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Rick's List: Holiday Assignments Edition

I have no delusions of importance and I can't spell "grandure." As such, the other day, when I read about some celebrity who was asked to scrawl his name alongside those of other similarly prestigious folks on a letter of protest to a world leader, I wasn't bitter my own signature wasn't solicited to help the cause.

Here's the deal, though. I don't even remember what awfulness the letter was protesting because I'd soared into a daydream about how sensational I'd feel if one of those Oprah Winfrey or Tom Hanks people — notable stars who reliably do good deeds — called and said, "Rick, we're sending a letter of protest to a world leader and we think it would carry a lot more gravitas if you'd sign it."

"Why, sure, ah ... who is this again? Oh, Tom. Right! Happy to help if I can!" I'd say. And Tom would assure me that a fleet-footed messenger would get the document to me at top speed, and I'd hang up after a cheery adieu.

Well, I have no control over whether famous people regard me as a Fellow of Substance and seek me out for important endorsements.

I am reminded, though, that, as sand through the hourglass, so lopes the Reaper with increasing speed in my rearview. With that thought in mind, here are some other things I also wish would happen — with the difference being that I CAN control whether they occur.

1. I'm going to memorize an entire classroom-chalkboard's worth of dense mathematical jargon, the kind we saw the sullen Matt Damon/janitor adeptly solving in "Good Will Hunting," but which otherwise is a complete mystery to even the great thinkers of the world. Then I'll just burst into an Intro to Algebra lecture at a high school, pull my own piece of chalk out of my pocket, and scrawl the entire thing on the blackboard right in the middle of a lecture. Then, nodding briskly to the astonished students and instructor, I'll say, "That conjecture had been bugging me since breakfast. But I think I got it. Sorry for the interruption." Then leave.

2. Yes, I'll have to find a school that still has blackboards.

3. Eileen and I can and will watch every brand-new Christmas movie premiering on the Hallmark and Lifetime channels this season. I did the math (see above, chalkboard). Each network is showing over 400 new movies for the holidays, meaning they've somehow circumvented the space-time continuum since there literally aren't enough hours before Christmas to show all the films. Yet it somehow works! Christmas is magical!

4. One thought: Maybe it's just the overall dark mood emanating from 2020, but there are some strange seasonal movies so far. Nonetheless, we've enjoyed "A Very Ironweed Christmas," "Santa On the Trail of Tears," "Under the Mistletoe with Eva Braun," "North Pole COVID Quarantine," "Riot at the Death Row Holiday Fair," and "Who Dipped the Candy Canes in Wasp Spray?" 

5. Utilizing the wood shop in our garage, I'm going to make one of those commemorative historical plaques you see affixed to homes in the area. "Wilson-Tate House, 1657" or whatever. Mine will say: "On this site in 2020, Rick Koster wrote a script for a Hallmark Christmas movie called 'A Very Glengarry Glen Ross Christmas.'"


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