Let’s face it. You’re too PC to say ‘Merry Christmas.’ You’re not smart enough to have been born Jewish, and celebrate Hanukkah. You’re really not the Kwanzaa type, and saying ‘Happy Winter Solstice’ either incriminates you as being an Atheist (smug sense of self satisfaction) or as being a Pagan (tree lover who might smoke too much weed).
You need a Festivus.
I got to attend one, too, at a certain comedy legend’s house on the Upper West Side. And let me tell you – it was wonderful
STEP ONE: Make friends with an up and coming young director who drives you crazy, but is ultimately a mensch. Stay friends with him years. Do shows with him for little money, or free. See him at the 24 hour grocery store at odd hours. Work on projects with him that include such notable actors as the guy who played Multiple Miggs from the Silence of the Lambs, and Karen Gorney from Saturday Night Fever.
STEP TWO: Accept an invitation to a comedy legend’s house, as this director’s date. Two days later, at four am, you will get a phone call. It will be the director friend. Unfortunately, he will tell you, his plane to Patagonia has been canceled, so he’ll have to take an earlier flight, but shouldn’t you just crash the party with the pie you baked for it?
Shouldn’t you go with his actress friend who you’ve never met in your life? Shouldn’t you mingle with celebrities with no friends at this party? OF COURSE YOU SHOULD, DUMMY – you’re a young actor who needs to make contacts. Get off your ass and bake that pie. And while you’re at it, go to a local coffee shop, pick up your friends’ keys, go to your friend’s house, unlock his room, search his room for a tie that he bought the Comedy Legend, lock his house, call that actress that you’ve never met and make plans. Don’t forget you have a pie in the oven! Is it burning??? Go home and check it!!!
Oh thank heavens. The pie is not burned. Whew! BUT, you have to leave in half an hour. How the hell are you going to cool a pie in HALF AN HOUR? Ah! It’s winter and you have a fire escape. True, you live next to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, but I guess carbon monoxide will just have to be an extra ingredient to this pie. Plus, if people notice the faint taste of rubber tire dust you can always make yourself look intellectual by blaming Robert Moses, who built the BQE in the first place. Ken Burns made him quite the villain in that New York documentary!
This is Robert Moses. I can’t believe you didn’t know who he was? He’s almost single-handedly responsible for car culture in New York. Read a book, fool.
STEP THREE: Get to the party! Come on! You have about 40 minutes before you have to meet that charming young actress. She’s from LA and she doesn’t know how to get around New York. Take a shower – you stink! Also, wear the right outfit. You need to be stylish, cute, and just so. BUT DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU’RE TRYING TOO HARD. Bag up the pie! Get the addresses you need from your iPhone. Get on your way!
WHAT? Your Mother is calling?? Of course she is! It’s Christmas eve!!! ANSWER THE PHONE!!! Now be gracious as you’re running out the door. Tell her you love her and miss her. Good. You’re a good boy.
Why is everyone wearing black? It’s Festivus! Oh well.
Step Four: Have fun, stupid. These are just people, after all. You have brought a pie, and these guys are nice enough to invite you into their home. Say something nice to everyone, and make conversation. It’s not really a big deal. It’s just Festivus. And guess what? That actress that you met? She’s pretty darn charming! And what a looker. Enjoy the party.