Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Anita's Attic: Christmas Memories of a Flash Mob!

I'm still basking in the afterglow of Christmas. Fortunately, I'm still In Birmingham, Alabama, (Mountainbrook) so I don't have to deal with the usual after-Christmas messes. Instead, I have a wonderful mother-in-law who is the most gracious hostess, cooking meals to die for and treating us like royalty. Spending Christmas here has become sort of a family tradition. It's a different world in Mountainbrook; Southern hospitality, beautiful houses, and beautiful people. Not that you can't find beauty anywhere else, but you've never seen so many people looking so good. Even in the grocery store. Heck, even the joggers look like they've stepped out of a magazine. And good hair...it's like Salon Heaven. We always attend Christmas Eve service (another tradition) at Austin's parents' church, and I find myself getting distracted from the wonderful sermon by all the incredible hair. And that's saying a lot because I love their paster.

There are lots of great memories here. Everyone gathering around the Christmas tree to open presents on Christmas morning, followed later on by a Christmas dinner that's legendary, and one of my fondest memories comes from the family Christmas party, which has been in existance since before my husband was born. Family members from all over the country gather to celebrate family and Christmas. That particular year, when my son was about 4, the party was held in a castle. Yes, a castle, built as a replica of one in England, complete with secret entrances. We were all crowded on the grand staircase to sing Christmas carols and had just started singing, "Jingle bells, jingle bells..." when this little voice popped up. "Stop. Stop. You're singing it all wrong. It's 'Dashing through the snow.'" Every voice stopped and stared at the offender. It was my son, who was not about to let us start in the middle of the song. Then everyone burst out laughing because he was right. We were singing it wrong. We still laugh about that. What a great memory.

Something happened this Christmas that will live in our memories for a long while. Nothing to do with Santa Claus, botched Christmas carols, or the birth of Christ. We got caught in a Flash Mob. No kidding. Right in the middle of a movie theater in Birmingham, trying to watch the latest Mission Impossible. During the most exciting part of the movie, a mob of teenagers rushed the theater, running and screaming up the aisles.

We sat dumbfounded as they found seats, dozens of them, laughing and shouting all the while. Finally, after the shock wore off, Austin yelled out for them to shut up. They got a little quieter, and then after a minute the movie stopped. Again, at an incredibly exciting part. Everyone sat staring at the screen, waiting, waiting...we had no idea what was happening and no one came in to tell us. Of course my writer's mind was coming up with all kinds of interesting (and troublesome) scenarios. Like the movie guy had been murdered and no one had figured it out yet.

Someone yelled out that anyone without a ticket had better get out and half the theater emptied. The mob left, along with most of the moviegoers who were disgusted by this time. A few minutes later, a policeman came in and said there was a mob situation out front and we should stay in our seats while they dealt with it. Some people returned to their seats, and a minute later, the movie came back on. (A very good movie.)

The cops were still outside when we came out, but the mob was contained, or at a distance. They were just kids. Apparently, a bunch of middle and high school kids had organized the flash mob on Facebook. They hit two theaters with the intention of causing chaos and shutting them down and afer being thrown out, they had to wait for rides to get home. Poor parents had probably been told that they were just dropping Little Johnny off to see a movie and to pick him up at 9:30. All this for a joke. It wasn't much of a joke to the rest of us. We missed five minutes of important dialog in the movie, not to mention being freaked out. On Christmas!!! So our Christmas was once again memorable, and in one way I could have done without, but I guess memories come in different packages.

So how was your holiday? Good, bad, or bizarre?


Cassy Pickard said...

Anita: There is no way I can compete with your story. No way. Our holiday was quiet, simple and very pleasant. It was just the two of us this year (plus the two Goldens- they had more presents than my husband and I combined). We made multiple fires in the fireplaces, watched movies and ate incredible food my dear husband made. When any of you are our neighborhood, he'll happily make his hand-made pasta for you.

Happy New Year!

Anita Clenney said...

Cassy, your Christmas sounds perfect. I love a fire in the fireplace, and hand-made pasta, wow! Ours was calm except for the movie mob. :)

My sister in law has a Golden and he has two toys that are security blankets. He carries one in his mouth all the time. One is a stuffed oppossum and the other is a monkey. He shows the toy to you then quickly turns his back so you won't try to take it.

It's the cutest thing and it makes me miss my dog, who's with my mom and dad for the week. This is the only time Lily gets to run off the leash, so she's delighted. She'll sleep from exhaustion for most of the week after we return.

Lindsay said...

That is definitely a story for the Christmas memory book Anita. There is a shining point in all of that flash mob though. Look at the great story plot you could have there.
A Flash Mob hits the theater and all leave as they plan. After the movie is over one of the flashers, is that what they're called, is found in a seat dead.
Hell, you could probably work in a hunky Scot in a kilt somewhere in the story.

Anita Clenney said...

Lindsay, LOL. That's great. I could have all kinds of fun with it. It's interesting how as writers we see the potential for a story in everything. I've had at least a couple of ideas just since I was here. Problem is, I'm so behind that I barely have time to work on my current manuscripts. Got to get better organized for the New Year!!!

Lindsay said...

I know what you mean about being behind. I'm in the process of rewriting one book (70K) so I can submit it to my publisher, editing a short for the MWA contest and writing another full and pulling together some shorts for another anthology.
Plus fighting with unemoloyment to collect.

Anita Clenney said...

Lindsay, it seems there's just too much to do and not enough hours in the day.

Donna Marie Del Grosso said...

OMG, Anita! I don't think I could top that surprise either. Our Christmas started early here--- We had the Tenth Annual Open House for the officers who work in the area and need lunch then the family came over in the afternoon for the family party. It's always a blast but was over too soon!!!
Happy New Year!

Anita Clenney said...

Donna, how nice to provide lunch for others. We didn't make it to the big Christmas party my husbands family always has, but we're having a lovely visit.

Anita Clenney said...

Donna, how nice to provide lunch for others. We didn't make it to the big Christmas party my husbands family always has, but we're having a lovely visit.

Dana Rodgers said...

Wow Anita, it sounds like you did have some excitement this Christmas!

Things here were crazy as usual--we hosted Christmas dinner for fourteen. My mother, my mother-in-law, my stepmother-in-law, and my father-in-law were all in attendance (yep, all under the same roof), as well as family friends from Argentina. Then the day after Christmas I spent a good portion of the night in the ER. All that pain last week from all the coughing from the bronchitis earlier this month--turns out I tore an intercostal muscle in my chest wall. On the bright side, at least it wasn't pleurisy or pneumonia as I feared and everyone was on their best behavior during Christmas.

With a life like this it's no wonder I'm a writer! Have a Happy New Year and a safe drive home!


Barbie Jo Mahoney said...

Anita what a Christmas memory. And I hear you about Alabama. I only passed through many many years ago while helping a friend take insulin to her husband at his job site because he'd forgotten to pack it. We had to stop a couple times to ask directions (no GPS back then!) and the people were so friendly to strangers (my NY accent was a dead giveaway).

And you had me cracking up about the incredible hair in church. While we were at mass, I'm checking out the wardrobe. My daughter just reminded me this morning how crazy I went over a pair of boots someone was wearing. OMG, I MUST have them! They had a slight wedge heel, and were brown fluffy fur! just about knee high and I LOVED them! She was a bit younger than me, so I'm not sure if I could pull it off, but boy do I want to at least try!

It's been a Holiday filled with family and friends and I must say one of the more relaxing holidays we've had in awhile. I'm quite content. :-)

Looking forward to a phenomenal 2012.