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A Christmas Story

Feeling a little “fra-gee-lay” this holiday season? Humbuggy San Antonians can conjure up Christmas cheer and commiserate with like-minded fans of a cult classic at the Friendly Spot this Wednesday. Visitors to the Southtown watering hole can chant “You’ll shoot your eye out!” along with the chorus of Ralphie’s naysayers in A Christmas Story, the 1983 film adapted from Jean “Shep” Shepherd’s semi-fictional Christmas reminiscences. With a cast featuring Close Encounters of the Third Kind’s Melinda Dillon as Mother Parker plus a star-making turn for Peter Billingsley as Ralphie — the actor has since traded on his cult fame status with cameos in holiday movies Elf and Four Christmases — the quotable classic hearkens back to 1950s America, when the most coveted “gadget” on kids’ wish lists was a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Nearly four decades after the movie’s premiere, Christmas Story’s memorable vignettes, from a tongue stuck to a flagpole to a battle over a needlessly sexy lamp, have made an indelible mark on American pop culture and provide a fresh alternative to the season’s oft-saccharine entertainment options.

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