On Hurricanes, Hardship and Chinese Food

If you’ve ever seen A Christmas Story, based on the reminiscences of humorist Jean Shepherd from when he was a by growing up in Indiana, you know that the character of Ralphie doesn’t exactly have what you would call a Norman Rockwell Christmas.

He gets chased by the school bully, has his mouth washed out with Lifebuoy soap, and is literally kicked in the face by a department store Santa who’s half in the bag–and it ain’t filled with toys. To top it all off, his family is a little crazy–but only in ways that every family is crazy, and in the end their love for one another brings everyone together and Ralphie is even granted his fondest wish. But just when you think the camera is about to pan over to the glittering Christmas tree and fade to black on a perfect ending, a pack of dogs from next door bursts into the house and destroys the kitchen, making off with the Yuletide turkey in the process.