Posted by: guinness222 | November 23, 2008

Holidays, Culture, and Eclectic Stuff

     First the Holidays, Thanksgiving this week and since it’s only Mrs. Guinness and I, and being an extremely thoughtful Husband, Lover, Role Model, and fantastic all-a-round Guy I told her it would not be necessary for her to cook a turkey with all the fixin’s, ‘taters, (even veggies), and especially all the homemade sausage stuffing I love. She works hard all year long and being the love of my life I am also very compassionate,….so I told her we could go out to Thanksgiving Dinner at the Pub, In fact I offered to even pay for it. (Pay attention women it does not get any better, so wouldn’t you like a hubby like me?) At first she said something I can’t put in print, and then after thoughtful consideration agreed that going out to dinner was probably a better idea, and it would save her ton’s of work and time,….then she said absolutely not the Pub, anywhere else but the Pub would be acceptable. Of course I defended the warm, holiday atmosphere of the Pub, the Fried Turkey, the Oyster dressing, and son of a gun even Guinness on Draft,….boy could I be thankful! But she wouldn’t budge. (Almost a perfect woman, one little flaw,…but my love prevails for her so I will choose another place to dine.)

    “Ok how about the Hilton Hotel, they are supposed to have a really impressive buffet and because they don’t have Guinness on draught none of my friends will be around there.”

    “That’s fine.” So I call, make the reservations. This place is so good you have to put up a credit card to get a reservation, for a Buffet! And not just a buffet, but a specific time at the buffet! “Ok Mr. Guinness I have you down for a party of two and you may enter the Buffet line between 4:00 pm and 4:15 pm, after that I ‘m afraid you may have to wait for an opening in the line,…so we’ll see you then, your confirmation number is CYRM245963. ”

     Are you shitting me? A confirmation number bigger than the last one I got for a brand new Computer from Dell?  A “time” i had to get in a line or go hungry! Now I could get a little “gross” here, but I’ll refrain, it’s the holidays and I don’t want to screw it up for you,…ok?

     Part two; a little culture. Now if we had been back in dear old Boston, Massachusetts there would be at least a dozen things I could have chosen from, but this is the Northwest Panhandle of Florida, or as it is sometimes called “LA” or “Lower Alabama” , the vacation capital of the Redneck Riviera,….soooo, the choices are a little more limited. Trying to find a cultural event here, for someone who grew up with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Boston Pops Orchestra, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard University, Boston college,….well you get the idea. I live in a Cultural Desert,….but there has to be something! So I look around and find an article which says they are going to have a performance of The Nutcracker at our new full four year college Northwest Florida State College. (It used to be called the Okaloosa Walton Community College) So once again being the great all a round fantastic dude I am I call and get us tickets for last night’s show. Now we used to go all the time in New England, but it was the Boston Ballet Company, and a full Orchestra,….but I needed a cultural fix,….badly. I was even catching the word “y’all” slipping into some of my verbalization’s, like, “Y’all come back soon.” and other idiosyncrasies of the Southern dialect of the Queen’s English. Now some just annoy me to deaf and I’ll never say them , like “I  fixin’ to do it.” What do you have to “fix” to do it? (I’m cracking up over a Southern joke that just popped into my head; ” You know you’re a redneck when you don’t tell your 14 year old daughter to stop smoking at the dinner table in front of her kids.”)

       So off we go last night and i even spent the afternoon listening to the music from the ballet just to familiarize myself again. Now I knew the Fort Walton Beach Ballet Company would probably not come close to the Boston Ballet Company, but it had been 11 years since I moved here and seen “The Nutcracker in Boston, so I guess if no one fall down it should be good. Now not to knock the south, but the one great thing here is you can call the day of the performance and get Orchestra seats, center for the performance and NEVER worry about it being a sell out. I suspect it is because they are very suspicious here and being on the far left or right of the auditorium make it a whole lot easier to slip out and head to a local pub to watch the NASCAR re-runs instead of “The Nutcracker” (“Look daddy, them folks in the middle of the theatre must all be damn Yankees. Don’t they know y’all can’t sneak out if you are a settin’ in the middle?”)

     Well the performance was very good, but there was no orchestra, it was a pre-recorded musical score, you know, one of those “The Nutcracker made easy on two CD’s” So I apologize for any of my “Damn Yankee pre-conceived ideas and rude comments.” BUT

     BUT. and I’m not trying to be a snob here, but some things really annoy the hell out of me. Let me explain. This is not a movie! This is not a Television re-run. These are real, live, human beings who have worked months practicing, learning their craft, whether it’s ballet, lines in a play, the timing and enunciation of the words, the harmony in the song,…it doesn’t matter!

      My mama taught me that as a member of an audience I too had an obligation. I too had a responsibility in this performance as well. Actually I had a few, very important responsibilities. First to buy the ticket. These things cost money to put on and all the practices, and costumes and make up and all. Most of those you see performing are not the $23,000,000 a film movie stars, truth be known, because I was very involved with one theatre group, they are grossly underpaid, if they are all paid at all to entertain you. They work to perfect their craft and to hear your appreciation by buying tickets as well as applause, even an occasional “Bravo”.

     Secondly I was responsible to be there before the performance began, not wandering in about half an hour into it and crawling over people to get to you seats. Oh and to be sure you made the appropriate “potty breaks” before coming into the theatre, not crawling back across those 24 other people in your row that you crawled over getting in there fifteen minutes after the performance started. And the last or part 3 of your second responsibility “ZIP IT!”, until the appropriate time, which is not anytime you feel like talking! (“Hey Charlie, don;t that look like Earline’s kid on the end, second row back the one with the zit on her cheek?”)

     AND third and final obligation. Don’t show up looking like you gotta go home and finish “sloppin’ the hogs”. Now the arts are for everyone, BUT I am damn sure most of the world has decent clothes to wear. It is a show of respect to the Actors, Dancers, performers, whomever is up there on stage. It basically says “You are special and I respect you sharing your talents with me, and this IS a special occasion.” Now I’m not saying a mink coat, tie and tails, rented limo, but dress decently. There is life after Levi’s, Wranglers, “hoodies”, Outback Dusters, and God awful dirty ripped College sweats and tee shirts. That’s both MEN AND WOMEN! Honest to god last night I saw a stunning woman, perhaps early 40’s. late 30’s, with a very pretty formal type dress, jewelry, a white fur coat (Yes, in Florida) stylish high heels, obviously all coordinated, hair done perfectly,…well you get the idea. Her “escort” or Husband (probably not husband because she was dressed such that I am sure she would have kicked the shit out of him if he was her husband) with Jeans, a white tee shirt and a ratty old sweater with a  dirty looking crumpled up old trench coat slung over his arm AND, AND GET THIS in need of a shave! It’s not that people don’t know to dress appropriately, it’s just that they are lazy, and selfish. There were plenty of “little ballerinas” hanging around as well. “The Nutcracker” is a little girls ballerina dream come true. They were all dressed up in their “mini-diva” dresses, tights, etc. I will say most of the women at least made an attempt to look better than “Grocery shopping attire”. But men, and yes I’m one, (but I’m a trained one!), but I would not even go in the door I’d be so embarrassed the way 90% of the men dressed.

     My wife will tell you, I am light years away from being “Mr. GQ”, but even I dress appropriately for theatre, ballet, and Symphony, (and I kind of like it too!)

     My wife is on the phone now talking to our youngest son. He and his wife just had their first child four months ago, our second granddaughter Anastasia. Mrs. Guinness is tearing up and telling him she hopes she’s around to take our second grandchild to see “The Nutcracker”. I just told her “Knock  off the tears, you’ll be here, who else is going to come in and cook for me, and wash my clothes and make the bed if you’re not here! (That usually takes her mind off the teary stuff, because then she’s focusing on something hard and throw-able, in my direction, so no tears, just gotta be able to …….,……..”Missed me again, but closer Honey!”)

     Oh, final note, on the way home last night she says, “I saw an ad for another place I’d rather go for Thanksgiving Dinner than the Hilton Hotel, would you mind?”

     “Where?”, sayeth me with a little suspicious edge to the voice. (The Guy version of “so how much does the place cost?”)

     “Stinky’s Fish Camp,  is that ok, it’s only $25 a head” (Thinks me,”Hmmmm. $4 a head less, I like their wine list, and they have Guinness on draught.”)

     “Yeah, that’s fine” (As in my “that’s fine with me darling, it’s all about making you happy, you know that” voice)

     “I know you don’t like fish, but they have turkey stuffing mashed potato’s, veggies and home made pie, is that ok?”

     (Sure hope they ordered enough Guinness!) “That’s fine, it actually sounds good, I’m looking forward to it, in fact I’ll call right now and cancel the Hilton reservations.”




  1. ”You know you’re a redneck when you don’t tell your 14 year old daughter to stop smoking at the dinner table in front of her kids.”

    That kind of upset me. It’s not the old man’s place to talk to his precious like that. He should have turned to his son and said, “Boy, can’t you make your sister stop smoking in front of y’alls kids?” I mean, it’s the father’s job to discipline the mother of his kids. Maybe back-hand’er into the corner.

    Did y’all think about going to the Waffle House? They have chicken breast about the size of pidgins, but the hash browns all the way makes up for it.

  2. Hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving meal this week! The way people dress at some things drives me insane. I truly believe that most people’s common sense and moral compasses don’t point due north.

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