December 7 - 13, 2004


Hot Brothers
[Are] The

The decline
and fall of Sammy
Sosa's rep...

Five Rites Of



Five Sojourns Into The Stands...

Five Cabinet Resignees...

Five Movies With Robots...

Five Disputed Presidential Elections...

Five "New" Series...

 Five Rites Of Passage

The only constant is change. And, if you believe those egghead scientists, the speed of light. Here are five changes, um, constants, whatever:
Bar Mitzvah. The bar mitzvah has become big business, at least according to MitzvahCom2005 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (Mention this article and get a free tchotchke! Or don’t and get bupkes. Who are we to tell?) Anyway, bar mitzvahs feature really atonal singing in a foreign language. At least the ones involving Adam Sandler do.
Quinceanera. The fifteenth birthday of a Mexican girl is a time of celebration. Elaborate dresses, feasts, and parties commemorate the fact that she is now too old to have sex with members of Menudo.
Kindergarten graduation. In America’s never ending quest to create new spending occasions, moving beyond each level of school now requires a formal ceremony. If receiving a diploma for aging past kindergarten seems odd, remember that mastery of scissors and glue does qualify one for an Associate’s Degree from Florida State University.
First Communion. This Catholic sacrament entails a priest blessing a wafer to make it the body of a dead guy. The priest then places it on the tongue of a six-year old. (In the previous sentence, “it” referred to the wafer. When the Catholic Church is involved, you need to name your antecedents.)
Wiccaning. A wiccaning is a pagan ceremony for naming a baby and presenting it to the universe. (As an aside to all pagans, which according to a recent survey represent 74% of column readership, yes, pagans and wiccans are technically different. It is not offensive to be lumped together. Please fight the common enemy – the Unitarians.) For non-wiccans, if you attend a wiccaning you will be asked to chant the baby’s new name and bring a gift. On the gift front, stay away from calendars and anything from the Chicken Soup book series.

Emil Gam