Having spent my share of sad, dreadful, double-up-on-the-anti-depressants-Christmases, counting the hours until the fucking holiday was over, I thought I might create a way of not just surviving but actually coping with Christmas—and invite you along.
What we're going to do here is to create a Christmas so bleak and desperate that nothing can be as bad ever. And we'll do it together!
We'll start Richard Goodman's Christmas on Christmas Eve, because that's when things get serious, don't they? All the happy people are huddled by the fire drinking their mulled wine and saying things like, "Ok, you can open one present--but only one!!!!!"
Not us!!!! We'll be headed to the New York City subway system. We're going to catch the F train at 34th Street, a particularly crowded, noisy station, at 6pm and ride the train for the next three hours back and forth. The train will be extremely crowded because of the hour, and I will have arranged to have six out-of-tune street singers perform, without stopping, directly in front of you.
At 9PM we'll get off the subway back at 34th Street. We will emerge at Herald Square and walk west to the Hudson River. On the way, we'll dine at White Castle, a hamburger chain known for its harsh fluorescent interiors and for being high on the Board of Health's watch list.
After dining, we'll head to the Hudson River where, if my past experience is any guide, it will be cold and windy and dark. We'll stand there for two hours, shivering.
Eleven o'clock! Time to head to the pay-by-the-hour motel I've booked you in just up the way on Eleventh Avenue near the Lincoln Tunnel. The noise and pollution will keep you up most of the night. But that's a good thing! Because you won't need a wake-up call!
Christmas day! This is the heart of the Richard Goodman Christmas!!!
We'll meet at 5am at New York's famed Port Authority bus terminal!! Here's we'll enjoy a holiday breakfast of coffee in a Styrofoam cup and stale doughnuts. Then we'll hop on a bus for a day in Staten Island, in one of the most isolated and xenophobic neighborhoods in New York, if not the world—New Springville. We'll knock on random front doors starting at 7am wishing the homeowners, "Merry Christmas!!! Unless you're Jewish!!!!" Then we'll sing "The Little Drummer Boy" six times to the lucky person who answers the door. Those of us who are met with some hostility or even physical harm will be left to fend for themselves.
Time for presents!!!
Each one of you will have been given $3 to spend at the Dollar Store to purchase your gift. And each of you will have the name of one person in the group who you exchange gifts with. This ceremony will take place in an empty parking lot.
Time to have our big Christmas meal!!
We're going to a dumpster!!! This dumpster, located in back of a local high school, will have treats from the two or three cafeteria meals the kids ate! Chances are, you won't be able to determine what it is you're eating—but, hey, this is an adventure!!
After our sumptuous meal, we'll take the bus back to Port Authority for an afternoon of pornographic films on Eighth Avenue!! You'll be able to choose from classics like, "Inside Mrs. Claus," "Rudolph the Rimming Reindeer" and "Bite Christmas."
Guess what? The holiday is almost over! But not before we have our holiday toast. We'll gather at Shaney's Irish Bar on the Bowery, known as one of the last bars for the downtrodden, where you can get a 50cent beer in an unwashed class!!! What better way to close out our Christmas together.
We'll raise our glasses and make a toast! "Thank God it's only once a year!!"
So, I hope you'll join me this Christmas for an incredible experience!! It's just $53, which includes subway ticket and your room at the Tunnel Motel.
Let's celebrate the holiday together—the Richard Goodman way!! No Christmas will ever seem as depressing again!!!