Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holiday Fashion Disaster

Hey there, Ralphie Boy! I’m afraid your age would cut you no slack with Joan Rivers, who would not hesitate to brand you a “holiday fashion disaster.”

Don’t feel bad that, for about the 10 millionth or so time this holiday season, people like me will be gathered in front of our TV sets to watch that costume that your mom (if nobody else) regards as simply adorable in A Christmas Story.  It could be worse.

You could, like your friend Flick, get your tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole by accepting Schwartz’s “triple-dog dare.” That scene is not only commemorated on film, but even—compounding the infamy—in holiday cards I saw recently.

All this is just more proof of the enduring humor and charm of Jean Shepherd’s tales of growing up and the 1983 film derived from it. “We look at the world once, in childhood,” notes poet Louise Gluck.  “The rest is memory.”

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