Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Spandex and Christmas Jes' Don't Mix!

Did you know that it's already Christmas in the Ozarks? That's right, folks. We were there last weekend, and Santa and the whole kit and caboodle are all there, too. Ahhh, Christmas in the Ozarks. . . what does this conjure up in your minds? Well, if you're the Tacky Princess, let me just tell you... :) Christmas in the Ozarks is going to the amusement park to go shopping. That's right. We paid $215 for a family of five to get in the door, and then it was like a big outdoor mall - with oodles and oodles of cheesy stuff. Like fried pickles. And Walking Reindeer Dolls. And pennies that have been flattened to look like Santa. Uh-huh. For real. And fuzzy Christmas dice (one red, one green). And don't forget the tree stumps that look like reindeer hooves. How happy would you be to open up one of those on Christmas morning?

After partaking in the "cram as much food in your face ritual", we commenced our search for the best rides. After all, we'd all taken our motion sickness med's. We were armed and ready for F-U-N, FUN! Bypassing vendor after vendor with hot chestnuts, fresh pork rinds (eeeooow), country skillets out the ying yang (ok, I admit, those were awesome, home-cooked food!), anything you could possibly think of putting on a stick, pig's feet, taffy, fudge, fudge and more fudge (did you see the part about the pig's feet???), we were dazed by our fruitless search.

Oh, I'm just getting started. It was like that feeling you get when you're absolutely overwhelmend and stifled by the crowd at a fair. So, we're walking around in the shopping hell, going, "Uh, point me to the roller coasters, please," when the lady in front of a "theater" accosts us and implores us to, "Come on in for the lahvnaytivtee!". "I'm sorry, the what?" "The Lahv Nay-tiv-tee! It's jes' gettin' ready to start up. It's real nice!" "Oh, the Live Nativity. How long does it last?" "About 15 minutes. The kids'll love it!" With that, we're in. That's when it dawns on me that we haven't seen a single person of color since setting foot in the amusement park. As if this isn't disturbing enough in and of itself, my husband leans over and whispers for me to look around at the general demographic here. Now, I'm trying hard not to be a WTM snob here, but it seemed to me that we were surrounded by people over 50, many of whom were dressed in spandex, Christmas sweatshirts (you KNOW the kind I'm referring to...) and cowboy boots. Some had suspenders. We were in a freakin' amusement park. You know, rides, cotton candy. It was an unseasonably balmy 81 degrees. Almost 50 bucks apiece just to walk in the door, and we're sitting waiting to watch a second-rate showing of the birth of Jesus. I popped another Dramamine, and the show began. Now, here's where writing surely can't do justice to the scene. To their credit, the "set" was pretty cool looking, though I don't think they had shiny pottery in biblical times. Stone looking structures. Live donkey. Authentic costuming. But here's the thing. This guy comes out - like the narrator. He's all dressed the part in robes and bare feet. He's gesturing dramatically, and words are coming out of speakers somewhere, and he's mouthing words, but they're obviously pre-recorded. CHEESY! They go through the whole story of the birth of Jesus, no room at the inn, etc. I seriously thought they might end with an alter call and a group dunking. Let me just interject here that I consider myself to be a Christian. My faith has gotten me through many a twist and tangle over the years. I don't know if you other Christians consider us Catholics as one of your own, but I do. I know, I know. For years, we Catholics thought we were the only ones up there (you know where I mean...), but we relented way back in like the early 70's and recognized that it would be extremely haughty of us to continue to believe that. So, here's where I'm going with this. From now until the holidays are over, this amusement park - and let's just get it out in the open. Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. There. I've said it. Sue me! So, SDC has what they call An Old Time Christmas in Silver Dollar City. The entire park is decorated for Christmas. Elves walking around. All the staff dressed in Christmas finery. There are nativity scenes everywhere, and carols are piped in 24/7. (Can you imagine working there every day?) Here's my question. . . Aren't they being just a little bit exclusionary? I know it's the Ozarks, but Geezy Pete! Heavens to Betsy! Golly Moses! Judas Priest! Couldn't they devote even one little area to the Menorah or something? It just seems so narrow-minded.I don't know. Maybe I'm just in a particularly devil's advocate sort of mood. I say unto you. Let thou amongst you without sin cast the first stone against me. Or, as usual, come sit by me. The water's fine. Maybe not so holy, but fine, nonetheless!


Blogger Lisa said...

For some reason my brother's girlfriend who is all of 22 LOVES to go to Branson MO. I think she and my brother are 80-year-olds trapped into bodies of 20-something people because they love to watch Wheel of Fortune and eat dinner at 4 p.m.

They are going this weekend... Dear God I hate that place. HHHAAAATTTTEEEE. Were there this summer because the girlfriend organized the trip. Boring. Overpriced. Stupid. Waste of gas, time and money. We went there to see Thomas the Train. It was a 20-minute train ride on a dank, dingy, stinky, old train. And the price of this ride - $20 PER PERSON. Even children who were a year old. Grrrr.

I hope your trip was way more fun. And I know what you mean on that whole Catholic issue. Grew up that way too. :-)

11/09/2005 12:56 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Girl...I just don't know.

I was DRUG the last two summers to Branson Mo for a "family vacation" with my husband's family. Nine of us in teenager.

The first summer we didn't even go to Silver Dollar City! WE DID OTHER STUFF! Shows! Go-karts! The Bass Pro Shop (which I hate to admit, wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it would be)! The Wax Museum was the worst!

My poor husband is "frugal". It was KILLING him. We got to the room the first night and he said "there ain't a damn thing here that don't cost 15 bucks a person." He was wrong of course-the tour at Stone Hill Winery is FREE!

I swear if I have to go next year, I'm shooting someone.

11/09/2005 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hell honey, it's bad, but not as bad as getting dragged to the precious moments chapel in carthage, mo.

actually, maybe it is. there are only so many flavors of rock candy you can buy, and paying high prices for food my granny cooked better at home never seemed like a reason to celebrate.

ever been to dogpatch, usa in arkansas? i think it might have closed by now, but it's yet another "amusement-park-go-ahead-laugh-at-us-hicks-while-we-skin-you-alive" places.

sounds like you paid some hard-earned mulah to hang out with a bunch of geezers.

11/09/2005 10:21 PM  
Blogger Omni said...

I had friend pickles once; they were pretty good. Hi, I'm Jackie's blog grandma!! :-)

11/09/2005 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are right in there. Planning a trip to Gatlinburg area, I was perplexed that I could find no pictures of the town. Only pictures of the surrounding hills/mountains. Good gawd, what a disaster those two places were. Our relaxing trip to the mountains was looking pretty shaky. All was saved as our cabin turned out to be on the side of a mountain with a spectacular view of the Smoky mtns and the valley.

11/10/2005 4:30 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Having been to Branson Missouri, my tip is this: Avoid it like the plague. Just my opinion. Hilarious blog btw. Love it!

11/10/2005 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Nilla said...

Hee! You should see the weird stuff they do in Japan. Nothing compares to thinking "oh, aren't those deer cute" to thinking "they ate the brochure, the baby's shoe, my hat.... good LORD they're just like GOATS!!!" and then you come home and tell everyone that you hate Bambi.

11/10/2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger ballerinamommy said...

I'm going to be the devil's advocate here, so bear with me. Branson generates employment for professional dancers! So that's a good thing, since many of my friends and former students have danced and are currently dancing in shows there. That being said, Branson is pretty hokey, but Lake of the Ozarks is quite nice!

11/10/2005 8:27 PM  
Blogger ballerinamommy said...

Oh, and I love your blog! I'm WT, and proud of it.

11/10/2005 8:29 PM  
Blogger kari said...

Hey! I'm Jackie's big sister. Big meaning older I hope. LOL

11/11/2005 6:16 AM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

A menorah in Branson? I think you'd have a better chance of finding the holy grail. I lived in the South for 3 years and I missed out on Branson, Pigeon Forge, etc..... From the looks of it, that was probably not a bad thing.

11/11/2005 1:46 PM  
Anonymous bear said...

As usual, funny as hell WTM. There is beauty everywhere. Think of it as your WT educutional trip. In fact, a challenge just occurred to me -- when will you be leading a trip with all WTF's to the most WT place? I suggest a Greyhound for transportation, but I imagine a fun time for all!

11/12/2005 4:55 AM  
Anonymous Live from Missouri said...

Welcome to the Bible Belt WTM!
That's mostly how it is around here -- love your writing, keep up the great posts!

11/13/2005 2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just try living there. I grew up in the Ozarks. I got married and my husband was offered a job. I thought we might get away from that kind of place, but where do we move? The Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee. It must be meant to be for me to live in these horrible little tourist towns.

11/14/2005 4:49 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I've never seen Christmas in the Ozarks however I have seen Christmas in Bumbletard, PA where I live. It's not even Thanksgiving and the lawns are already decorated with tacky, plastic reindeer. I have the overwhelming urge to put cigarettes in their mouths and sunglasses over all of their eyes. Now wouldn't THAT be cool...juveille I realize...but cool.

Yes, I realize I am off my rocker!


11/14/2005 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Associated Press calls Branson one of the top family vacation destinations in the country and for good reason. Check out Branson resort for you lodging needs.

1/02/2009 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Silver Dollar City is a pretty fun place to go to! There are plenty of other Branson attractions that are worth going to as well.

1/09/2009 12:29 PM  

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