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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: And now here’s Rick with a song

Back about 10 years ago, KSPS used to air a couple of Christmas episodes of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” on or near the holiday.

The station did this for several years.

If you are at all familiar with that long-running show, you know the stories were not gritty tales of social realism. But if you were in a mood for a stress-free nostalgic depiction of domestic life, the “adventures” could grow on you.

At least the Christmas shows grew on me. What at first seemed ludicrous in its treatment of American home life gradually came to represent a happy, harmless fiction.

One of the episodes featured confusion about who was to receive a sport coat sent as a Christmas present by Grandma Nelson. Ozzie becomes convinced it was intended for him even though it seems like a garment meant for a younger man, perhaps one of his sons.

For those of us who did not grow up wearing sport coats at home, the discussion of what is or isn’t suitable for a man of Ozzie’s years is strangely fascinating. It is as if the whole debate takes place in some parallel universe.

Anyway, Ozzie wears the sport coat and has a moment or two of enjoying the youthful vigor it connotes. Then he decides it wasn’t really intended for him, and this prompts a tailspin that has him feeling old and in decline.

Spoiler alert: He rallies.

So I have asked myself what about that episode of “Ozzie and Harriet” appeals to me?

I think it’s the notion of a Christmas where the biggest problem is deciding what to do about a slightly jazzy sport coat.

Wouldn’t it be something if everyone could have that sort of calm, that sort of peace?

We all know what real life can throw at us: Death of loved ones, scary illness, smile-erasing money problems, failing marriages and broken hearts. You name it. All a bit more challenging than the sartorial saga.

But “Ozzie and Harriet” never pretended to be a documentary. It was escapist fare, through and through. Pure and simple.

So I guess that’s my Christmas wish, one of them anyway. That everyone finds themselves trying to figure out who should receive the sport coat grandma sent. Nothing more troubling than that.

Today’s Slice question: What would be different if Santa lived at the South Pole?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@ spokesman.com. According to a clip I found in the morgue years ago, Ozzie Nelson’s band played at Nat Park.

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