The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.
— Joan Rivers
Christmas movies - we have a whole stable of them. Watching each one before the Big Day has become a moral imperative, a holiday rite akin to Candlelight services and eggnog. Lately, I'm wondering what subliminal messages we've been permitting.
Take How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Every house in Whoville is burglarized and not a single cop from Whoville PD is around to take a report? Seriously?! What the hell? With some crazy neighbor living in the hills and no locks on the doors.... Come on, folks. Do your jobs.
I can't be the only one creeped out watching Miracle on 34th St. A guy hangs around his apartment wearing a suit, smoking a pipe and drinking coffee from a cup with a saucer on his day off and the mom lets her daughter watch a parade with him...alone? "I'm awfully fond of Suzie" the guy says to Mom and.... Nothing happens? Mom should be the one being examined by the amateur shrink, not the kid who loves playing Santa. Although, now that I write this....
White Christmas? The Haynes Sisters are wanted, the sheriff outside their door with a warrant for their arrest. What do Wallace and Davis do? Spirit them out a window, stall law enforcement long enough to ensure their getaway over state lines and then barricade the door? We arrest people for interference and harboring fugitives for a lot less than that.
But the grand prize goes to It's a Wonderful Life. As George Bailey's life unravels, he comes home and smashes things in his house, in front of his wife and kids. He leaves, goes to a bar and gets drunk. A fistfight ensues. Climbing into his car, he smashes into a tree and then walks away. Let's see.... DV criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, DUI hit and run TA and this is our hero? And what's with Mr. Gower slapping the shit out of young George?
After thirty years in law enforcement, these are not charming Christmas movies. They are fact patterns. Although I have to admit a certain collegial admiration for a lawyer who can prove a deluded old guy is Santa Claus with a bunch of letters the Post Office had refused to deliver.
Hee haw. See you in the funny papers!