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9 Burning Questions I Have After Rewatching ‘Christmas Vacation’

9 Burning Questions I Have After Rewatching 'Christmas Vacation'

It’s that time of year again. The time when we sit in the living room on our phones and at our significant other’s insistence half-heartedly revisit some of the classic holiday films we’ve grown to know and love. Last year we spent time with the McCallister household and this year I’m kicking things off with another suburban Chicago clan with a penchant for felonies and an uncle with suspicious motives: the Griswolds. Now that I’m a little bit older and wiser, there are a few things about this holiday favorite that aren’t adding up…

1. What day exactly did the relatives get there?

About ten minutes into the movie we see our first of many dates:

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-10-45-37-am

Dec 14th. This is shown right before Clark mistakes a prostitute for a Marshall Fields employee and attempts to get her arrested by exposing herself to his youngest child Russ. The VERY NEXT scene, both his and Ellen’s parents arrive at the house for the holidays. Since this is a film, this could mean that quite some time has passed before they arrived, right?

Well the next date we see isn’t until the day Clark finishes the Christmas lights and Cousin Eddie arrives, and that date is…

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-10-47-40-am

Hold the fucking phone. Maybe the reason the Griswolds are so stressed out is because their parents arrived almost TEN DAYS before Christmas, and their kooky cousin showed up unannounced a week early too! Who allows this to happen? I get that if they want to save money on flights to come a bit early, but put yourselves up in a hotel room for Chrissakes. I’ve never stayed anywhere for ten days, especially not at a family member’s. The lights weren’t even up on the house yet before they showed up!

And we’re off…

2. Is this where Elaine was during those Seinfeld pregnancy hiatuses?

I don’t know who she’s trying to fool with this Margot business, but she’ll only ever be Elaine Benes, Selena Meyer or Old Christine to me.

3. Could anybody have guessed that out of all the actors in this film that Johnny Galecki (Russ) would have the most prolific and successful acting career?

family

Dude’s worth more than Chevy and is on the highest rated sitcom of the past decade. This is on the heels of Roseanne too! What has the rest of the Griswold clan done?

Chevy Chase is a world class asshole.

Beverly D’Angelo, who played Ellen Griswold, is most famously known for… playing Ellen Griswold.

Cousin Eddie is completely crazy.

And Juliette Lewis has been in a handful of good films and even got nominated for an Academy Award. But what’s she best known for? Organizing a gangbang.

Give me Johnny Galecki all day every day. Dude’s been killing it since 1989.

4. Did Clark horribly disfigure his wife when she opened the attic door?

A 200lb man plus 50lbs of film equipment came crashing down on this poor woman’s skull. A quarter ton of dead weight dropped onto her nose after she spent all day at the mall dealing with her father who was flying high on his back pills. Did Beverly D’Angelo do her own stunts? Maybe this is why she had to get all of that horrifying plastic surgery later in life.

5. What was that sledding scene? Seriously, what was it?

I’m not even going to link to it. So fucking stupid. Like something out of a children’s cartoon. It’s almost like it was filmed for a different movie. A Christmas tradition in our household is to skip through that scene.

6. Why did the pool company give Clark a model pool?

Pool

Look at that thing; it’s the size of a pancake griddle. What a waste of resources for this pool company. “Hey instead of sending over a blueprint or some sort of computer rendering let’s build a cheap plastic model of a blue square on some grass. You know, in case the buyer forgot what a pool looks like. Also, should we check to see if his deposit check cleared? Nah, let’s get to it after the holidays I’m sure he’s fine. ”

7. Did Ruby Sue catch her uncle beating off in front of the window?

There seems to be a pattern developing with Clark Griswold. That pattern is exposing himself to young children.

I mean, I don’t blame him for trying to catch a quiet midnight beat by the uncurtained window. The stress of having his entire extended family living under his roof for three straight weeks leading into the Christmas holiday while his wife undergoes dramatic facial reconstructive surgery is enough to bring any man to the edge. The issue here is how he goes about releasing it.

Here’s my rule of thumb when it comes to cranking one out on an open air balcony or exposed doorway/window: only in the middle of the afternoon when people are at work, and five stories up or higher.

8. Was Aunt Bethany a victim of domestic abuse?

“Don’t throw me down Clark…” there have never been more telling words. Sure, to the grandkids she’s the lovable old woman who gets “confused” sometimes. To the adults though, it’s something different and quite chilling.

My theory is that Aunt Bethany isn’t as dotty as she pretends to be. It’s all a ruse to protect both her and her family. Protect them from whom you ask?

9. Is Uncle Lewis a violent man on the warpath that the whole family is trying to murder?

Look at this film clip that Clark is watching titled “Christmas 1955.” Thirty-five years in the past and Uncle Lewis looks exactly the same! It also shows in that clip that he strikes his nephew Clark while he reaches in the trunk for presents. Was this foreshadowing?

Have the Griswolds been experiencing over four decades of violent pain and misery at the hands of this man? He’s able to say things like “You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerine plant,” but at the same time pretends to be too old and feeble minded to get up and fetch his stogy. Telltale signs of a violent asshole.

Twice in the course of the evening on Christmas Eve, he is nearly incinerated or the victim of an explosion. Fool me once, shame on you. These were no mere accidents. Cousin Eddie rolled into town on strict orders from a heavily bandaged Ellen to put Uncle Lewis out of his violent misery once and for all. They nearly succeeded too, if it wasn’t for that damn cat. And damn squirrel. And damn dog.

So the next time you sit down to have a couple laughs at this poor family’s expense, remember that you’re laughing at no laughing matter. Merry Christmas everybody.

Image via YouTube

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JR Hickey

Stand up comedian and writer from Chicago who now resides on the West Coast. JR can be seen performing at Cobbs Comedy Club in San Francisco and Zanies Comedy Clubs in Chicago. His work has been published in the Chicago Tribune and recently he was a part of SF Sketchfest 2015. JR's also the host of the PGP dating podcast Don't Take It From Us. He loves you very, very much.

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