we had before began melting, and was not much replaced on the windy, bitter day that was the 23rd. I took Lilly to the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights on the 22nd, when it was actually pleasant to walk around a little in that suburban downtown, for a matinee of A Christmas Carol. Time, I figured, to introduce her to that component of modern Christmas. What would 21st-century North American Christmases be with Victorian innovations? Hardly the holiday that we know.

Not quite the caliber of a Goodman Theatre production, but a fine cast all the same. The fellow who played Scrooge had the part down cold, as anyone who plays that part must, lest the show fail completely. Something wrong in the way the sound was handled made it hard to hear the ghosts of Christmas past and present, however, which was odd, since the theater isn't that large.

As we were returning to the parking garage, I overheard a man say to the woman he was with, "It was better this year, now that I know the story." He looked like he was about 10 years older than I am, maybe even 60, but from his voice I'd say that he grew up completely within the realm of the English language, North American variety, and didn't have any particular impairment. Just an ordinary middle-aged fellow. So how could he not know the story, at least in outline? Didn't he at least see the Mister Magoo version as a kid? Maybe A Christmas Carol isn't quite the Christmas standard it seems to me.



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