The holidays are all about being someone you’re not. They say that about Halloween, but since I’m usually hiding at home during Halloween, the winter holiday season does just as well. Here I am at the Central Park Blockhouse on Christmas Day. The year is 1812, and I am defending New York City from the British.
Unaware of the danger, these revelers enjoy a game of Drink Pong at Fat Cat, farther downtown in the populated part of the Isle of Manhattan.
On New Year’s Eve, the British stage a surprise attack, targeting Prospect Park in Brooklyn rather than the more heavily fortified Central Park. Forced to retreat, the Yanks blow up their munitions depot rather than allow it to fall to the British.
Safe and snug in an undisclosed location, civilians enjoy a relaxing game of Pimps and Hos. It’s like Monopoly, only you’re pimps and you buy hos instead of real estate. When someone lands on your ho… you get the picture. Foreground right, with her back to the daguerreotype machine, is the notorious Madame Plumerais, no doubt thinking about her war profits and enjoying a good laugh. (The unidentified woman to the far left may be a British spy.)
When the danger was finally past, we were free to resume our normal activities. Here’s the vastly talented Jud Caswell performing at the Bowery Poetry Club, where we go for coffee, hard liquor, bawdy music… everything but poetry, really. I purchased Jud’s latest compact disc for one silver ducat – a bargain at any price! Jud came down from the Maine Territories, which, as you probably know, we have just purchased from Canada for forty mules and a ho. So he didn’t even need a passport. Observe how his strumming hand moves so fast you can’t even see it. That’s some north woods mojo right there. I also put down my musket long enough to pick up my bass lute and play this gig backing up Meg Braun. I have it on good authority that Meg has “buzz.” She is, you might say, the Barack Obama of the folk music scene.
That’s all for now. I must put down my quill and try to get some sleep, to ready myself for tomorrow’s battle. Word is that the British invasion may really be all about targeting our singer-songwriters. In the morning I’ll try to hit up Madame Plumerais for information. If I succeed I’ll pass it along via pigeon. If not, well… it’s been pleasant being an atheist in this foxhole with you.