RUMINATIONS ON THE “CHRISTMAS SPRINT” AND OUR EXPENSIVE HELP

I’m casting a cold eye, down here in warm Florida, on two highlighted (essentially, therefore, “front page”) items in the on-line edition of a recent Globe.

Some families are being challenged by the new requirement that their au pairs must be paid minimum wage. Who hires these imported “nannies” but the reasonably well-to-do? Or, in fairness, parents both of whom work — but, again, usually fairly high-end parents. Tell me if you disagree. Therefore, does this signal the upper class’s secret discontent with one of the Democrat’s signature policy items, i.e., the endless push to keep hiking the minimum wage? Albeit, in this case, is was a federal requirement that merely forces families to pay au pairs the state’s current minimum wage. Nonetheless, is this, then, a story to file under irony-of-ironies, or the hoisting of many residents of Newton and Wellesley by their own mostly liberal Democrat petards??

Then the other item:
I was unaware — why, I don’t know except that as a reporteer I was never assigned to cover it, thank God  — that in this new millennium, Boston now features a pre-Christmas “Speedo Run” in which scantily clad men and women charge down fashionable Newbury Street in defiance of seasonably cold temperatures wearing only very skimpy bikinis or, for the men, skimpy Speedo-manufactured variations of St. Nick’s red and white. It’s all for charity, of course. ( I’m constitutionally skeptical of any alleged Christmas event that could not be replicated in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, charity or no charity. If that doesn’t “suit” one’s secular sensibilities, then a Santa Clause look-alike Run could, I bet, raise as much money.)

Then I read that this Run actually originated under boozy circumstances at the old Sevens bar on Charles Street. I know the Sevens, and know it to be an innocuous, mostly serene place of dart-throwing, bibulous roustabouts; the kind of dim, cozy watering hole where boredom, once the booze has “lost its kick” (as it did in Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Commeth), might give rise to a plot for various forms of public hijinks that, given some benevolent and charitable overtone, cold potentially meets with municipal approval.

So this, I guess, is a land-bound equivalent of a polar dip, but a little closer to a skinny dip. I guess the tide’s in on Newbury Street.

What nearly naked fools we mortals can be. But all for charity.

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