In praise of Ralphie’s dad, The Old Man

In A Christmas Story, Ralphie's dad hates hounds, blown fuses and dealing with the blasted, smoke-blowing clinker of a furnace.

Frag-gee-lay. It must be Italian. A 'fragile' leg lamp like the one featured in the classic 1983 film

“Fra-gee-lay. It must be Italian.”

“I think that says ‘fragile’, honey.”

“Oh yeah.”

A ‘fragile’ leg lamp like the one featured in the classic 1983 film, A Christmas Story, has a place of honour each December in the window of the Denexter family’s home at 17388 62A Avenue in Cloverdale.

In the movie, Ralphie’s Old Man, Mr. Parker, hates hounds, blown fuses and dealing with the blasted, smoke-blowing clinker of a furnace.

But he loves his lamp. He won it. It’s A Major Award.

“Oh boy, oh boy,” he trills, opening the large wooden crate that’s just been delivered, hoisting up a provocatively-shaped, fishnet-stockinged leg.

“Would you look at that?” he says. “It’s a leg!”

To his wife’s horror, the crate also contains a lampshade.

“This is a lamp! What a great lamp,” he says, adding he knows just the place for it: right in the middle of the front room window, for all of Cleveland Street to see.

“Will you look at that?” he says, admiring the gaudily glowing limb. “It’s indescribably beautiful. It reminds me of the Fourth of July!”

It’s a classic scene from a classic film. All little Ralphie wants for Christmas is an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid,” the boy’s warned time and again, thwarted in his efforts to convince his parents, teacher and the big man himself, Santa, that he deserves one this year.

Set in the 1940s, A Christmas Story is directed by Bob Clark (Porky’s!, Black Christmas) and based on screenwriter Jean Shepherd’s novel In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. It starred Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, and Darren McGavin as the The Old Man.

In the spirit of the season, and in tribute to Ralphie’s Old Man, here are a couple of more favourite quotes from the film.

My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium, a master.

Don’t you touch that! You were always jealous of this lamp.

He looks like a deranged Easter bunny.He does not!He does too. He looks like a pink nightmare.

The old man stood there, quivering with fury, stammering as he tried to come up with a real crusher. All he got out was…“Notafinga!”

The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone. All gone.

Sources: imdb.com, retrojunk.com, and themoviepool.com

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man pleads guilty to stabbing woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

The suspect, whose name is under a publication ban, faced 10 charges in relation to this incident

Surrey RCMP boss Brian Edwards on moving forward, and what keeps him awake at night

Edwards spoke with Now-Leader reporter Tom Zytaruk about what he’s learning and hopes to accomplish as Surrey’s top cop

PHOTOS: Cloverdale’s Coldest Night of the Year charity walk raises $125K

Annual event sees more than 500 walkers take part

All-Surrey battle for South Fraser boys basketball title

At Tamanawis, the top four teams will go to provincials

Hopes are for ‘focus on Surrey investments’ when Horgan speaks in March

Luncheon at golf course planned by Surrey Board of Trade

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

UPDATE: Protesters dismantle blockade on Maple Ridge tracks

West Coast Express train service is expected to run again Tuesday morning

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Motorists were ‘driving like their own Indy 500’ before fatal Abbotsford crash, court hears

Family member declares defence request for 90-day jail sentence a ‘joke’

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Most Read