First, in the spirit of the concerted liberal attack on Christmas, I wish you all a Very Scary Solstice. And I assure you that I will not rest until WalMart greeters are required to shout out a cheery "Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtan"* to one and all!
And now my holiday gift to you — pics from Storm Lake’s own Santa’s Castle. Really more of a "Santa’s Late-Nineteenth-Century House," the castle displays animatronic xmas figures that used to grace big department store windows. This year, they debuted a collection of poodles — yes, poodles — doing what poodles have traditionally done at xmas: decorate the tree, make cookies, pop popcorn, and collect green stamps (which dates the display nicely). Click on pics to embiggen them.
The really funky thing about the poodles is that they are made of fake fur, which I think the folks at Santa’s Castle must have replaced as part of their renovation, and a faded pinky-tan boucle upholstery fabric which is obviously original and which exactly matches the unbelievably heavy sofa-bed my parents had when I was very young. When I mentioned this, another viewer said his parents had the same sofa fabric. I remember how desperately happy my mother was when we could afford to get a new couch.
*"In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu lies dreaming." C’mon, the suits at WalMart have to have sold their souls to someone. And Deep Ones would be a shoe-in** for work in the aquarium section.