On my way home from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, where I teach writing, I walked past what I thought were Christmas carolers doing their thing on a small stage set up across from the Flatiron building on 23rd and Fifth, at the Flatiron Public Plaza. The song, a cheerful, Christmassy jingle that made me pause, involved Santa getting royally drunk on vodka. After the set, they asked for suggestions from the crowd to create another totally original song that would be rendered into the genre of a Christmas song, with a narrative, and some pretty good singing chops. It reminded me of this guy in New York City who wrote improv stories on his typewriter in under ten minutes flat. The group from — The People’s Improv Theater — consisted of four singers, and a pianist.
After their vodka song, they asked the crowd for suggestions for their next number. So naturally, I thought of the most universally accepted Christmas food: “Samosas and Green Chutney.” All of the members of the comedy group were white (not that I notice things like that, as I am post-race), which would explain why the narrative of the song turned affable Santa into a weak stomached, ironically racist and xenophobic hipster, who can’t handle the blandest of Indian food: samosas.
It ends with his declaration to “never eat samosas with green chutney” again. It was definitely impressive that they were able to weave a narrative with pretty much zero time to coordinate, but it’s interesting their immediate reaction to Indian food is a dodgy stomach. Next year, I’m suggesting “Rice and Beans,” followed by “Chicken and Waffles,” just to see how that plays out. . . .