Thursday, December 17, 2015
Many people hate the frat bro, binge drinking spectacle called Santa-Con, but I enjoy its annual appearance.
For one thing, the Christmas costumed participants are more varied than the stereotype, everyone from elderly ladies on Muni...
...to a French Bulldog hanging outdoors in front of The Bell Tower on Polk Street...
...where a young man who had gotten too drunk too early was being given advice about how to get a ride home by the bouncer wearing a Christmas tree.
Further south on Polk Street, the Santa crowds were meeting up in long lines in front of pubs...
...and the costumes became progressively sillier.
It reminded me of 2003 while visiting my sister Susan in the Central California town of Arroyo Grande around the holidays, and she wanted to go to a movie matinee with her two sons, Marshall (age 11) and Matthew (age 13) along with a young friend of Matthew's.
"What about 'Bad Santa,' it looks like fun?" she asked, and I told her that the reviews were really good but from everything I'd read it was a bit too hardcore for children. "Oh, nonsense," she replied, "they've heard all the dirty words on TV already. Things have changed since we were kids."
At the theater, it didn't take long for us to realize that my apprehensions were actually understated. The movie was gleefully, insistently, and outrageously profane. (If you haven't seen it, do. It's a Christmas miracle.)
When the lights came up in the theater at the end of the screening, I waited for a moment of silence and said, in a voice that could be heard by everyone in the small stadium multiplex, "How could you possibly take your children to a movie like that? I'm ashamed of you."