Monday, November 29, 2010

Episode 47: Christmas and Commerce

We made it! This episode finishes up 1996's run of shows! Doesn't seem like much a feat when considering how many shows are left to listen to, but hey, it's a start, right?

This show is one that I've been looking forward to ever since I saw it was a Christmas episode- it includes "The Santa Land Diaries" by David Sedaris. This story, if you have managed to not hear or read it, in all of its epicness, is the real life tale of Sedaris being an elf at Macy's in New York City. He shares tales of just not wanting to be so cheery, the many different rigorous positions an elf could work in and everyday moments of other fellows elves and Santas at Macy's.

This story is one of the reasons that Sedaris is as well known in the public radio community, along with, I think, part of the reason his books sell so well (and this story is also part of why I dropped so much for a ticket to see him perform next April, but I evidentally am so cheap I just like being able to state that different places, as to feel better about spending so much to be entertained for a few hours). This is one of those stories that made me go out and purchase the book that includes it- and I'll even plug it here- "Holiday On Ice" is Sedaris' Christmas story collection and I highly suggest it, particularly this Christmas season, or anytime of the year. After working in retail for 4+ years, "Santa Land Diaries" is one of my must reads every Christmas holiday.

Besides Sedaris' now-classic Christmas story, there are three other pretty cool little acts in this episode. The show opens with Ira in the world's largest Toys -R-Us at closing time on Christmas eve. Act three is about a window actor who played Freud in a Barney's holiday window and the implications of the job, premeditated and not (having a therapy session? Why not!). The fourth act is some audio from one of the music guru's family Christmas, at age 3. Notably he gets a toy record player- I dare say at that point a life was forever changed.

These shorter stories are pretty good accompaniments to "The Santa Land Diaries", but Sedaris knows how to hold down this episode while also holding down the Christmas holiday (and I'm pretty sure we'll hear the hilarious tale over and over and over again).

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