Grandma may have been run over by a reindeer, but I think I have that beat.
What began as an attempt to drown the humbug I have stored in my anatomy ended badly. Well, I won’t say badly because when all was said and done, laughs were had all around and, being me, I didn’t mind laughing at myself either.
The sad part is it about sums up my holiday experience for 2015 and although I’m holding out hope it may be time for 2016 to begin and let’s just write this one off.
Now to set the stage. As you know, I do have a penchant for the dramatic and no scene can possibly play out without having been set up correctly.
Julie and her chaps, Emma and Brittan, had decided Christmas lights and music would be in order since my case of Grinchitude had seemed to settle in. Being a people person, I agreed to the outing and mustered all of the enthusiasm I could. All began well as Mineral Spring Park in Williamston fulfilled a longstanding Christmas tradition, having made my first visit at two weeks of age with only a few times in the intervening years missed.
So far so good. The family thing done on my side, remembrances of Christmases past at my grandparents’ home in Pelzer all done and only a slight touch of Scrooge remained.
Things were looking up and I was actually looking forward to the next stop, a trip to Simpsonville to see The World of Christmas Illumination and DJ Krazy Kringle Rap Party — I don’t actually remember the name, but this probably describes it pretty well — being held at Heritage Park.
When things got a little nontraditional, that’s where it began to fall apart.
A cross country drive to the entrance, literally by the way, the music is dialed in to coincide with the light displays and the adventure begins. The music left a little to be desired as far as Christmas tunes go.
I’m in no way out of touch, and even if I am I will never admit it, but almost the entire playlist — a whopping six songs I think — was studio produced rap-type music, none of which portrayed rocking around a Christmas tree, any bulbous-nosed reindeer, stolen kisses under the mistletoe, or stockings hanging anywhere.
And with the LONG drive through the lights, the LONG line of cars, and short playlist, it meant I got to hear them repeatedly. Yay me …
We reach the end, all of us laughing at the hip hop holiday sounds, and lo and behold, appearing much like the fabled star of Bethlehem to the Magi, there loomed the lights of a Ferris Wheel. Yep, you guessed it — time to go to the fair at Christmas, and who was I to suggest otherwise.
Besides, there was a petting zoo. Little did I know that would be the beginning of the end. Off to the barn!
Llamas and camels and sheep, oh my! Big cup of “petting zoo chow” purchased, the four of us jockeyed for a position along the rail and like the rest of the monkeys on the outside of the split rails began trying to entice someone else’s pets to take treats from our hands.
They begin to make the rounds and I discovered the one living being that was probably less open to holiday cheer than myself and it was a goat of many colors. Stupid thing followed me from one end of that enclosure to the other, harassing and molesting me for treats as if no one else in the park had any.
Twice I had to push it back over the rails as it tried to climb out to eat straight from the cup, offered or not. Then finally I was sure I had escaped, but no, I was mistaken because the goat had become Predator and I was Jesse Ventura, being stalked in the jungles of South America.
When I least expected it, kindly answering a query posed by Julie, being a good guy and playing nice with others, it struck. Stupid goat came up on the fence and punched me in the face, finishing by wiping its hoof on my shirt — which happened to have a collar and if you know me you know I have very few to spare.
I have to admit, I was so close to punching that goat in the face, but I didn’t and only because in that instant I was reminded why I was there and didn’t need the night to end in a spoof of a Will Farrell movie with a scuffle between man and goat resulting in a lengthy term in prison for animal cruelty despite overwhelming evidence he had been provoking me.
Everyone had a good laugh, including me.
As a side note, from that point on I didn’t even let being caught in a downpour on top of the Ferris Wheel ruin my evening. Take that, goat!
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at [email protected] Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.