Memo for a Winter Spectacular

Memo to Dad
Subject: Upcoming performance of ‘The Winter Spectacular’

Because you are known NOT to pay attention, I am writing you this memo to go over important instructions for my performance of “The Winter Spectacular.” As you may recall, but probably don’t because you had that blank look on your face at dinner, “The Winter Spectacular” is when I dance and spin colored streamers to the delightful sounds of Christmas music. It is for select family members and takes place in the dining room. You remember now? All coming back to you?

Your role in the performance is very simple … which is why I’m worried. Whenever something is “simple” you either: 1) over-complicate it, or 2) don’t pay any attention. LIKE RIGHT NOW! Are you paying attention!?! Come on, stay with me.

OK, so here are some key things you must remember:

• The performance will last approximately 4 hours. There will be seven 20-minute intermissions, and an encore that should take a little over an hour depending on how long the applause goes on for.

• You are strictly forbidden from taking bathroom breaks, coffee breaks, breaks to complain about how long the show is or any mention of soccer matches on TV that you’re missing. We all know you’re DVR-ing them!

• You may notice large charges on your credit card bill. Don’t worry. These are just to iTunes for the purchase of the 82,000 Christmas songs. BTW, I don’t know what “exceeded credit limit” means, but there is a message about it on the answering machine.

• You are in charge of building the stage and hanging the curtain and lights. I spoke with a local engineer who said knocking out part of the dining room wall shouldn’t be a problem, so long as we add some flying buttresses along the western side of the house. Can you take care of that, please?

• There is a scene where Lily jumps through a flaming hoop. Because I don’t like fire or the smell of gasoline, I am going to need you to hold the hoop.

• My attorney has asked that you sign a rights waiver. It’s on the breakfast bar.

• You must remain focused at all times. No watching squirrels or hummingbirds out the window like you usually do … especially while holding fire.

• You are strictly forbidden from saying these words out loud or in your head: “Wow,” “She is so beautiful!” “I am so proud of you,” “I think I’m going to cry,” “My hands are on fire!!!” or any combination of any of these words.

• During the performance of “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” I will need you to wheel in the two-ton chunk of dry ice. DON’T TOUCH THE DRY ICE! You know what happened last time.

• Smile the whole time, stay focused and make sure our guests are comfortable. Are you paying attention?!? Come on, stay with me here!

Also published on Medium.

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