The Not So Great Gatsby: A Night Out With Scrooge

Dear Nick,

I’ve really enjoyed my first year at Motif. 2013 has been a wild thrill ride of a year, and writing this column has been the icing on the proverbial calendar cake.

I met Ebenezer at the Avery so we could decide what Christmas sites we’d see around the state. Someone had finished JR’s supply of Pappy Van Winkle, so I had Kelly pour me a Blanton’s, and I waited for Scrooge to saunter in. He arrived while my ice cube was mid-melt, and we sat down to plan our night.

“Ebenezer, how have you been keeping?”

Christmas at Blithewold

“You know me.  I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do.”

“You and Joe Walsh both!” I said. “I heard that Blithewold Mansion in Bristol has some great events during the season. A bonfire, hot cocoa and a singalong. What do you say we start there?”

“Bah. Fire? Is that safe? Bristol is so far out of the way. My singing voice isn’t prepared to carol in public. What else could we do?”

“I heard the Christmas tree lighting at Bowen’s Wharf is a lot of fun. Santa arrives by boat and there is music there as well. From there we could tour the mansions done up in their holiday splendor.”

“So we’ll have to go over the bridge? And pay tolls both ways? You may get along with the mansion set down there, but that is not my speed. What else?”

“We could see The Nutcracker at Festival Ballet, or Coppelia at State Ballet.”

“The only problem with those ideas is that they are Baaah-let and Baaah-let. Humbug.”

“The West Side Neighbors do a caroling night around the West Side of Providence.”

“I was serious about not singing. And I am not a fan of walking in a winter wonderland.”

“The Arcade just reopened downtown. We could go take a walk around and get some Christmas shopping done. Some of the new stores sound cool and they have a coffee and whiskey bistro.”

“I paid for a fatted goose last year. Am I supposed to get gifts every year? This whole gift thing wasn’t a one-time deal?”

“No. In fact there are some great art sales all over the state. From galleries to the Armory in Pawtucket, you can get some really unique gifts for everyone on your list.”

“I am not artsy fartsy like you. I wouldn’t know a Monet, but I know my money. And art costs a lot of it.”

“No, you can find something in your price range. Whether you are a pauper or a Pell. How about going ice skating down at the Bank of America skate rink?”

“I’m going to pretend you never even said that. Let’s just say I don’t live my life based on what Brian Boitano would do.”

“I have one last idea. Not sure if you will like it or not. We could check out a holiday play I heard about. It’s called A Christmas Carol and it’s playing at The Artists’ Exchange in Cranston, The Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket and at Trinity Rep in Providence, so you actually have to go out of your way to avoid it. What do you think?”

“I love that idea. I heard the main character is a handsome, generous sort. And tall. And good looking. At least that’s what I heard. Call and let’s get tickets.”

I looked at my watch and down at my second Blanton’s. We had missed that night’s curtain we had done so much rantin’. I had spent the whole night listening to Scrooge’s rude rumbling, it had gotten so late that my stomach was grumbling. I was filled with the spirit, but needed food to make me whole, so across the street we went to North (which is close enough to “North Pole”). Ordered country ham and some oysters… didn’t speak ’til they were done. Merry Christmas to all, now go have yourself some fun.

Ho Ho Ho,

Gatsby

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