24 December 2006

Not Crossing Jordan...Just Crossing Fingers...

It's less than 24 Hours (Jack Bauer would love this) until Christmas, and as most anyone who has recently picked up a TV GUIDE will tell you..."There ain't crap on TV". Yet with all these cable channels. you'd at least "think" that all the good seasonal movies would be on SO many channels that we possibley couldn't decide WHAT to watch....(makes a good argument for satellite TV).

Sorry...ain't happening SO FAR...

I haven't seen many incarnations of Dickens, especially SCROOGE (1951 with Alistair Sim, and considerd by many to be the best version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol") on ANY channel..not even the local college cable access channel, and they ALWAYS show it 10-12 times (with no commercials I might add). I'm still waiting for the George C. Scott version...(another "no show"), as well as the Jack Palance old west version, and the Henry Winkler 1930s "New England" version. And with OVER 230 versions of the DIckens tale, you'd think we'd have more than enough to choose from. I suppose not.

But TNT is STILL running TWENTY-FOUR freaking hours of "A Christmas Story" this week (rolls eyes)...I can stand to watch that movie MAYBE once a year....! SCROOGED has been on way too many times also (more than one showing is a little much). At least they HAVE SHOWN the Patrick Stewart version of Christmas Carol (after I ALREADY have it on VHS as well as DVD...OY)! And Christmas Vacation has been on at least three times (it DOES have enough funny scenes to keep me coming back more than once a season).

But SCROOGE is nowhere to be seen (yet). He's AWOL, and this Christmas reveler is becoming a tad miffed at all these stations with nothing better to show than pimped rides, choppers out the butt, and makeovers for people with more ten-foot pole marks on 'em than I can count. I can recall a time back in Philly, where they showed the COLORIZED version of this movie (introduced by Patrick MacNee). It looks like a trip to the local "big box" is in store just to grab the DVD (with both versions).

Personally, I don't know what the stations were waiting for. They showed White Christmas right after THANKSGIVING...and that's really rushing theings. I usually like to watch THAT movie on Christmas Eve. The same with Garfield's Christmas (which is another NON-event on TV this year, even in INDI-frigging-ANA)!!! Gotta dust off the VHS copy again! But Christmas shouldn't be about movies and TV completely, should it? Well, it does help to foster the childlike innocence that many of us might still posess with these movies and specials, and that's not really a "bad" thing.

Still....This is the one time of year when I want to be a tad selfish, and "expect" some QUALITY TV (seasonally-speaking). And I'm just feeling let down this year. It sure was fortuitous we got ourselves that DVD player LAST Christmas (with the Patrick Stewart Christmas Carol our FIRST movie), so score one for the "home" team. So, with Chrisrmas literally at our doorsterps (and chimneys), I'm trusting I will be able to sit back, with a nice Chivas on the rocks, a bowl of walnuts, and enjoy some good old Christmas fare on the "Telly".

This Just In... Today, the college cable access channel (56) in Fort Wayne WILL be showing SCROOGE with Alistair Sim....finally, some justice for the holiday-starved TV watcher. But TV stations...be warned...

Don't count on me to be a "Neilson Family" next year...LOL!

So let me leave you with a little "take" on the Christmas poem: "The Night Before Christmas" (courtesy or our Sunday Edition).

And it could not be MORE timely in it's content.

’Twas the outsourcing before Christmas
By Jim Pawlak’
Twas the day before Christmas, Cratchit went to work
Not knowing it would be his last as Scrooge’s clerk.
He booted his PC; an e-mail was there.
Sent from HR, his mind whispered: “Beware.”
The e-mail said his job was transferred offshore,
A tech hub in India called Bangalor.
Bob just couldn’t believe it – after 32 years
This pink-slip Christmas present reduced him to tears.
His thoughts turned to breaking the news to his wife.
Bob would need her help to rebuild ego and life.
Tiny Tim in need of that last operation.
And that long-promised Disney World vacation.
Two kids in high school and another on the way,
A mortgage, car and now COBRA health bills to pay.
He saw Scrooge out of the corner of his eye;
He ran up to the old skinflint and cried, “Why?”
Ebenezer cast his eyes upon the floor
And sighed: “Labor costs too high, can’t compete anymore.
Overseas competitors undercut, couldn’t match it.”
He raised his head; his blue eyes bored through Cratchit;
“Bob, I want to thank you for thirty-some great years.”
Ebenezer Scrooge struggled to choke back his tears.
Bob suddenly felt empathy for old man Scrooge;
He realized the CEO’s sadness was huge.
They shook hands, and Ebenezer Scrooge walked away.
Bob looked at his cube; lots of packing this day.
Co-workers stopped by: Dancer, Fritzen and Dixon.
One mouse-click – they’d all taken one on the chin.
Dancer at 60 thought no one would hire him.
The others were 40; their prospects not grim.
Bob, at the young end of the Boomer generation,
Wondered if age would bring with it discrimination.
His PC pinged; it was another e-mail.
This one filled with severance package detail:
The COBRA info and nine months’ pay due
Outplacement services were included, too.
With nine months’ pay, he fared far better than most.
That cushion was nice, but no reason to coast.
Rocking in his chair and smiling like a Christmas elf,
Bob looked back on his work years and was proud of himself.
His skills were at the top of their game; he loved learning.
Change was opportunity; life’s page was turning.
He finished his packing and called his wife.
Bob was starting a new chapter in his life.
Shutting down his PC; his job with Scrooge at a close.
And giving a nod to his co-workers, he rose,
Bob walked to his car; turned the key; hit the gas.
And away he drove – this man of the working class.
They heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight:
“Merry Christmas to all, the future is so bright.”

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