Monday, December 18, 2006

Lazlo the Nazi vs Frosty the Snowman

So it's the Christmas season. In Malaysia, with the majority of the people being Muslim, there is not a big emphasis on Christmas. Here in the Philippines, Where my wife and I are on vacation, the Christmas Celebration starts sometime around the end of September, or the beginning of October. That mean plenty of awful and sappy versions of Christmas songs. There is one Christmas song that sometimes makes me laugh when I hear it- "Frosty the Snowman". Especially when it's a really corny, sappy version sung by kids. It's not that I have anything against good old Frosty- quite the contrary. As a kid I used to watch his Christmas special, and cry. (Ok, so maybe I do hold a bit of a grudge against him because of that.)

Nope, it's because of the words of the song.

Let me explain.

One of my college roommates my Junior Year, (the year I dropped out), was Lucas. Lucas was a strange guy- which was ok, since I can hardly claim to be normal myself. Lucas' father was an alcoholic Ecuadorean Indian, and his mother was some sort of eastern european immigrant. He never would tell us what country she was from. My suspicion was that she was from Poland, and he wouldn't tell us that to save himself from hearing all those awful Polish jokes for the billionth time. (Hopefully one day someone will make up a bunch of awful jokes about people who tell ethnic jokes).

Anyway, Lucas wore his hair in a sort of pompadour, which he called a "quiff", and wore makeup, which was pretty shocking for the time, and some strange clothes. His passion was "New Wave" music, (this was the early eighties, after all), "New Romantic" bands like Spandau Ballet, musicians like Gary Numan, and whatever else came from the UK at the time. He worshipped them as if they were Bach, Brahms, and Beethoven.

Believe it or not, Lucas, the New Wave Ecuadorean Indian eastern european makeup wearing New Wave freak- Well, his best friend was:
"Lazlo the Nazi".

Now the other roommates and I thought he was kidding when he said this. There was no way in our minds that the two opposites could reconcile into friendship. I figured that Lazlo was probably some sort of skinhead wannabe, or a "New Wave" guy that was into more hardcore kind of stuff, like the Sex Pistols or The Clash. Lucas swore that Lazlo really was a Nazi.

One day, Lazlo paid us a visit. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately as the case may be, no one was home at the time. I had one of those memo boards with an eraseable marker attached to it pasted to our door. Lazlo tore it off, and wrote on our door in big letters with indelible magic marker:

"F*** You Lucas"

followed by the biggest swastika he could draw, and some enlightening message, like "Kill all the Jews". A lot of the guys in our section of the dorm were Jewish. Lazlo's little "Hello" served to further endear us to everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, who already treated us like we had a fatal infectious disease.
Not long afterwards, I and the other roomates got to meet Lazlo.

He was tall, with wide shoulders, and aryan looking in a dark sort of way. There was a scary sort of leer in the way that he looked at you, like he was sizing you up for what sort of lampshade you would make. The impression I got was of constrained rage, but rage with an evil sort of humor attached to it. Lazlo was trying out for the football team, not as a linebacker or a fullback, but as a kicker. I would have thought that he would be really into the more violent aspects of the game, as he had the size, but apparently not.

Joining Lucas and Lazlo was a friend, P. who was a divinity student. Acording to Lucas, he was also a Nazi, albeit a somewhat spiritual one. P. must have thought that his calling was to lead a race war for Jesus, or make sure fellow Nazis died in a state of grace.

Okay, don't worry, I'm about to get to my point.

Lazlo blessed us with his presence a few times, and Lucas told me that for some reason, he thought I was Ok. Which scaredme. I wondered long and hard about what was wrong with me.(Ok, please- don't send me any lists).
Anyway, when nobody was around, Lazlo let everyone know he was pissed about it by expressing his opinions in his normal manner. Which meant afterwards I had to borrow a can of paint from maintenance, and paint over his latest adornment of our door, not once, but two or three times.

My roomates and I liked to drink, and when we drank, we liked to sing. Usually, it was obscene versions of "If You're Happy and You Know It", with the ways you could show your delight getting more and more graphic the drunker we got. Or it was Rolling Stone sing alongs, with me doing my imitation of Mick Jagger as an amputee. (Always a great hit at parties. You got to choose how many and which limbs I lost.)

It was during one of our drinking parties, after we had met Lazlo, that I made a discovery- the words "Lazlo the Nazi" scan perfectly into the song "Frosty the Snowman". Try it for yourself if you don't believe me. Of course, we made up all sorts of verses about Lazlo's adventures. The "Lazlo the Nazi Song" became a favorite, but never quite replaced "If You're Happy and You Know It".

So that is why when I hear "Frosty the Snowman", especially a sappy, corny kiddie version, I sometimes have an evil smirk on my face!