Happy Wednesday, everyone. As you know I still haven’t started allowing advertisers on My Own Space (why? you may ask. Lazy, I respond. It’s complicated and takes some tech know how. I’ll figure it out soon and then I’ll make a million, as Chuck Wheatley would say, or in reality about twenty five cents a month.) For now, you’ll have to settle for me blogging about things I love that I don’t get a dime from. Four words. ELF ON A SHELF. Parents of small children everywhere just nodded their head in agreement. Everyone else just said, “huh?” Okay.
Let me break it down for you.
At it’s most simple, Elf on a Shelf is a book that comes with a toy sold at major bookstores near you. The deal-io is this. According to legend, this Elf comes to your home during this Christmas season as Santa’s watchdog. Basically, this Elf guy hangs out all day, watches the kid’s behavior, and then flies back up to the North Pole everynight to give a face to face report to Santa. Te next morning the Elf flies back and is in a new place in the house, ready for another day of watching. Oh, and important information, the child can not touch the Elf because it will rub off the magic Elf powers.
Okay. Brilliant, or WHAT? Brilliant. Part of the plan is that you have to name the Elf, and our little guy’s name
started as “Buddy” but has now morphed to Bodie. The threat of Bodie watching Beatrix and reporting to Santa has turned this child into the sweetest creature you would ever want to hang out with in a way that no amount of time outs or threats ever has. Never-you-mind that she asks every five minutes if it is Christmas and points to every toy and says she is going to get it from Santa because she is being so good. I will deal with it later. For now, I will just sit back and enjoy the magic of Beatrix’s most excellent behavior. I may move Christmas to July just to keep it up. No one tell her, okay? This is the greatest thing ever.
Back to our story. I thought yesterday’s Daily Dose was a real snore and almost didn’t post it because who would possibly care about costume changes and burning cork? I was wrong. I admit it. Expect more Daily Doses of backstage antics in the future. It’s like America’s Funniest Home Videos….but it’s words not video….and it’s about musical theater….and it really bears no resemblance to that show….so I don’t know where I’m going with this. Thinking…
Oh! I know! Want to hear something funny? On the flight to Singapore (watch how I do this) which was 22 hours long with a layover in Taipei, Taiwan, there were a million movies to watch, but the absolute favorite of all the passengers? America’s Funniest Home Videos (there it is). This was before America’s Funniest Home Videos was funny HERE. It was also before planes had TV screens with channels in each seat, and before we had computers to watch movies on, so you were truly stuck watching the public video or re-reading your People magazine for the 27th time. You would not believe how the non-Americans howled with laughter, and we all just sat there slack jawed at how hard they were laughing. It was just the beginning of the culture shock, and if I’d had a million dollars I would have sunk it all into reality TV that very moment.
So here’s what was going on in Singapore. There was this American kid, Michael Fay, an 18-year-old whose father was some kind of diplomat in Singapore (okay, I am doing this from memory, so feel free to get all Wiki-pedia-ish on me and correct my facts, but this is what I remember) and he stole some street signs and maybe threw some eggs and they threw his teen aged butt in jail for it. It became international news when he was sentenced to jail time and 6 (?) lashes from a cane. Remember this? I guess nobody could get him off, and it caused a HUGE stink in the international community because he was a punk kid from the USA disrespecting the Singapore rules, and now was crying to Daddy to get him out of a beating. Uh–let me tell you what–that cane is no joke, I remember seeing a picture of it and the lash scars. Anyhoo, the USA was all ticked off that they couldn’t throw their weight around and get him out of there, and it kicked off scads of op-ed pieces and everything. To give you perspective (for our younger readers) popularity-wise, it was somewhere between the royal wedding and the Kardashian divorce. Got it? It was a big hairy deal. Like on every channel. In fact, we pretty much went straight from the earthquake to Michael Fay in terms of big stories. This is what glamorous show biz looks like, folks.
This news all broke right before we left and we got a huge briefing about going to Singapore, all You are American citizens in a police state . . . if you break the law, the American government can’t help you kind of stuff. Okay, and that said, there are alleged reports that people may or may not have done some drugs in the bathroom on the flight over and landed in Singapore high as a kite. Not me, for the record, I am about as interesting as Pollyanna when it comes to drugs. Point is, if it’s true, they were idiots because in Singapore you can get HANGED for doing drugs. You get the point. We weren’t in Kansas anymore.
My mother was having a fit because GUM is outlawed in Singapore (it really is) and I was so worried about not being able to get it that I brought a whole bunch of it. That’s me being a rebel. I’m a toughy. About the gum thing, because you are probably wondering why they outlaw gum, and I’m pretty sure it has to do with keeping things clean, and specifically the subway? Somebody who remembers better than me fill us in. All I know is that I rationed those juicy fruits sticks out like crazy and my mother twirled her thumbs in Cincinnati with worry that my face was going to pop up on CNN as the next caning victim.
Have you ever been on a plane for twenty two hours? We arrived in Singapore and were a day ahead (it is 12 hours ahead of the USA–but fact check me) and you cross the international date line to get there, which means not only is it 12 hours ahead, but it is also the next day. Okay. Going back a little. Remember the blog post I wrote about Rob having maps for brains and always being able to know the best way to get somewhere? Here’s another Rob Meffe party trick. Ask him what time it is in Hawaii. Or in Chicago. Or Singapore. He can’t do it. He gets completely flustered about time zones and can’t remember if you go forward or backward and will blow it every time. It’s great. He’s so smart that any time he struggles with something I love to tease him about it. You can imagine how he was struggling with me, he was touring across the USA, changing timezones, and I was 12 hours ahead of EST. Trying to schedule a phone call just about made his head blow off. We decided to send faxes back and forth (remember….no Internet, no cellphones…well there actually WERE cell phones EVERYWHERE, but none of us had one. Oh man, if I’d invested in cell phones in 1994….but I digress…..).
But the point is, we were finally in Singapore, it was the morning, we were completely trashed and we had rehearsal that night.
To read the next installment in this series, go here