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Magic Christmas Tree

Posted by Mick on December 24, 2009 – 11:23 pm

It’s Christmas Eve, and while I’m neither in New York nor the drunk tank, I am listening to The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” so it feels like I’m elsewhere.

Where am I?  As of this moment, I am in Bryan, Texas.  For those of you not “in the know”, Bryan is a small town best known for housing Texas A&M University – and not much else.  Physically it’s about 2 hours from Austin.  Culturally, it’s about 200 years from Austin.  And sometimes that not a bad thing.  Getting away for a short time can recharge the batteries and give you a fresh appreciation for the awesomeness that is Austin.

The logical follow up to “Where am I?” is “Why the hell are you there?”, and that’s an easy one.  It’s my first Christmas with Tara’s family.  We’re doing the yearly swap, and this year was her turn, so we packed up the car and headed out to the sticks.  And so far, it’s wonderful.  In spite of all my eccentricities, Tara’s family has welcomed me with open arms and embraced me as one of their own.  It probably helped that they’ve had a few years to adjust to me in small doses.  Like you would with iocane powder.

However, like most of life, this story isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.  Let’s look at how we got here today, shall we?

The adventure started last night at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown, hereafter referred to by it’s short name, The Ritz.  My brother-in-law and I headed down to the Weird Wednesday presentation of MAGIC CHRISTMAS TREE.  Weird indeed!  I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve seen lots of things.  This movie has earned a permanent place in my Christmas ritual from this year forward.  It’s not a good movie.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, it’s horrid.  Awesomely horrid.  At this point, I’m very conflicted, because I have so many things I want to talk about, but for those of you who haven’t seen the movie it’s almost criminal to give any of it away.  Then again, I guess it’s what you expect of me, so here goes.

The movie starts out like any one of several hundred “bad kid learns a lesson” films from the 50’s and 60’s. Three boys eating sack lunches in school, and making dares.  Our protaganist is determined to visit the local haunted house (they say the old lady that lives there is a witch!), and of course he does.  His friends can’t hang and run home – pussies.

For those of you keeping score at home, I’ve changed the iPod to “Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics”, because I’m traditional that way. Nothing says Christmas to me like a bouncing piece of Christmas poo and Mister Garrison singing “Merry Fuckin’ Christmas”.  And now back to the movie!

Our little troublemaker meets the witch, who asks for his help getting her cat, Lucifer, out of the tree.  That’s right, the “witch” has a black cat named Lucifer.  The kid falls out of the tree and wakes to a radically different world – radically different because the black and white world now has a sort of reddish wash over it.  Radically indeed.  The old lady gives him a magic ring that contains a magic seed.  If he plants the magic seed it will grow into a – wait for it – MAGIC CHRISTMAS TREE.  How magic?  Three wishes magic, that’s how magic.

Then the movie takes a strange turn when the kid takes a giant turtle from his dresser drawer.  Not a magic turtle.  Just a really big turtle that for some unexplained reason he keeps in his dresser drawer.

Did I mention that this kid has the biggest ass in the civilized world?

We watch the turtle walk across the lawn while the father tries to start the lawn mower.  The father can’t start the lawn mower, the oldest gasoline powered lawn mower in the world, sp old the pull cord isn’t attached but has to be wound around the starter every time you pull it, but he keeps trying, while we are treated to “comical” sound effects (notice the quotes around comical?  In this context they indicate sarcasm).  We watch this for a long time.  A very long time.  In truth it’s not actually all that long, it only SEEMS like an eternity.  But it’s all good, because then we get to watch the turtle eat clover.  Slowly.  Repeatedly.  Mmmmmmmm yummy clover.

The father, who by the way is the single most unhappy family man in the history of children’s films and appears at all times to be one step away from slitting his wrist in front of his wife as he screams “You never loved me you frigid bitch!”, does get the lawn mower started – finally.  He starts mowing the lawn and only after 4 or 5 passes around the lawn does he notice the new tree in the yard.  When he runs into the thing.  I guess when you’re pushing a lawn mower and thinking about killing yourself while you try not to run over your fat-assed son’s dresser drawer turtle it’s easy to miss the fact that a full grown pine tree mysteriously appeared in your yard over night.  But of course your first impulse would be to cut the damn thing down.  Except you can’t.  The saw will not cut it.  The axe bounces right off of it.  because it’s MAGIC!

And then it’s Christmas.  That’s right, we’re two thirds of the way into the Christmas movie about the magic Christmas tree before it’s Christmas.  Dad still hasn’t taken his own life, so he heads out to get a Christmas tree.  Wearing a suit.  The kid stays home and talks to the tree, which moves into the living room (magic) and decorates itself (magic).  And it’s gay.  WHAT?  It’s gay.  The magic Christmas tree is is gay.  I guess I shouldn’t say that, I don’t know if it’s really gay, but as God is my witness the tree speaks in the most stereotypical gay voice since Paul Lynde was a guest star on BEWITCHED.  And it gets worse.  The kid uses his first wish and asks for power.  An hour of power.  The gay Christmas tree actually says “I guess I can give you an hour of power”.  I wish I could tell you it doesn’t get any worse.  But it does.  Pedophile Giant.  “You’re MY little boy now!”

Did I mention the little boy used a wish to kidnap Santa and get all of his toys?

At this point you should stop and realize that the movie that played in your head as I described all of this is better than the movie I actually watched.

And yet I loved it.  Before the year is over I will own a copy of this movie.  I will show it to all of my friends.  And I will watch it every year at Christmas time.  Because it is glorious.  You can’t fake this kind of bad.  And mark my words, if Lars shows it at Weird Wednesday before Christmas next year, I will gladly buy my ticket and go.

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