Hanukkah, The Cabbage Patch & The Cat: A Feline Conspiracy!
If there is a time of year that the crazy brigade comes out in full force it is that stretch of time between Halloween and that ends right after New Year’s. By Giant Baba’s Boot! If it isn’t crazy christians claiming Halloween promotes Satan (it doesn’t) to the PETA/Vegan Gestapo claiming that eating turkey’s is wrong (wrong no, delicious yes) the only thing can make it worse is how everyone loses their fucking minds for the entire month of December. I mean Christmas makes people go batshit insane!
It’s not like this is something new. Anyone rember the Cabbage Patch Riots of of 1983? Having lived in New York City, a locale that trives on commerce and insanity, I got to see firthand what people would do to get their hands on a Cabbage Patch Kid. I was 11 years old at the time. I remember all my friends… no let me emphasize… all my GUY frinds wanted cabbage Patch Dolls. This confused the fuck out of me. We were dudes. Dudes should not want Cabbage Patch Kids. A Dude should get G.I. Joe and Star Wars toys, or perhaps if you’re parents were kind of clueless at least some army men, but Cabbage Patch Kids?
It was like I’d stepped into Bizarro World!. Even worse was when my mother took me to Macy’s that year. Mind you, we went so she could find me a few pair of slacks and some dress shirts for me. What? We’re Jewish and Hanukkah was coming. You gentiles could feud over your Cabbage Patch Kids but we Jews know that no matter what fad is in, people will always need clothes. Anyway, I was given 10 minutes while my mother and the evil that was my sister scouted out the cosmetics department. Naturally I went to the toy department because I was 11 and that is what little boys do. What I witnessed was a Shiksa Festival, the likes I’ve never seen.
A horde of women were climbing over one another to get the new Cabbage Patch Kids that just hit the shelves. It was like that scene from It‘s A Wonderful Life when everyone as rushing the bank. I mean the sheer insanity I was watching laft me stadning there in awe. Hordes of women (shiksa and yentas alike) doing everything to get their hands on the ugliest looking toy ever. If a store clerk looking like Jimmy Stewart had come out and given a speech to calm these people down he would’ve been eaten alive liek he was in a zombie movie, because there is no appeasing a horde of determined, angry women. This proves to me that Christmas maybe about good will towards men and celebrating That Guy On The Cross’ Birthday but in actuality it brings out man’s savage nature. It is Darwinism on a consumer level and man is it disturbing.
Imagine my horror when the first night of Hanukkah rolled around. My family said our prayers over the candles, drank some wine and enjoyed a fine meal of brisket and latkes. When all that was done, we finally got ot the opening of the presents. I already knew I was getting slacks and dress shirts from my mother. My Father got me a new Yankees cap and tam jacket. My sister got me the same thing I got her, pure spite. Remember kids, spite is agreat gift because it costs you nothing and is non-refundable. When it came ot my sisters gifts there one big one, something wapped up nicely. She opened it with glee and I satthere with dread, for I knew what it was by the mere shape of the box. Thus ‘Audrey’ was introduced into our family. Audrey, the fucking Cabbage Patch Kid. How I hated Audrey.
I think the only member of our family that hated Audrey more than I was my sister’s evil siamese cat Archie (full name: Archibald Andrews… no I’m not even fucking joking). Up until Audrey The Cabbage Kid joined the family, Archie had been my chief nemesis. Archie loved to use me as a scratching post and then run to my sister like he was the one who was wronged. Archie would get on the highest shelf in the kitchen and wait until I would come by and then pounce on my head like he was a leopard stalking Tarzan. I’m sure while I slept, my sister’s cat would hold a dagger over my heart and recite dark prayers in his evil cat tongue to his evil cat god. Yes, Arcibald Andrews harris was the most terrifying fucking siamese cat I’ve ever known. But Archie, being a cat, was also prone to the green-eyed monster…
Wait… that’s not right… oh no, the green-eyed monster known as jealousy. See, unless Archie was being showered with my sister’s attentions, he would be plotting the demise of the other things that had her attention. I had been blamed one time to many for destroyed Barbie dolls that Archie had mangled. No one pay attention to Archie when we are having Ceder for Passover, Archie jumps right on the table landing right on the shank of lamb. Hell there is a picture of me as a baby. I had been brought home from the hospital and laid down on the sofa for moment. There, standing over me was Archie. Now some might say that it ‘cute’ or that ‘Archie was watching over Jamie’. Those people are delusional. I was the newborn baby and Archie was getting absolutely no attention. I mean NONE! Even my sister was pulling the ‘Aw! Look at the baby!'” routine. Make no mistake friends, that cat was plotting my demise then and there. He was like the Lex Luthor of cats and since that makes Baby James analogous to Superman, I have no problem with that.
Anyway, with the advent of Audrey, Archie became the jealous evil monster I always knew he was. For months he was second in my sister’s heart to Audrey. Archie was number 1 and the best, he was second fiddle to no one, least of all a doll. Now Audrey had a place of honor on my sister’s shelf of dolls. Her Barbie and and Barbie knock-offs occupied the main shelf for the longest time (along with her Raggedy Ann). Audrey supplanted Barbie and her cohorts, which no doubt pissed those snotty bitches off. “That Audrey girl is totally homely” I can imagine them saying, “She like totally needs to go to another shelf withthat lesbo Bionic Woman doll”.
Well Archie decided he had enough apparently and jumped onto the shelf, or so I surmise, I mean I wasn’t in the room. Archie not only shoved poor Audrey off the shelf but he then jumped off her exposed back and tore up her close. I imagine it was like that scene in Death Wish 2 where Marina Sirtis got raped, just minus the really nice shot of Marina Sirtis’ incredible naked rack. Audrey’s clothes were torn to shreds and her back completely scratched to hell courtesy of Archie’s claws. Now, I cannot stress this enough, I was NOT IN THE ROOM. I’m just saying, that is hw imagine it having happened given that I know where my sister kept her dolls and the condition of Audrey after Archie decided to make like Brando in Last Tango In Paris.
So ther ewas poor Audrey, battered and humiliated. Guess who got the blame for it?
Yep, my sister clearly pout the blame on me. I pointed out ot my mother that there was no ay I could’ve mangled that doll because of the claw marks oon the back. I was and remain to this day someone who bites his nails. I also pointed outthat to reach my sister’s doll shelf I’d need either a step-ladder (which we did have) or a trampoline (which we did not). My mother didn’t wantot hear my pleas of innoucnece. I was sent to my room ntil my father got home. I was actually ok withthis. My room was full of comic books and toys so waiting for my father to get home was no big deal. See, usually when I would do something wrong I would sit in my room in terror waiting for my father. I rarely got spanked but that wasn’t even my father’s worst weapon to weild on me. No no, it was the “I’m so very disappointed in you…” speech. My father could use that speech like a surgeon with scalpel, it would cut you to the bone with that much precision. But see this time, I was in the right, I did nothing wrong. It was all that damn cat’s doing.
My father got home at 7 that night. My mother gave him the quick “Listen to what YOUR son did” rundown of events and n walked my Dad to my room. He asked me for an explanation and I made my case. Scratches versus No Fingernails. To short to reach the shelf. I threw it all at him in the best way I could, in the language he spoke better than any Vulcan… LOGIC! After hearing me out Dad nodded and was silent for a moment. “Ok, stay in your room tonight” he said, “If I let you roam the apartment freely your sister will cry and scream until I just you back here anyway”. I couldn’t argue with that. I mean I was 11 years old but I actually got his point. “Your sister should be on the stage for the tantrum she is throwing right now” said Dad with a sigh, “Lord I hate that cat!”.
I swear if I had looked in a mirror right then and there my jaw would’ve been o nthe floor. He knew which family member was responsible, even worse he knew he couldn’t do anythign about. Why? Because that cat had raped that doll out of pure jealousy but that cat was now cuddling in my sister’s arms as her only source of solace and comfort. It was a sinister and brilliant. Fuck Lex Luthor! Lex Luthor always gets caught! That cat was Professor Moriarty to my Dad’s Sherlock Holmes. I was Dr. Watson this whole time!
I cannot stress this last sentiment enough to end this tale… I REALLY hated that fucking cat!