Jan 6, 2011

Merry Orthodox Christmas Eve, With Bonus Musings on Missing Limbs!

Clearly, I haven't gotten over the fact that it's January now and Christmas has ended. Each year, I'm the rabid dog who guards the tree from being taken down until early February, so we'll see how that goes this year. Even if normal Christmas is over, though, a friend of mine converted to eastern Orthodoxy yesterday afternoon, so I feel that I can claim her new Christmas as my own, at least for blogging purposes.

So, I just discovered (courtesy of Drawn!) Nathan Stapley's hi-larious comic about himself over at Double Fine Action Comics. Example:

Before normal Christmas, he did his own reinterpretation of A Christmas Carol, the entirety of which I have pasted below:

I was rolling on the ground laughing (OK...I was quietly chortling at my desk) when I saw Scrooge's reaction to Tiny Tim: "What's wrong with that awesome kid?" And the fact that instead of being simply a gimpy little boy, he has a disease that all his limbs will fall off until he dies.

Which made me remember about the Moody Church Christmas Festival that Emily and I went to this year. It was wicked cold and snowy and gross, and I almost wussed out, but Emily wanted to go, and I felt like I'd never live it down if I opted to skip. So, we went, and it was one of the best Christmas concerts I've ever been to--choir, full orchestra, handbells, carols, poinsettias, and a guy who was missing an arm.

He was sitting right in front of us, so I could totally stare the whole time and he wouldn't notice. So, full disclosure, I have this thing where in another life I think it would be cool to be totally different than I am now, kind of like some people do for midgets or my friend does for Messianic Jews or Emily's dad does for Aretha Franklin. Except for me, I think it would be incredible to be missing a limb or two. Not that I actually want that to befall me now, but in a weird theoretical sense I'd like to be able to play piano with my toes or wear super awesome prosthetics that are kind of like dinosaur legs and then have a made-for-TV movie about overcoming the odds and whatever. I always wished, though, that the prosthetics could be as good as they are in Star Wars so that I could switch out to a real hand again whenever I wanted to. But when I felt like it, I could have a laser cannon or a drill or a dictionary for an arm instead. Alas, technology has not yet caught up with my dreams. Someone should get on that.

That means my reaction to this guy at the concert was a lot like Scrooge's to Tiny Tim in the comic: "That guy is awesome." Afterward, I tried to nonchalantly gauge Emily's interest in missing limbs, so our conversation went something like:

Me: Wow...that was the best rendition of 'O Holy Night' I've ever heard.
Em: Yeah, my dad was totally right when he suggested we see this.
Me: Yeah, I'm glad we came.
Em: Me, too.
Me: So, did you see how the guy in front of us was missing his right arm?
Em: Uh...(awkward sideways glance and 'I'm confused' smile)...no...
Me: (way too excited) It was so cool to see how he would carry his program and move stuff around and...
Em: (worried expression)
Me: Oh, yeah, but 'O Holy Night' was amazing. (put hands in pockets and casually glance around the room for something that isn't missing a limb to stare at).

Somewhere out there today, there's a hipster who is missing an arm (oh, yeah, did I mention that he was a hipster?). In spite of that, he has my respect.

So, Merry Christmas, Orthodox people! I hope your celebration doesn't involve you actually losing any limbs.

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