Reverb11: Day 6

Via email, from the list Megan Collier put together. The author of this prompt is Kathleen Passanisi, PT, CSP, CPAE,  “the boss lady” of New Perspectives, a company she founded in 1987 to address issues in wellness, life balance and the role of humor in health. 

Laughter: Reflect on the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt, your mascara ran down your face, or you wet your pants?

“Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. Noooo, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse. ”

There’s a part of me that wants to leave just that quote from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation as my answer to this prompt. My family is currently reacting to reading that in the following way: Dad is laughing so hard it scares the dog and rouses a short fit of coughs, Mom gives a curt chuckle and rolls her eyes (she’s worried Dad is going to launch in to more quotes from the movie), and maybe Sister Kim is laughing, but she probably actually just gave a big sigh because no matter what, this movie delights half the family every Christmas and haunts the other half.

We have watched this film every year for several years, and I know I get a kick out of it because sometimes I even watch it in July, but I think I get a bigger kick out of getting a kick out of it. Does that make sense? Dad and I have quoted it in the car, we have played hours of MP3 clips of it, and we have burst into teary-eyed belly laughs before the scene’s punch lines are ever delivered. Hell, sometimes the scene opens and we burst out laughing. Just funny.

Maybe watching it a few weeks ago to kick of the holiday season wasn’t the biggest laugh I had all year, but there is something wonderful about knowing you can laugh that hard about something year after year. It is the simplest of things that make family bonds tight after all. And watching the Holidays from Hell, even if fictitious, reminds us that unless the cat blows itself up under an easy chair, life is pretty good.

Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?


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