I was not aware of the prevalence of the Apple-shot stories, and was fascinated reading your examples here. The comparison with Abraham and Isaac immediately sprang up, so it felt like I was reading an essay reading my mind, which is always a fun experience.

I do not have children of my own, but I am a very involved auntie to a precocious three year old. The amount of time I spend pondering the questions you raise here is nauseating (literally). But the comparison of asking for the red rider to William Tell’s child asking for a crossbow illustrates the exact uncomfortable feeling perfectly.

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Daniel Lavery

I was 10 when "A Christmas Story" came out. It instantly became and remained my favorite Christmas movie, because it was the only one that felt REAL. The petty yet all-consuming worries of childhood - homework, bad grades, bullying, weird food, anxious yearning for that one perfect gift that would surely change your life, imagining grandiose scenarios in which you triumphed over all your enemies and they bowed before your clear righteousness - it was like seeing myself on the screen, only substitute every official Garfield product for the Red Ryder BB gun. Every other Christmas movie is too cloying, too preachy - too false. I will always love A Christmas Story for making me feel seen, and for portraying the real horrors and glories of A Child's Christmas in the Midwest!

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Dec 1, 2023·edited Dec 1, 2023Liked by Daniel Lavery

I've had to body block a child to protect them from my over-enthusiastic dog and I'm sure someone will have to body block mine at some point for a similar reason. If I never have to watch A Christmas Story again I will die happy. Loved this, what a way to start December! <3

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Those are the bullies’ names? Scut Farkus and Grover Dill?

Whoa. We have before us a testament to why and how the cycle of trauma and violence continues…

I would like to imagine a hippy therapy time for them, like, “Everybody welcome Scut and Grover into the Healing Circle. Somebody toss them the Speaking Koosh and let’s exhale some empathy for their stories. Rain Wolf, would you start us off on the didgeridoo?”

I’m also wondering why Egil, Punker, and Helling haven’t soared to the top of the Popular Name Charts. (yet.)

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William Burrows did the William Tell trick with his wife in a bar in Mexico. He only did it once.

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