Due to 100 percent chance of gullywashers this Saturday, we're moving the 16th Annual Holiday Singalong ahead one week, to 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. Every other song remains the same: Capitol Park, all free, food and drink, lyric sheets, accompaniment and songleaders provided. Also moved ahead a week was Christmas Afloat, the lighted boat parade with fireworks closer, which usually lines up same day as the Singalong. It'll begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 15.

Speaking of metaphorical rain -- well, we are now -- Sylvester Stallone announced his retirement from Rocky Balboa earlier this week, and that turned me a little misty, remembering that the moment when Rocky knocked Apollo down (but not, as it turned out, out) was the first time I'd literally jumped up and cheered in a movie. What can I say? I was an emo-sucker-kid for a rough-and-tumble underdog story.

That set me to pondering: Did I ever do that in a movie again? Or did I too swiftly turn old and jaded?

Then I remembered the moment Sigourney Weaver stomps out of the darkness in a towering mech-suit, from a movie released a decade after "Rocky," and thought, oh yeah: "Get away from her, you b...."

Not exactly a holiday Hallmark moment, maybe, but it's definitely a Thismark. In approximately 99.3 percent of all Hallmark holiday movies, a stressed-out big city gal escapes to a quieter rural environment, where she meets a kind-eyed widower raising a mom-hungry kid. They probably adopt a shaggy dog.

Thismark movies go a little differently. Woman severely stressed out from work travels to a faraway joint with few people in it. Meets a decent guy. Adopts a feral kid. For Christmas, Thismark Presents: "Aliens."

A young family struggles to find warmth and meaning in togetherness and their child's planet-wide head, while trying to leave behind a cold industrial cityscape. For Christmas, Thismark Presents: "Eraserhead."

A decent but troubled guy struggles to raise his estranged, high-strung daughter, after the girl's mother can no longer care for her. With their doddering granddad, they depart on a road trip toward a quieter rural environment. They meet a nice farm family, becoming indirectly responsible for savage murders. For Christmas, Thismark Presents: "Logan."

A stressed-out woman leaves her crazy home, departs for a quieter rural environment. Meets a decent guy. Together they take a half-orphaned child under their wings, and coincidentally avert the robopocalypse. For Christmas, Thismark Presents: "Terminator 2."

Though determined not to leave her quieter rural environment, a woman brings a nice guy home, and convinces him to stay. For Christmas, Thismark Presents: "Misery."

A stressed-out woman leaves her busy city to find a quieter rural environment. She meets up with an old boyfriend, a nice guy, and becomes torn between future and past. Is she going to stay with the one who loves her, or is she going back to the one she loathes? For Christmas, Thismark Presents: "Gone Girl."

In a real twist, a stressed-out woman leaves her quieter rural environment for the excitement of big-city work. She meets a guy with wonderful manners, in a manner of speaking. Together they corral a buffalo. For Christmas, Thismark Presents: "The Silence of the Lambs."

Last Saturday provided all the tearful rain a Thismark guy could wish for, while Roll Tidin', and dancin' with the Jalen what brung ya. Such a sappy, sentimental, Capra-esque ending. Late last season -- earlier this year -- the guy who performed beautifully, only to suffer late-season troubles, was replaced by a sparkling new kid who threw a miracle pass against the Georgia Bulldogs, with no time remaining. Instead of sulking, or justifiably taking umbrage, and moving his tremendous talent elsewhere, Jalen Hurts stayed on with the Crimson Tide, continuing to learn from the master coach, and performing beautifully later in games, providing relief for the kid.

And then came another showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs, and the new kid -- still a great, don't mistake -- suffered and faltered, possibly due to injury. The guy who got replaced took over as replacement, and rolled Bama back from a two-touchdown deficit, capping it with a beautiful game-winning run, the kind you could see from the line of scrimmage was going all the way.

So sappy, and I loved it. I wouldn't say "You can't make this stuff up," because anyone who reads or watches fiction knows yeah, you can. People do. But what would most likely come across hopelessly saccharine -- trite even -- on the page or stage absolutely nailed it on the gridiron.

It was true.

 

Reach Tusk Editor Mark Hughes Cobb at mark.cobb@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0201.