Christmas Hits Harvard Square

Fester J. Pupous '65 looked out of the window of his third floor single in Winthrop House. The world was bleached gray in the winter twilight. All that moved were the red tail lights on Memorial Drive, racing away from him as fast as they could.

But the color and motion caused Fester J. Pupous '65 to bethink himself: "'Tis the season to be jolly. I shall go out and see how Christmas comes to the Square."

So Fester J. Pupous '65 lay down his copy of All For Love and strode out into the Cantabridgian eve. The IAB, stolid and white-pated, squinted at him as he passed.

When he approached the Hasty Pudding, a pretxel of a man jumped out from the passageway and began playing a harmonica. But the man shivered so much that Fester could not tell he was playing "Joy to the World"; it sounded like "Home on the Range." Fester pulled his scarf up around his ears.

"Mer' Christmas," barked the man, between snatches of music. "Mer' Christmas." He blocked Fester's way. He put out his cupped hand. Fester ran up the street; it was so cold he needed to run to keep warm. At the corner he looked back and saw no one. Through the window of the Bick a girl with long, straight hair (a swimming instructor in a Dorchester Y) watched him cross Mass. Ave.


Then, through his dirty glasses, he saw the dancing stars of light, red, green, blue, and yellow, adorning the lamp posts. His breath caught at the sight. The lights reminded him of the glints gently refracting off the top of the soup he had eaten for dinner.

The tinkly bells of the Salvation Army caught his ear. In front of the banks, the rich begged for the poor, the woman in her large black coat planted like the tripod next to which she stood. Muhammed Speaks, next to her, retailed brotherly love.

"Ah, Christmas," he thought, "what jollity and merriment you bring to Harvard Square." He walked faster, trying to keep warm. "What camaraderie and playful amity suffuses the air as you approach," he thought again, trying to phrase it another way. But his own creative efforts rarely satisfied Fester J. Pupous '65, and Christmas was no time for a relaxation of standards. He went back to his single and finished All for Love.