THE GHOST OF A CHRISTMAS LONG PAST...I thought I'd end the daily Christmas photo feature once I got to twelve, not as in the "Twelve Days of Christmas", though that's a nice coincidence, but rather because I only could really find twelve photos worth sharing. I might do an entry this week that will burn off some of the remaining photos I just couldn't justify worth devoting an entire entry to. A "deleted scenes" post, in other words.
But I just posted this embarassing Christmas-related story on Cats on Mars's F*ckin' Otaku forum that I thought was worthy of the title.
Yes, I love these Lost style flashbacks.
I thought of one thing (more "stupid" than "gross") that I can clear for release to the general public:
In English-language high schools in Quebec, you write two big English exams a year, at Christmas and at the end of the school year, where you take an entire week to write one story, with a rough draft and a final draft. (At least this was the case when I was in high school in the late 80s and early 90s; I don't know if this is the case now.)
In grade 8, I wrote this one story that was very well-received (90% grade). It was called "The Old Tree" and featured a character named "Steev Brandon", a descendant of mine who was, of course, really just me in the distant future. The plot was that "future me" was still living in the house in Pincourt where I grew up (which we sold last year, making my Grade 8 story a lie) hundreds of years in the future (though it had been expanded over the years to take up the entire block). One Christmas, "future me" finds an obscure storage area in our house (under the stairs, though that's not an obscure storage area; it's the main storage area of our old house. I don't know why I didn't consider that a plot hole at the time. I guess I thought that, in the expanded future version of the house, there would be other, better storage areas, and certain parts of the original house would be forgotten because it's so big). Inside this storage area was our crappy old Noma artificial Christmas tree, and, since this is the future, anything from the present 1980s time is automatically really valuable, no matter how junky it is. In the rough draft's ending, "future me" sold the tree to archaeologists, and the ending was a list of cool stuff he bought with the money. My "peer reviewer", who was probably a communist, thought this ending was too "materialistic" (yeah, so?), so I rewrote the ending where "future me" could have sold the tree to rich archaeologists but didn't, and, instead, my future family revived this ancient "Brandon family tradition" wherein we decorated a tree inside our house at Christmas (because, apparently, my family is the family that started the whole Christmas tree tradition, and any movie or TV show older than me that had a Christmas tree in it, like It's a Wonderful Life or A Charlie Brown Christmas, must have had it digitally inserted after my family invented that tradition). Now that I think about it, it was a pretty stupid story, but, since it was Christmas and I used the magic word "tradition", my teachers and classmates ate up that maudlin schmaltz like it was figgy pudding.
Anyway, since my story was well-received and since I was pretty lazy when it came to creativity, instead of coming up with an original story for each subsequent English exam (at least through eighth and ninth grade), I wrote about the further adventures of "Steev Brandon". None of the other stories I wrote were nearly as memoriable, since they were so derivative of the original. I think the second one was about "Steev Brandon" preventing some kind of sci-fi disaster in Columbus, Ohio (which, in the future, was renamed "Keatonville" because the Keaton family on Family Ties lived there, and, in the future, old TV sitcoms are so monumentally important that cities where sitcoms took place had to be renamed after the families in the sitcoms. I thought that was a really fucking clever detail when I was 14 years old.).
I don't remember what happened in the third one, but I do remember one stupid detail. Engaged in really, really wishful thinking, I made "Steev Brandon" half-Japanese. For the record, I am not half-Japanese. I'm primarily of English and Polish ancestry, with a handful of Jewish blood, and, if you go back nearly a thousand years, I probably have a tiny bit of Asian blood from the Mongol hordes, as does nearly every other person of Eastern European ancestry. Anyway, the English teacher I had at the time, who had such a ditzy personality that, when I first saw Tenchi Muyo over four years later, Mihoshi immediately reminded me of her (she was better suited for being a kindergarten teacher, not a high school English teacher), took that little detail at face value and asked me which one of my parents was Japanese, my mother or my father. I think I had realized that she probably had seen both of my obviously not Japanese parents at parent-teacher interview nights, so I came up with a stupid story about finding my adoption papers that still makes me wince when I think about it today, since I'm not adopted, as far as I know.
I do find it amusing that my grade nine English teacher, if she remembers me at all a decade and a half later, probably still thinks that I'm half-Japanese. Unless she was a little more savvy than she let on in class and could tell I was bullshitting her. And, more importantly, I find it amusing that, by claiming (in a way) that I was half-Japanese, I was acting like a FnO over four years before I was really into anime as a serious interest.