Friday, December 19, 2003

"I have the inflatable snowman and a neighbor has the Homer Simpson Santa," he says. "In California, these are necessities. Without gaudy decorations and lights, no one would know it's Christmas."

Just the thing to bring the spirit of Christmas to your house: a giant inflatable Homer Simpson Santa. And not just a giant - we're talking 8 - 10 feet tall - inflatable Homer Simpson Santa but also a giant inflatable Mickey Mouse, Scooby-doo, and giant penguin. Boy howdy, nothing says "Christmas" like a 10 foot tall inflatable penguin, does it?

You can read about the wonder of it all in the Times this morning. And for a change this article is on the web here even though it's in the Calendar section. Lately, they've been charging for access to Calendar articles. I guess this is just too vital for our cultural awareness to restrict. Of course, as I am in California I don't actually have to read about it. Mary and I are accompanied on our evening walks through the neighborhood by the whir of electric motors keeping Mickey and friends inflated to their full height.

And when Conrad Tafoya inflated an actual Grinch balloon in front of his Hancock Park apartment, a little boy ran away screaming in terror at the suddenly towering sight. But everyone else loves it, Tafoya says.

Well, not quite everyone. I don't want to be a Scrooge about it, but I'm pretty much of the little boy's opinion. Oh, what the heck. Yes, I do, too want to be a Scrooge about it.

I may have to stop now and imbibe a glass of this seasonal cheer to revive my failing spirits. As it were.