Tuesday, December 29, 2015

5 Reasons Why I Relate To Clark Griswold Now More Then Ever

“Well I’m gonna park the cars and check the luggage, and well, I’ll be outside for the Season.”

Each year when Christmas time rolls around we light the yule log, binge eat figgy pudding (honestly does anyone eat that culinary delight?), and take in the greatness that is Christmas Vacation. I have consumed this cinematic masterpiece and all it has to offer since it was given to world like a gift from the magi back in 89'. Each year as I have taken this in for my viewing pleasure, it has meant something different. As a kid I saw Clark as a funny, eccentric, and over the top adult. As an adult, all I see is a version of me. For this express reason please enjoy the top 5 reasons why this movie means more to me as an F'er than ever before.

1.  Anticipation of the Season: As soon as the leaves turn and Costco begins putting out their Christmas decorations (which seems to be October) I start to get excited for the Holidays. As a kid I would get pumped due to the prospect of the Christmas haul, but as an adult I get excited about making Christmas as cool as possible for my offspring and loved ones. Throughout the movie you can see Clark's desire to make this happen. From hand digging out his own Christmas tree to being a nervous mess about his Holiday bonus, Mr. Griswold's only purpose is to make to make Christmas as memorable as possible. Hence the poetic line uttered in this masterpiece, “We’re gonna press on, and we’re going to have the hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f’ing Kaye.”

2.  Family: I once heard it eloquently stated that fish and family both start to go bad after 3 days. With this being said, the Holiday season is a time to be together with friends and family. Even though there are annoyances, its truly what the season is all about. Clark embodies this by wanting everyone to be under his roof. Even though he spends all his time trying to avoid contact with familial relations, he goes out of his way to make sure everyone is there and involved. This cohabitation of shared genetic material can produce memories that will last for a lifetime or possibly produce a wrapped up cat and an overdone turkey. One of the most classic lines from the Movie is when Ellen declares, “I don’t know what to say, except its Christmas we are all in misery.”

3:  Lights: When Tomas Edison invented the light bulb, I am fairly certain he had no idea the level of contention it would produce in my household around the Holiday season. First let me state for the record that I am all about Christmas lights. The source of debate in my house revolves around the quantity. My wife is all about straining the power grid and I am all about a nice roof line. Impending death on an icy roof is not my bag, and to this my wife tells me to get over it and man up. Every time I watch this movie and see him falling off the roof multiple times, I take the subtle moment of cinematic instruction to explain to my significant other why the upper roof pitch will remain as obscured as the dark side of the moon.  Clark reassures the public that putting up Christmas lights is family trait much like common DNA when he says, “Dad, you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination.”   

4.  Stress: Andy Williams and his voice of gold may have sang, “It’s the hap-happiest time of the year” but the Holidays can also be the most stress-stressful time of the year. Finances, family, and meeting expectations can all induce the classic Christmas freak-out. This movie nails all this yuletide emotion has to offer. I am fairly certain we can all relate to the Christmas melt down, from Clark fixing the newel post with a chain saw, to losing his mind over his invitation to the jelly of the month club.  It’s ironic that the time of the year in which we should be focused on peace on earth and good will toward men can produce 100% proof emotions of rage and stress. My favorite Griswold melt down goes as follows… Ellen states, “Clark, I think it would be best if everyone went home… before things get worse.” To which Clark replies, “WORSE? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We’re at the threshold of hell.”

5.  Eddie: We all have an Uncle Eddie in our lives, whether or not this person shows up over Christmas or is involved in our daily life. I bet if we all look hard enough into our pool of friends and family, an Uncle Eddie will show up. Eddie’s character embodies the individual in your life that drives you insane, but deep down (in some cases really deep down) you really love. Eddie for all his flaws is fiercely loyal, and willing to go to bat for Clark. Clark’s response to Eddie’s impromptu visit yields one the finest quotes from this picture show. Eddie states, “You surprised to see us, Clark? Clark responds, “Oh, Eddie…. If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am now.”

To all you F’ers out there, enjoy your Holiday season. Most of all remember, “you can’t see the line can you Russ.”

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