Horsefeathers! Hildy just e-mailed me and I say, Ba-loney! I’m absolutely zozzled with disbelief! I don’t want to make a beef about this, but here’s the dish.
If you recall my previous post, I told you cats I was off to Boston for a Beacon Hill Christmas. I also mentioned it’s no simple jaunt, spending up loads of my energy to get there. Sure, ghost travel ain’t the big brodie yours is, but it’s still no basket of blackberries in July. Well, guess what, kids? Dr. Harvey & Hildy, good ol’ Mum and Daddy, won’t be having a Beantown Christmas this year because they’re headed for Hawaii! Well, I told them that’s all wet! How could they? I’ve been saving up since summer for the Road to New England and they go all Santa-in-a-grass-skirt on me!
To make matters worse, they’re taking big bro Hugh with them. It looks like I’m all alone, Santa Baby. Just my little dog Lindy and Moi. Home for the holidays suddenly doesn’t seem quite the raspberry I thought it was. Plus, how am I supposed to get all my presents? Try to receive a package as a ghost, or deliver one for that matter. The current residents inevitably either keep the goods or send them back marked No longer at this address. Duh, Dumb Dora. Even brown can’t do that. Murder!
Well, I’m nothing if not a Pink Gin is half-full kind of kitten. I suppose the upside is not only do I get a respite from Harvey & Hildy’s foxtrot flaunts, but I also get to remain in San Diego, in my gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. Boyzo! Is it ever bonkers with Christmas spirit! Better than that? I think I spied an old chum lurking over a Gibson in the Babcock & Story – and I do mean old . . . she’s been here longer than I. Dr. Lucia Devereaux, oceanographer, was the first hot scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She also had a knack for tinkering and a fascination with the new electricity fads of the day: a deadly avocation when combined with her vocation.
Dr. Lucy’s been haunting the hotel since 1904 when – The Del being the world’s first resort to use electrical lighting – she naively tried to teach Onslow, her pet octopus, whom she housed in the hotel pool, how to run the nighttime deck lights. One sad splash! and that was it: she would reside where she died. Legend has it Onslow scuttled back out to sea before he died and today he still tarries about the shoreline, only able to see his Lucy from afar. Sometimes at night, you can see them waving to each other: Onslow’s tentacles from the sea, she her handkerchief from her attic laboratory. Each Christmas Eve since then, if one listens carefully over the crashing waves of midnight, one hears Dr. Lucy singing his favorite poem, Lord Octopus Went to the Christmas Fair by Stella Mead (1934). It’s haunting, really. Lord Octopus went to the Christmas Fair; an hour and a half he was traveling there …
She’s been adventurous lately, leaving her lab, now that steampunk is all the rage. Lucy’s a sucker for anything Victorian and mechanical. Lucky for her, the hotel gift shops have a plethora of steampunk décor and accoutrement: Onslow Christmas ornaments, clockwork art, vintage styled jewelry and sartorial finery galore for gentlemen and ladies in the posh hotel boutiques. If I can keep her out of the lab, I think it could be a nobby Christmas! Maybe Harvey & Hildy going to Hawaii is the best pressie after all. These hotel holidaymakers won’t know what hit when we jazzy kittens jolly up the joint!
Until the Christmas wingdings begin, I’ve got more than enough seasonal cheer and swell weather to keep me chipper. Best of all, I’ve got a stack of Mickey Mouse Magazines, Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge Adventures and even a few modern copies of Betty and Veronica. Oh, I do like that sassy and shiny Veronica! You wouldn’t find Miss Veronica Lodge at The Del in flip-flops and elastic-waist shorts … like some of you. (Cats, try to remember it’s an upscale resort when you visit. U.S. presidents, dignitaries and film stars holiday here. At least, please don’t wear your jim-jams out of your hotel room.)
Comic books for a chickadee like me? And how! You think all you alligators with your Superman, Spiderman and Star Wars tales cornered the market on comic book furor? Think again, dolls! Disney ink first hit the pulp in 1930 and I’ve been hooked like an old lady on a favorite Atlantic City slot machine ever since. I’ve even still got my very first comic book ever, a stocking stuffer in either ’31 or ’32: Mickey Mouse in Death Valley. Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie and those brazen Beagle Boys have been taking this muffin on adventure after adventure for over eighty years.
Topping the stack currently is my 1949 Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade. My faves though? The Egyptian escapades; nothing’s funnier than a mummy chasing Donald Duck! Throw in Mickey and Goofy afoot of a mystery in the Scottish Highlands and you’ve got some rip-roaring good yarns! Don’t forget to check your Junior Woodchuck Guidebook for tips on overseas mysteries, just in case you’re headed to exotic lands for the holidays. (I hope Harvey & Hildy packed their copy!)
Now, I’ve got to go change. The Travel Channel is on the premises shooting Skating by the Sea: The Del’s beachside ice skating. First, I have to dig up my fur-trimmed, Sonja Henie skating dress, my white, velvet muff and then it takes forever to do my finger curls. (Listen up, broads. Ghost locks are paper-thin and refuse to hold a curl; whatever you died with, you pretty much keep forever. So, if you have some idea of when you’re going out, make sure your hair is looking spiffy.) As soon as I’m cute n’ camera-ready, I’ll dash over and make a few spins around the ice rink. See, when they get around to editing next year’s Travel Channel Hallowe’en specials, they’ll remember they think they saw yours truly in some of the Christmas footage. Hey, it’s good B-roll for them and I get to keep my footy in the flickers.
Okay, dolls. Tootles and Happy Holid … wait, is that Dr. Lucy? Ahhh, it is! Sure enough, she’s headed for the bar! I think I have time for a quick G&T à la B&S. Damn, I’m never going to get to my comic books. Whilst she and I catch up, perhaps some of you can suggest other great comics (any new steampunk series?) and holiday cocktails for Lucy, Lindy and Moi this Christmas @JennyPopNet.
Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?