Friday, December 10, 2004

Christmas Cheer in the Hub 

Ah yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year. Lights twinkling, holiday music, good will towards our fellow Bostonians.

Sometimes.

The arrival of the holiday season has brought gridlock and headaches to the Theater District, in the heart of which resides New England School of Law. Now that the Rockettes have high-kicked their way into town in perfect synchronicity, the streets in the area are clogged with horn honking cars, and the sidewalks are filled with eager theater goers, all chattering in excitement (and squealing, in the case of the younger variety of ticket holders). The intersections are loaded with two motorcycle cops each, all working their whistles harder than the morning doormen at the Fairmont Copley, directing traffic in total disregard to anything displayed on the traffic signals. It all makes for a very soothing and tranquil experience in the library, what with the nonsoundproof windows facing directly onto both Stuart and Charles Streets.

Of course, it does make crossing Stuart Street to get to Starbuck's much easier, since the traffic barely moves. Great timing, now that I'm cutting back on my holiday latte consumption.

A friend of mine witnessed another wondrous holiday scene the other evening at North Station. The ubiquitous Salvation Army Santa was there, ringing his little bell to beat the band, and apparently it was also beating down a man who was waiting for his train after a particularly hard day. The gentleman in question approached Santa and requested, "I'm begging you - please stop ringing the bell for 10 minutes while I wait for my train. I've got a splitting headache, I'm exhausted - please..."

Santa stared at him, bell ringing all the while.

"Here - I'll give you twenty bucks if you'll just stop until I go to my train. It's only a few minutes. I'm begging you, man." He pulled a 20 out of his wallet and dropped it in the bucket.

Santa stopped ringing.

A nearby woman paused in her cell phone conversation to shout out, "I like the bell! What's wrong with the bell? Scrooge!!!!! Ring the bell!"

Apparently this went on for a couple of minutes. Headache Man won the day by promising Santa another $5 if he'd hold off on the tintinnabulation. His train was announced a few minutes after the start of the event, Headache Man deposited another fiver into the bucket, strode past Cell Phone Woman while giving her a single finger salute which she returned with another Ebeneezer accusation, Headache Man boarded his train and Santa resumed his usual duties.

Ah, Christmas in New England.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:23 AM