Christmas Clown

Christmas Dog

Blue Christmas – Elvis

I’m like a dog. Pavlov’s one. Conditioned to beg or eat or do something every time he heard a bell. Except my bell is Christmas. And I’m conditioned to have a laugh. I blame Ireland.

Don’t think I’ve ever had a bad Christmas back in Ireland. From growing up as a young wee ferret all the way up through college and beyond, Christmas is some laugh. School, work, worry, off. Presents, merry, booze on! From December 22nd up until January 5th, it’s all about food, family, friends, feasts, flagons, nagons, frolics and pints. What’s not to love?!

I’ve done my best to keep this tradition going in LA. It’s been tough. From the 80 degree weather to the flocks of people leaving the city, the buzz is close to nil. Uphill struggle. Still, I told myself every year I’m here that I’m going to do a 12 Pubs of Christmas. You know the one: Bar crawl, pint per pub, you and a group of buddies, picking up stragglers, having a hoot, toast to baby Jesus in every bar, that kind of thing.

First year: Poor turnout. One buddy. Met some stragglers. Met a few dancers. Ended up stuck in a cab with a Yugoslavian guy.

Second year. Picked up a chunk. More buddies. Maybe as many as five. Stragglers joined in. Had a group. Everyone drunk. Everyone merry. Happy days.

Year three: Peaked! Crowd. People brought buddies. Wore Christmas jumpers. Understood what was going on. Embraced. Danced. Boozed. Fell in bushes. Lost a few wallets. Passed out. Woke up. Blur on. Success!

Last year: Meh. Numbers were down. Girlfriends said no go to some while others were out of town. Culled the herd. Still, those there started strong. And then quickly deteriorated. Lightweights. Middleweights. Go home after five pints weights. By the end I was the only person who made it to the final pub. Oddly sober. Or maybe just fed up. Not the buzz I hoped for.

And then this year: The worst year of all.

In fairness I put out the invites late. Like the night before. Still though, I had told people beforehand about it. All up for it. Just say when. So I said when. Tomorrow. Five bells. Last Sunday before Christmas. People still in town. We hope. Some dope.

12 Pubs

Pub one: Me. Two couples. No one in Christmas jumpers. Except for me. Granny cardigan. Green pants. Sticking out like a sore thumb. Might as well have two pints here to see if anyone shows up late… Nope, OK then. Oh yeah, rule for pub one was that you had to wear a Christmas jumper or else you must chug a pint. No one’s up for that? OK. Mighty. On. We. Go.

Pub two: Rule is you can’t show your teeth while speaking. Two girls from the couples smile and shake their heads. Teeth shown. Don’t care. Bar is dead but pint on. This is fun.

Pub three: Rule, no cursing. Forfeit, chug a martini. Two-for-one deal at this bar. How bad. I’ll easily trick someone into cursing here “Hey, what’s a word that rhymes with duck?” Nobody understands me. I then get asked if that rule is broken quickly in Ireland “Yeah, there’s always going to be one clown who’s f**king this or f**king that.” Some clown. Chug. Lovely. Seven boozes deep after three bars. This is fun.

Pub four: Saddle Ranch. Worst bar in West Hollywood. Odd mixture of country, douchebags and steroid heads. And that’s the women in there. Quick drink. Polite small talk. Give up on the rules. On we go.

Pub five: Comedy Store. Empty bar. Couples tell me they’re going to head off to another part of town to get Chinese food. But the pub crawl… Said we’d do all twelve… That’s the… Barely bother. Fruitless. Wish them the best. Shoulders slump. Give up. Crawl is over.

Pub one, part two: Find a stool. Sit down. Don’t move for six more pints. Feel like some clown in my green granny outfit. The sad clown of Christmas. People showing up around ten o’clock saying they’re ready to go now. Me taking their late arrival as a personal insult. Looking at them with disgust. Being a clown. Not their fault. Mostly me. Still. In or out. Can’t half ass it.

Overall, horrendous 12 Pubs. Home around midnight. Done. Dusted. No more.

On the upside, Christmas Day was a laugh?

But then Stephen’s Day was horrendous again.

But I suppose at least we had Christmas Day. So that’s something this dog held onto.

Next year: Clown off. Ireland on!


Now that I think of it the last Christmas I spent in Ireland wasn’t great either. You know, when I was running home in the rain on Christmas Eve trying to make it back from the pub in time to make midnight mass and for some reason I was running with my hands in my pockets because it was cold you see and as I turned a corner I slipped on a manhole cover and whacked my head off the road and scraped my face off the ground and bashed up my teeth so badly that on Christmas Day I could barely eat anything except kind of slurp some mashed potatoes like soup and I also forgot the key to my house so a neighbour phoned the police thinking someone was trying to break into my house.

So yeah.

Maybe I’m actually just a dumb dog who’s also now a Christmas clown. Good. To. Know.

Christmas Day

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