Scrooge in Branson

by | Dec 1, 2013 | Every Day Life

Nobody likes to be a Scrooge at this time of year, but in the interest of public service, I must take on this onerous role. Is anybody, besides me, impressed that I used the word “onerous”? For those of you who have no idea what that word means, let me make you feel a little better by admitting I did double check its meaning right after I typed it. I was correct. It means burdensome, heavy, and difficult.
Anyway, back to being Scrooge.
My family and I have been going to Branson, more specifically Silver Dollar City, at Christmas time for the last 20 years. It is a surefire way to get into the Christmas Spirit. Usually our group would include about eight to ten adults and 100 children. Yes, I am exaggerating! It was only about 14 kids, but by the time we left Silver Dollar City it felt like we had been herding 100.
I learned something early on during these annual trips: my three boys do not like shows that involve singing and dancing. Guess what their momma likes: shows that involve singing and dancing. When I would mention that we were going to sit through the featured show, my three boys would act like I had just signed them up to have their arms sawed off in front of a live audience.
Yes, I would still attempt to force them to sit through the show, but I soon learned it was not worth the effort. And it sure didn’t help that the other children in our group actually liked the show and behaved themselves through every single song.
Then one day, many years later, it happened. My husband and I went to Branson at Christmas time with no children in tow. It was a bittersweet trip, but I would finally attend a Christmas Show with no drama, or at least that was my plan.
Now remember this is an adult’s only weekend with my husband. We are planning to stay somewhere nice, have nice dinners, and see a nice show. I discussed all these details with my sister, and she recommends we go see Dixie Stampede.

Warning: I am now turning into Scrooge.
For those of you like my sister who have seen the Dixie Stampede Christmas show and loved it let me apologize now. I am not questioning your taste in dinning or entertainment (well maybe a little) but asking for your understanding of my perspective. I also feel a pressing need to serve the public by pointing out a few details of this show that, if my sister had shared, would have prevented my trip through the twilight zone.
My husband and I show up at the show dressed in proper “show attire.” And by that I mean he is in a dress shirt and slacks; I am in a dressy pants suit and heels. I should have figured something was wrong as I watched others walking in wearing overalls, ball caps, and t-shirts.
I also should have clued in that this show was going to have a lot to do with horses as we walked by all the stalls full of beautiful, majestic horses. And you know, the use of the word Stampede in the show’s title was also a pretty fair warning.
We enter the pre-show staging area and I begin to realize this is not the song-and-dance Christmas dinner show I was expecting. This is going to be a “cowboy show.” Now, don’t get me wrong; I like cowboys, cowboy boots and horses. But I must say this was not the cruise I had signed up for. I was looking for something a little more sophisticated for my first “real” show in Branson.
We were finally instructed to enter the arena and take our seats. Oh, if it had only been a seat! It was a bench and they packed us in like a can of sardines. The elderly gentleman next to me was having more bodily contact with me than my husband had received in the last 24 hours. My husband was also sitting next to a man, a very large man, with whom he was also having way too much bodily contact. Awkward did not begin to cover how we felt.

Very soon several young men began running down the little isle directly in front of us, quickly ladling soup into a plastic cup from a bucket they carried on their arm. I began to look for silverware with which to eat my soup as I noticed the gentleman next to me begin to drink the soup right from the cup.
Are you kidding me? No silverware?
My sister had somehow failed to mention that you eat all your food with your fingers. Please remember I am dressed for a nice dinner. To say my circuits were blowing is an understatement. My sweet husband looks over at me and he must have noticed my dumbfounded state of shock because he gently and quietly asked me, “Are you going to be OK?” All I could do was nod in the affirmative as my brain tried to process the night I thought I was going to have with the events unfolding in front of me.
As the next round of food was hastily plopped on my plate from several buckets I became speechless. And folks that never happens! This was definitely going to be a night I would never forget. And one I would never repeat.
So here is my public service announce- ment: If you love to watch horses per- form tricks, you like to scream and yell so your side can win the flag, and you like to drink your soup and eat all your food with your fingers this is your show.
If that is not the show you are looking for then beware because you could walk out a Scrooge – all be it an in shock Scrooge – who immediately calls her sister and exclaims, “I had to eat with my fingers!”
Merry Christmas!  


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