MON., DEC. 4, 2006
Austin isn’t much of a winter wonderland. Sure, we get a little cold snap every now and then – just enough to make the green thumb paranoids cover their flora with moving/dog/smallpox blankets and old HEB bags; just enough for annoying small children to pretend like they’re smoking imaginary cigarettes; just enough to turn a respectably sized penis into a tiny, wrinkled, shriveling turtle neck or full supple nipples into the shape and texture of mechanical pencil erasers; but we never get the kind of lip welding arctic blasts enjoyed by our northern neighbors. That’s OK. Chances are you didn’t move here for the ice fishing. What we do have in garish profundity however is holiday decoration. Lights, in particular. Lights in general. Lights infinite. Where your bigger, generic burbs tend to express their schmaltz with huge, inflatable lighted replicas of Christmas characters like Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, and the dear, sweet, 8 pound, 6 ounce newborn baby Jesus (pre-inflated), Austinites decorate like they just smoked a bag of Maui and beer-bonged a quart of mushroom tea: Lights everywhere. On the house, the shrubs, the trees, the lawn, the car, the cat, and the holiday themed, blinking Bobby Brooks sweater (purchased at Goodwill, of course – buying it new would be … just … so … pathetic). Also, unlike our suburban sprawling red state relatives, we keep our lights up year round, not just because we’re still stoned but because we’re also lazy and we don’t give a shit. Besides, lights are pretty year round, and if you buy the kind that look like little jalapenos, you get a pass for the other 11 months – especially if you own a Mexican restaurant. So, what we lack in chilliness we make up for in artsyness, and if we seem misty-eyed about the holidays, it’s only because we just squirted on some eye drops so we could go take a toasted twirl under the Zilker Christmas tree. Hey, some holiday traditions are hard to shake, especially when they involve breathless spinning. That may explain why Whole Foods’ rooftop ice skating rink is back again for a second year. Of course, it might also just be ruthless greed whoring capitalism, but whatever the case, it’s nice to be able to lace up and test your triple lux, even if it’s 85 and balmy. Hey, if you can’t live in a winter wonderland, buy one! One caution: If you’re going to mack at the skating rink, don’t try to act all cool. The only thing more hilarious than busting your ass on a public skating rink is being pissed off about it.