Ab­so­lute Worst Christ­mas Tea & Bazaar

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - Ross Mur­ray

Come one, come all, come those pay­ing in hoarded pen­nies to the An­nual Christ­mas Tea & Bazaar this Satur­day at the Church of Our Lady of Per­pet­ual En­nui. We’ve re­cently low­ered the ceil­ing of our flu­o­res­cent-lit base­ment hall to al­low a greater sense of in­ti­macy and poor pos­ture. Smok­ing is en­cour­aged!

Ad­mis­sion is $4.41 and en­ti­tles you to en­ter your name in a raf­fle for a ro­man­tic week­end for one at Tepid Falls Spa & Re­sorts, which re­cently re­ceived the all­clear from the Health De­part­ment and no longer turns up in top re­sults for the query “Korean tourist noz­zle death.”

Pro­ceeds to ben­e­fit the church’s Gra­tu­itous Al­co­hol Fund (“Je­sus Drank; So Should We”).

The hall will be dec­o­rated in fes­tive gar­lands lov­ingly crafted from de­pleted Keurig pods, hap­haz­ardly carved Sty­ro­foam and win­tered-over parsnips. Guests are in­vited to hang a tur­key giblet on the Christ­mas tree, which will be lit at 2:00 pm and then ex­tin­guished and dis­man­tled at 2:09 (sharp!).

Over 31 ven­dors and ar­ti­sans will be on hand through­out the day sell­ing their wares and mak­ing ag­gres­sive eye con­tact.

Highlights in­clude:

• Rhonda Parker’s tea co­zies fea­tur­ing prints of bald rock stars (Billy Cor­gan, Michael Stipe, Moby, Sinéad O’con­nor). Avail­able in sets of three ONLY.

• Home­made bath bombs by Suds Buds (for­merly My Soapy Lit­tle Friend), fea­tur­ing an as­sort­ment of scents such as Angst & As­para­gus; Rain­bow Ren­der­ing Plant; Take A Bath, Grandma!; and Sweet Cin­na­mon Hockey Gear.

• Pre-warped ar­ti­sanal cut­ting boards by lo­cal let­ter-to-the-edi­tor writer Hans Roit­mann hastily crafted in a va­ri­ety of woods (fire­wood, drift­wood, floor­boards, twigs) and fin­ished in I Can’t Be­lieve It’s Not But­ter.

• Baked goods by Abe­laide von Strundt, pre­pared by hand and then touched by fin­gers on the part of ev­ery one of Abe­laide’s five grand­chil­dren, some of whom will be present to put the fin­ish­ing touch on your pur­chase (open­mouthed cough­ing).

• Stock­ing-stuffers aplenty cour­tesy of Jack’s Sundry Pen­cils! Pen­cils of vary­ing lengths, all pre-sharp­ened or lov­ingly dulled. Choices in­clude eraser/not eraser. Stop by to take a gan­der at the pen­cil once gnawed by ac­tor Steve Zahn (Sav­ing Sil­ver­man) at a truck stop in Tallahassee, Florida! (No photos!)

• Asym­met­ri­cal doilies, non-ab­sorbent hand tow­els, scratchy socks that must be hand washed and 12 sep­a­rate kiosks fea­tur­ing can­dles, can­dles, can­dles! You’ll find all this and more at this one-day Christ­mas­va­ganza!

The ladies will be serv­ing tea all day. Come early if you want it hot. Tea in­cludes a se­lec­tion of sweets along with dirty looks from Abe­laide von Strundt.

But what’s that we hear! The sound of a 4-wheeler roaring around the church! Why, it’s Santa Claus! The jolly, slightly damp elf him­self will be here from noon to 1:00 to greet all the boys and girls with un­tame­able cof­fee breath. Each child who sits on Santa’s lap will de­part with a small gift of clean­ing prod­uct sam­ples and low-grade PTSD.

There will be other spe­cial guests as well (not to men­tion the op­pres­sive pres­ence of overzeal­ous se­cu­rity guards) who will pro­vide en­ter­tain­ment through­out the af­ter­noon.

The Scratchy Bracken El­e­men­tary School Choir of Co­erced Singers will be on hand to per­form their ren­di­tion of Mariah Carey’s hol­i­day clas­sic “All I Want For Christ­mas Is You” non-stop from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. They will be ac­com­pa­nied on xy­lo­phone by tod­dlers from our church play­time group who didn’t have time for a re­hearsal, though, hon­estly, would it re­ally have made a dif­fer­ence?

Lo­cal au­thor Dale Woznick will be on hand from 2:00 to 2:45 to read with­out a mi­cro­phone a se­lec­tion of his works, in­clud­ing “The Poem That is 12 Min­utes Long” and his spe­cial Christ­mas short story “Gifts My Mother Found Cheaper at Wal­mart, So It’s No Won­der Down­town’s Go­ing Out of Busi­ness.” He will also be sell­ing copies of his pho­to­copied novel As­sorted Grudges.

3:00-4:00 pm: Close-prox­im­ity bag­pip­ing.

Moms, who said Christ­mas shop­ping had to be stress­ful! Give your­self a break in our spe­cial mas­sage chair! Des­mond Schwartz will be bring­ing in his “lucky” re­cliner and will be of­fer­ing com­ple­men­tary foot rubs with light moan­ing.

Fi­nally, mem­bers of our lo­cal youth club, Main Street Mis­cre­ants, are ready to guilt you into al­low­ing them to wrap your gifts in fes­tive pa­per de­spite their clear in­dif­fer­ence, ques­tion­able spa­tial skills and au­di­ble frus­tra­tion with tape dis­pensers.

We hope to see you this Satur­day in the poorly ven­ti­lated hall of Our Lady of Per­pet­ual En­nui! Christ­mas is in the air! Along with flak­ing as­bestos in­su­la­tion.

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