My first crush was a boy named Bobby. He was five and looked just like Bo Duke. My second, Ralphie.
I couldn’t have been more than 8 when he first pummeled Scut Farkus, ratted out his buddy Schwartz for no real reason and left Flick stuck to the flag pole. I forgot about The General Lee and went to bed dreaming of coke-bottle glasses and soap connoisseurs. That same winter I built a snow man and named him R Parker. My sister saw through the disguise and laughed. I didn’t care.
As I grew older my love affair became less about Ralphie and more about the guy who brought him to life. No. Not the Oldsmobile Man. The White Sox Fan.
Shep was born to narrate. To tell a story that keeps on telling. I can’t say how many copies of “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” I’ve bought throughout the years. But I’m sure it ranks right up there with the number of handbags I own.
So yeah. It’s that time again. Time to introduce the heathens – those not familiar with The Church of Jean Shepherd – to Ralphie and the Old Man. (Yes my friends. They do exist.)
I’ll be putting A Christmas Story on 24 hour loop beginning Saturday. And I won’t get tired of it.
Not one bit.