Last year was my first Christmas in New York. I wanted to have a card that varied from my usual style and that was fun and silly. What better place for all that than Coney Island? My first visit to Coney was totally memorable. As we watched the sideshow performers do crazy and terrible things to their bodies, I was called from the audience to pull the sword from the sword-swallower's throat. It was terrifying and awesome and completely real.
I always liked these performers ever since the litany of Hissa the Snake Boy from the Frederick County Fair repeated itself about a million times as we stood in line for some ride or another, I think either the Zipper or the Ferris Wheel. "Hissa! The Snake Boy! Alive, alive, crawling all over his body!" One time I told my class about Hissa as we were looking at some circus imagery and I completely lost my composure by laughing. It was the kind of I-couldn't-stop-this-laugh-even-if-you-put-a-gun-to-my-head laugh that leaves one speechless for a minute or two. I vowed to never mention Hissa again in class, lest I risk all respectability as a professor.
My mom used to tell me about how my Grandpa, who passed away six years ago, used to go to Coney and ride the Cyclone. I knew then how my card should look.
Have yourself a silly little Christmas! My plans for this year are even more bizarre.