In my hometown of Alamo, Tennessee, there is an exotic animal park. When I was growing up, one of the local farmers had several buffalo. These were a rare sight in West Tennessee. The farm where they were located was on a major highway near town. They were always something to keep an eye out for when travelling down this highway. Over the years, he added more different animals to his collection and later opened a drive thru park that has become a tourist attraction for the area.
Purchased years before my kids were born
Before they get misplaced
Or my family is disgraced
I think it’s time the whole thing gets replaced
I’m looking for an inflatable baby Jesus
To decorate my lawn this Christmas eve
And I’m looking for an inflatable Christmas stable
With an inflatable star that everyone can see
And I’m looking for an inflatable Joseph and Mary
With lights inside to show us all the way
To get to the inflatable baby Jesus
To decorate my lawn on Christmas day
Yes I’m looking for an inflatable baby Jesus
Lying in an inflatable manger and hay
An inflatable cow and an inflatable donkey
All anchored down so they don’t blow away
Inflatable sheep and an inflatable camel
Kept behind an inflatable fence
Inflatable shepherds and inflatable wise men
With inflatable gold and myrrh and frankincense
I’ve got a brand new snowman
And a great big Santa Claus
His head turns side to side and he waves
And a bunch Christmas penguins
Sliding down a slide
And dancing reindeer pulling on a sleigh
But I really need an inflatable baby Jesus
Because the plastic one don’t work no more
And I cannot find an inflatable baby Jesus
When I look for one at my local store
If you see an inflatable baby Jesus
Pick him up and send him on my way
So I can have an inflatable Baby Jesus
To decorate my lawn this Christmas day
Art Wheeler © 2017
There are a handful of Three Stooges shorts that have scary stories. When I was a kid watching these films, I saw them way more often than I saw any other horror movies. They were just scary enough to introduce me to the pleasures of horror films.
The best horror films also make us laugh. Any time you go see a horror film that has a moment where the audience screams, it is always followed with laughs. Many comedians have made horror/comedy films. Laurel and Hardy went into this territory with their film Oliver the Eighth.
I doubt if very many of you recognize the name Pamelyn Ferdin. But if you grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, you would have seen her in countless television shows. Younger kids would know her face if they ever watch Brady Bunch reruns. She was the voice of Lucy Van Pelt in many of the Peanuts movies and specials although she didn’t do the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. She also played a dead girl in a TV movie called Daughter of the Mind. At the time, this was the scariest movie I had ever seen.
A few weeks ago, I saw the film noir classic, Laura for the first time. It is probably the film that Dana Andrews is best known for but I know him better for a handful of science fiction and horror films he made in the 1960’s. My favorite of these is a British film called The Frozen Dead.
I’ve talked about our early experiences with epilepsy in my previous two posts. My wife had no seizures during the time she was pregnant with our three children or any of the time between the pregnancies. About two years after our third child was born, my wife had another seizure. Almost a year later, she had another one. Like every other seizure she has had in her life, these occurred at night.
I talked my first experience with my wife having seizures in my previous post. She didn’t have any issues until the end of that year as we prepared to visit my mother-in-law in San Antonio. My wife and I had planned to travel with her brother and his wife to Little Rock, Arkansas on New Year’s Eve. We had booked a flight from there to San Antonio early on New Year’s Day.
When I was around 3 and 4 years old, there weren’t very many kids my age in the neighborhood that I could play with without crossing the street. When I would go outside and play, I had imaginary friends that I told my parents that I was playing with. Johnny and Gina were their names. My parents have told me that there was another friend that I talked about named Pokel. I don’t remember Pokel, but I suspect that he was some sort of horse character like Pokey on the Gumby show. I think the only time that Pokel made an appearance in my play was probably once when I had watched Gumby. When my parents would ask me who I was playing with, I would respond, “My imaginary playmates, Johnny and Gina.”
I have memories of doing this but I have no memory of what we exactly did. It seems like one time I went to visit their “house” and knocked on their door, which was actually just the backside of my Aunt Francis’ house which was next to our house. All our family and friends that lived in the neighborhood knew about Johnny and Gina. My sister was born when I was 4 and a half years old and she is named Gina. She is named after my imaginary friend.
Let me start out by saying that epilepsy is no laughing matter. It is a serious condition that is hard on the people who live with it and the people that live with them. I don’t share this story because epilepsy is funny. I share it because my reaction to it is funny.
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller