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Tis the Grunting Season

by Eva Pasco, author of the novel "Underlying Notes"


Tis the Grunting Season by Eva PascoThe day after Thanksgiving known as "Black Friday" is often considered the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. The leftovers in the fridge have barely gotten cold as the commercialization of Christmas infiltrates every Whoville across America. Turkey fowl be fouled and "stink, stank, stunk!" The Grinch may have stolen all the presents under every tree, but the garlic in his soul didn’t approach the distance of a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole in messing with the spiritual meaning of Christmas. We adolescents of the Sixties escaped the scourge of Black Friday which can be traced to the 70s and reached the height of nasty wasty popularity in 2002. Giving my snow globe a shake, before the snow settles on the landscape, here’s a nostalgic look back at the Christmases I fondly remember – a time when the hustle and bustle of shopping for presents occurred the last Saturday before Christmas…

Gee, WPRO and WICE AM, two of our local radio stations didn’t play carols or popular holiday tunes until their uninterrupted, traditional Christmas Eve broadcasts. I’ll warrant that Elvis Presley’s "I’ll Be Home for Christmas" made more lyrical sense listening to it the day before than its debut right after Veterans Day. Please have snow and mistletoe and presents for the tree…

Reflecting on the Sixties, I’ve always recalled affording Thanksgiving its grace period of respect rather than the surreal rush of Christmas either coinciding with or immediately following Halloween. H-m-m, all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile…

Long gone are the department stores of yesteryear, places of calm rather than sale stampedes due to a restricted number of items or a limited opportunity for reduced pricing. Ann & Hope, Coates Field, Winkelman & Finkelstein, Woolworth’s, Kenyon’s and New York Lace Store disappeared from Rhode Island’s terrain along with the propriety of white gloves. Before bar code scanners and self-check out machines, there were good old fashioned cash registers which basically added and ka-chinged. Sales clerks actually had to use their mental acumen to make change. I wonder what became of all those storefront wooden mannequins – awkwardly posed dummies or stiffs with red painted indentations for fingernails and toenails and garish red lips.

Back in the Sixties, when most fathers-know-best drove the one family car to work, there were no traffic jams to Whoville malls in the wee hours of the morn to launch the grunting season. No shoppers lined up for hours outside stores waiting for doors to open, no rushing and grabbing as demand exceeded supply, no injuries or fatalities in the name of pursuing presents. The only tailgating my family did was inching along the environs of Garden City in Cranston under the garlands of lights to view public displays of Christmas, including nativity scenes now ruled "unstable." I hear Toys R Us opened 24 hours straight starting at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year, getting a jumpstart on the grunting season. I find this idea as charming as an eel, preferring to embrace the spirit of the holiday without ribbons, tags, boxes, packages, or bags because Christmas can’t be bought in a store.

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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



 Signed copies of the Paperback, 40 % off suggested retail, may be acquired at the Authors Den Signed Bookstore via Eva’s web page:


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