The Kimmett Christmas Concert:
Over the years, I produced elaborate Christmas concerts as a tribute to the birth of the baby Jesus. As the self-appointed director, writer, producer, and star of these productions, my directorial style mimicked Francis Ford Coppola in his Apocalypse Now phase. The rehearsals were fraught with a diva’s emotions. Many a night, my five brothers and sisters were downstairs in the rec room rehearsing, with me screaming, “If you guys don’t get this right, Mom and Dad will walk out!” to which my sister Karen, aka the Virgin Mary, would smugly retort, “They live here. Where are they going to go? Upstairs?” She almost got recast as the Third Wiseman for that crack.
Neither she nor any of the family appreciated my unusual interpretation. There had been too many productions where the Virgin just sat there looking beatific, so I rewrote the stable scene from a feminist perspective. As the plastic shower curtain opened, my sister acted out a homebirth, complete with labour pains, while Alice Cooper crooned, “Only Women Bleed” on the cassette tape deck. When she was about 10 centimetres dilated, she pushed baby Jesus out from between her legs. My two-year-old brother, Paul crawled out from under her skirt and said, “Me no like sandals.” Which was the line I wrote for him and it got a big laugh. Then he went rogue and sat on my mother’s lap. My parents laughed so hard; Dad had to take off his glasses to wipe away the tears. Despite all of this they didn’t walk out, but I almost did. I began crying and screaming that everybody was ruining my creative vision and while they were at it, my life. Then my mother, in her gentle way, said, “For God’s sake, stop your blatting and wrap this up so we can have a snack and get you all to bed.” (Many directors afterward would say the same thing to me.)