Say, what’s in this drink (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
I oughtta say no, no, no sir (You mind if I move in closer)…
I really can’t stay (Oh baby, don’t hold out)
Oh, but it’s cold outside
– Christmas classic, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Well, another year has flown by at the speed of light, and it’s already nearly 2017. Apparently, the flying cars we were promised have been delayed until next year, but the good thing is that I read recently that the flying cars are now just around the corner and they will finally be here sometime in 2017.
I hear that, for sure, that is the year that they finally get that project off the ground – literally.
So that’s something to look forward to at least in the coming year.
But I’m not going to let the sadly empty skies overhead ruin my Christmas. Instead, I’m just going to continue to be grateful for my old-school, tire-laden ground car that gets me where I’m going, and I’m just going to write this column and then kick back and enjoy my Christmas, even if others are waging a war against it …
In the War on Christmas, Apple hasn’t officially declared a side but the giant tech company is showing its true colors through its products. And, unfortunately, Apple has come down solidly on the side of those who are against the most wonderful time of the year.
For instance, if you tell Siri, “Merry Christmas,” she does anything she can to avoid saying it back to you. No matter what I do, I can’t get a “Merry Christmas” out of the highly politically correct female assistant who lives inside my iPhone.
The other day, I was in very good Christmas cheer and I thought I would share the Christmas spirit with her, so I said to her, “Merry Christmas, Siri,” expecting a hearty, “Merry Christmas, Scott!” right back.
But, instead, here’s what she said: “Wait … Christmas Day isn’t today. It’s on December 25.”
Now, that’s pretty rude if you ask me. I mean, just imagine a person who said something like that to you. Imagine if, a little before Christmas, you passed someone on the street and smiled and gave them a big hearty “Merry Christmas!” and they just looked at you expressionless and said mechanically, “Does. Not. Compute. Earthling. The. Calendar. Date. For. Christmas. Is. December. 25th. Today. Is. Not. December. 25. You. Are. Incorrect. Incorrect.”
I tried saying “Merry Christmas” to Siri a couple of more times but those attempts were also to no avail.
However, as soon as I switched to the politically correct phrase, “Happy Holidays, Siri,” (with no mention of Christmas), Siri heartily responded, “And Happy Holidays to you, Scott!”
So the politically correct Siri is clearly not in the Christmas spirit – but she is in the “holiday” spirit, if you catch my drift.
Now since it is Christmas – regardless of what Siri thinks – this is a good time to compile a list of the Top Three Best Christmas Movies That Are Not Christmas Vacation.
Christmas movies combine two of my very favorite things in the world: Christmas and movies. Now, there are a lot of great ones – The Ref with Denis Leary, Scrooged with Bill Murray, and so on – but since I don’t have unlimited space I decided to narrow my list to the top three. Here they are …
Love Actually. Some of the best quotes of all time came from this movie. “The thing about romance is … people only get together right at the very end.” And, “There’s a fourth one??” This film is absolutely touching and brilliant from start to finish and the only down note here is that one star of this movie, Alan Rickman, died this year and so that makes it somewhat bittersweet to watch.
Eyes Wide Shut. Now, you may not even realize that this is a Christmas movie but it is. This is a good one for the whole family to sit around and watch together; though, on second thought you may want the kids to leave the room during the orgy scenes.
Die Hard. Now, not only is Die Hard the Best Christmas Movie That Is Not Christmas Vacation – it is also the best movie of all time. The only other movie that’s even close is the first Terminator, and that is in absolutely no way a Christmas movie – so, for the purposes of this column, this is an easy pick. This is where we get “Yippee Kay-aye. M%&$^&*@ -%&$#@^&er!” and other lines that include such greats as, “I think we’re gonna need some more FBI guys” and “Ho-ho-ho, now I have a machine gun.” It just hit me that Alan “Bring me my detonators” Rickman is also in this movie – so, amazingly, he made it into two of the best Christmas movies of all time before he passed on to the great beyond.
Look, unlike Apple, I am on the side of Christmas in the big war against Christmas. I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with saying “Merry Christmas,” even if it is politically incorrect to do so and even if Siri and Apple are siding with the bad guys on the issue.
But here’s what I don’t get. The same people who are against saying Merry Christmas are not railing against the worst offender of decency out there – the song, “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” which I call “the Christmas date-rape song.”
I’ve written about this before, but they keep singing it year after year. Even though “Merry Christmas” is apparently so offensive, somehow this much loved tune skates by unnoticed each and every year. It is nearly 2017 and every time I turn on the TV there is some duet of big stars from one decade or another happily singing this song – so I feel as though I need to say something again.
What’s in this drink?? I really can’t stay? Baby, don’t hold out.
Was this sung by Bing Crosby or Bill Cosby? (Though, admittedly that joke would work better if Cosby had an “r” in his name.)
What’s in that drink? It’s a chemical called gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), and you need to get out of there quick before it kicks in.
Hey Rod, Dean, Bing and everyone else joyfully singing this song. It’s 2017. No means no. Let her call an Uber.
Hey, wait, before we go, it just hit me that we did the best Christmas movies, but we didn’t do the most fun thing – the worst ones. So I’ll leave you with the Top Three Worst Christmas Movies That Are Not Reindeer Games.
Reindeer Games of course wins by all accounts and the movie would be completely unwatchable if Charlize Theron didn’t look so hot in it. But, aside from that disaster of movie, what are the worst Christmas movies of all time?
We’re No Angels. I saw this movie alone in a theater in Chapel Hill in 1989 and it is over a quarter of century later and hardly a day goes by without me wanting to go back to that theater and demand by money back as well as the two hours of my life back. I have no idea in the world why I didn’t walk out but I think I was just so entranced by its awfulness. This is one of the worst two hours of my life that I will never get back and it is astonishing that you can somehow have a film with a screenplay by David Mamet (The Verdict), directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Demi Moore and still somehow end up with one of the worst movies of all time. That is an utterly amazing accomplishment if you think about it.
But, still, that is not the worst Christmas movie of all time that’s not Reindeer Games. The winner of that honor is …
Home Alone. There is not one thing about this movie that I didn’t hate. Everything from Macaulay Culkin’s facial expressions to the amazingly annoying bad guys. In fact, to fill out this category, I’m just going to put the whole Home Alone series of sequels in there.
First off, who forgets to take their child on a trip? OK, one time, maybe. But then there was Home Alone 2, 3, 4 and 5, and they forget him again. Where the heck are child protective services?
Listen, enough about Christmas and movies; it’s nearly Christmas Eve and I need to start my Christmas shopping. I haven’t even started yet and it’s right before Christmas. But that’s OK: I can still get it done as long as the Apple store and the HoneyBaked Ham on Battleground aren’t very crowded.
Anyway, from all of us here at the Rhino Times, Ho Ho Ho, now we have a machi… sorry, I mean, Ho Ho Ho – Merrrrrrrrrrrry Christmasssssss!