Hey 3.5 readers.
I’ve seen this movie a million times since childhood and happened to watch it again recently. It’s funny how the older your get, the more things you notice.
Thus, without further ado, and I have to do this quick before the Yeti finds out, it’s my Top Ten Observations About A Christmas Story (1983).
#10 – Life is Hard
Yeah, obvious, but still, I notice this more as an adult than I did as a kid. As a kid I just thought Ralphie’s father was an old grumpy bastard. Now I know why he’s old and grumpy. You work all day and then come home to a house where shit breaks every five minutes and you have to spend all your free time fixing it because if you can’t then you have to shell out some of that money you worked so hard for. No wonder the old man swears so much. Consarn it rabbin blast it!
#9 – Baby Boomers Love Cowboys
Cowboys to baby boomers are what Transformers/GI Joe were to Generation X and Avengers and Spongebob Squarepants and Complaining About Literally Everything were/are to Millennials. Ralphie was a little baby boomer kid. He grew up watching cowboy movies. He wants to get a Red Ryder BB gun so he can pretend to be a cowboy. Shooting his eye out is not a concern, though it really should be. Which brings us to…
#8 – Parents Coddle More
May be a good thing in some instances and not so good in other cases. Honestly, I have no idea a parent could give a BB gun to a kid and not suddenly worry about, well yes, not just the kid shooting his eye out but also the ensuing hospital bills and having to take care of the kid when he is an adult because his employment prospects will be limited due to his one eye. Also – lawsuits and shit in the event Ralphie shoots some other kid in the eye. Back in the old days, Ralphie’s father could have just settled up with another injured kid’s father with either fisticuffs or cash on the barrel head but now the lawyers ruin everything. Thanks lawyers.
#7 – Poor Flick
Flick gets his tongue stuck to the flag pole. (Never lick a flag pole, especially during the winter, but seriously, there’s no reason for you to lick a flag pole at any time of the year, weirdo).
As soon as the firemen and cops get Flick unstuck, he immediately returns to class with a bandaged up tongue.
Today, the kid would be out of school at least a month in order to go on all the TV shows that would want to interview him on account of his story as the flag pole licker going viral on social media. Surely a Kickstarter would be started to pay for his tongue repair bills.
He’d be branded for life as the flag pole licker but at least he’d get to host SNL or throw out the first pitch at a baseball game or something.
#6 – Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring
Do orphans even exist now? Annie would be like “Little Foster Child Annie” or something. But yes, I sympathize with Ralphie when he drinks a shit ton of Ovaltine just to win a decoder ring that allows him to decode a message that urges him to “drink more Ovaltine.”
In short, Madison Avenue has been hoodwinking kids with advertising gimmicks for years.
Also, Ovaltine isn’t bad. You can still find it in stores. It’s just chocolate milk mix with vitamins in it and shit. Delicious.
#5 – Kids Choke Up When They See Santa
You see it in the Santa scene but it happens in real life too. The kid waits and waits and waits in line to see Santa and then when he gets up there on Santa’s lap, he starts crying then chokes worse than the Cleveland Indians.
What? Too soon? My bad.
Kudos to Ralphie for at least having the guts to climb back up the slide and demand his Red Ryder.
#4 – Having a Sibling is a Pain in the Ass
In some ways, having a sibling is a good thing. Your sibling is your introduction to the concept that the world doesn’t revolve around you and that someone will always be there to criticize you and complain about you and take shit from you no matter what you do.
Don’t like that your brother stole your toy, ate the last cookie, or changed the TV channel? Good luck when you grow up and your boss wants to downsize your department, your company wants to lay you off and your wife wants to see other people but still wants to keep seeing your bank account.
#3 – Bullies Are Also a Pain in the Ass
Scott Farkus is a dick. And while he probably deserved a slap, he is just a kid himself and didn’t really deserve an epic beat down. Ralphie lost his cool. When he gets his senses back, he realizes he should have just walked away and feels bad. Hooray. Ralphie learns from his mistakes and won’t grow up to become a serial killer now that he knows right from wrong.
#2 – Siblings Stick By You
Yes, they are pains in the ass. Yes, Randy laughs at Ralphie’s failures. But, when the chips are down, Randy hides in the cupboard and cries because he is certain his dear brother will meet his demise when his father hears about the big fight. That’s love.
#1 – Things Aren’t Always Bad As They Seem
Ralphie cries all afternoon, certain his father will go off on him when he learns about the fight. Luckily, Ralphie’s mother knows just how to handle Ralphie’s father. She mentions it in passing as if it is no big deal and as part of a whole series of subjects, then quickly switches the subject to a story about a football game in the paper. Thus, she’s told her husband so he can’t complain about not knowing about it later. However, the old man is tired and his mind can only handle so many subjects, so he sees his wife doesn’t seem to be too worried and Ralphie is still alive so he doesn’t care and returns to his paper.
Adults have too much adult shit to worry about, kids.