01 February 2015

FEC Post-Festivus Ghosts

Meetings of the Inmates Committee (IC) are always subdued after the holidays and this is no exception. The previous meeting ― the Festivus planning meeting ― sucked away the collective energy. Ms Etoile preempted that meeting to deplore the alarming tendency of embracing the Black Friday of our neighbours to the south. Why are we appropriating an American extra-long weekend of Thanksgiving and college football day of killer shopping?! Shoppers actually get trampled! Undisguised, naked consumerism, she went on, face turning red with momentum. Lining up for hours for bargains with sneakily manipulated prices!

Warming up to theatrical proportions, WHY, she asks, are we getting more and more of this commercial pitch at the end of November! That is not the Canadian way! We have our very own Boxing Day and let us not forget it! Is it not sufficient to have ONE day of December craziness in a world where Christmas muzak starts in October?


This was before Mr. OC even had time to introduce the agenda. Luther was still trying to process "appropriating." The rest of us applauded in a rush of patriotic common sense because we support being Canadian. And partly to stop the flow before Ms E launched into karmic advice from her new Facebook friend the Dalai Lama. After threatening to resign if decorum was not observed ― always an effective ploy, no-one wants his job ― Mr. OC whacked his gavel and we settled down.

It is the IC's job to make Festivus at FEC a merry, harmonious season for all the lunatics residents. First of all, the common room must be decorated. Jiminy Crickets undertakes this task. He hides stores the decorations, lights, candles, baubles, and tinsel because in his mind he owns this annual creative display. So the IC had to ask him on metaphorical bended knee to bless us again with his decor of excellence. His proprietary feelings are such that once when a brash IC member tried to wangle the job away from him, mutual recriminations erupted and the decorations were held hostage. Last year he went blue everything, further depressing a number of the suicidal seasonally-sensitive.

The carol singalong concert went fairly well although the accompanist refused to return after last year's disaster. Ophelia said Susanna can probably bang out Hark the Herald Angels and a few other tunes on the piano. Susanna (not present) got volunteered. George made a fuss that 2% eggnog is not the real thing and let's not run out of it again. Volunteer bartender Thomas the Brave took that as personal criticism and had to be cajoled not to resign.

 Trevor (not present) was nominated to be MC, his attack of gout notwithstanding. He always does a marvellous "I Am a Modern Major General." All the usual in-house musical talent were given their traditional solo opportunities. Another near-contretemps when Gonzo frowned to say I'm not sitting through one more version of Diva Darlene's off-key Winter Wonderland. George bristled to retort (everyone knows his secret lust for Darlene), Ophelia eyerolled, Thomas snorted, Bella blinked, and Ms E yelled, "Now, now, darlings. Deep breath!"

Bella might have drained her discreet booze water bottle by that time because she wondered if the alleged gypsies (not present) might contribute some colour to the concert. She has inexplicably become attached to their presence, now more or less fixtures in Dominic's suite. Mr. OC easily blocked that line of thought with a thunderous lift of his eyebrows.

Today Ms Etoile righteously beams on behalf of the Performance Subcommittee's success. Ophelia wants to know who left the mouldy piece of pie in the communal kitchen's fridge and where did three of the plates go? "Check the gypsies!" roars Luther in good humour.

And so it goes. Gonzo the Treasurer reports that the donation baskets at various Festivus events yielded a lousy $31.19 for the IC petty cash. Gonzo remarks whoever put in the pennies is a miserable shite. Adding gloomily "$31.19 won't cover the rum." It must be winter. The IC of the Fading Entertainers Central (FEC) is not up to Oscar performance levels. Too many inmates residents keeping indoors, restless and quarrelsome. Next meeting: St. Patrick's Day and Easter plans. Groans.

Another feckless day in the life. 

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