'Tis the season for getting even - Page 2

Create a celebration that makes your family as uncomfortable as theirs makes you
Photo by Charles Russo

Now you can ostracize them by serving an alternative smorgasbord from SF's premier food co-op, Rainbow Grocery (1745 Folsom, SF; 415-863-0620, www.rainbowgrocery.org). There's plenty to choose from here, including a full line of Tofurky products, organic cranberry sauce, and Tofutti brand frozen treats for dessert.

Even if your relatives don't mind taking a short break from their irresponsible eating habits, you can still piss them off by directly attacking their morals with an obscene cake from the Cake Gallery (290 Ninth St., SF; 415-861-2253, www.thecakegallerysf.com), a hole-in-the-wall bakery that boasts the ability and desire to make "anything your demented mind can think up." Can the artists at the Cake Gallery make a dessert with a leather-clad transsexual peeing on the baby Jesus? You bet your family's asses they can.


With dinner out of the way, it's time to expose your family to a bit of real SF culture with some quality time for them and your friends. You'll want to invite an array of typical weirdos to rival your family's usual assortment of nerdy cousins, creepy aunts and uncles, and stoic grandparents; we suggest at least one hippie, a lesbian couple, a club kid, and a few snobby hipsters with neck tattoos.

If none of your friends are willing to flaunt their earlobe plugs or perform a contact improv dance number, you might want to put some effort into background noise. Downloading a raunchy playlist will work in a pinch, but if you really want to shock your guests, how about visiting Amoeba Music (1855 Haight, SF; 415-831-1200, www.amoeba.com), which carries almost every holiday album ever made? Start with Run DMC's single "Christmas in Hollis" (Fedor Sigel, 1987), then move on to something more unsettling, like the heavy metal compilation A Brutal Christmas: The Season in Chaos (SoTD Records, 2003). Amoeba also carries chapters 1 to 22 of R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet (Jive; 2005, 2007) and other parent-unfriendly classics like Wondershowzen (MTV2; 2005–06) — you know, the music your friends will love as much as your folks will hate it.


Is everyone appropriately uncomfortable? Good. Now it's time for the postdinner activity. Rather than listen to Grandpa's drunken ramblings or watch Mom resentfully do all of the dishes herself, goddamnit, why not take the fam on a nice little trip through Yuletide SF?

If your folks seem to be planning a mutiny, you might want to appease them (i.e., ease them into submission) by booking a tour with Cable Car Charters (Pier 31, Embarcadero, SF; 415-922-2425, www.cablecarcharters.com), which offers a holiday lights package, complete with blankets and a man dressed like Santa Claus. But if you're really out for blood, consider heading directly to the Castro Theatre (429 Castro, SF; 415-621-6120, www.thecastrotheatre.com), whose December calendar boasts an appearance by Crispin Glover, a disco-themed Christmas party hosted by an ex–Village Person, and six performances by the SF Gay Men's Chorus (415-865-3650, www.sfgmc.org), who'll be paying tribute to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, solstice, and Ramadan, all at the same time.


Congratulations, you made it!

You can still torture your folks with shots of Fernet back at your apartment as punishment for all of the fattening eggnog nightcaps you've endured over the years, but if you ever want to see them again, you might just lead them to their half-deflated air mattresses and bid them good night.

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