Welcome. Happy holidays. Before we go any further, you’ll want to slip these glasses on. If you don’t wear them, you won’t get the full effect, and you may experience throbbing headaches—and no one wants a headache on Christmas, unless it’s from too much eggnog! No, I’m just kidding. We don’t allow alcoholic beverages in the theater, but do feel free to purchase a 20 oz Virgin Eggnog Freez, with Nutmeg Flavor Clusters at concessions.
We’d like to thank you for choosing to spend this season at the Olde Tyme Holiday Simulation Globe, with patented Smo-Cap technology, or as we call it, “The SmoGlobe.”
Are you familiar with how Smo-Cap works? Each character you’ll interact with tonight was created by a real person, wearing a suit that converts his every movement, expression, or jovial demand for more figgy pudding into data for our rendering software—resulting in the most lifelike holiday experience you’ll ever…
Well, yes, I suppose that is the same thing as “Motion Capture” or Mo-Cap, but around here we call it “Smo-Cap,” because it sounds kind of like “Snow-Capped.” Plus, our Smotion suits have little reindeer on them. If you pick apart everything you won’t get much enjoyment out of life, will you?
I’m sorry for yelling. Please accept this coupon for ten cents off one South-of-the-Border Nacho Fruitcake Fruitsplosion, with extra Peppermint Queso. The details aren’t important. What’s important is your total immersion in a magical holiday wonderland.
Speaking of wonderlands, which Smo-Cap 3D Simu-sperience was your family planning to enjoy tonight? I had assumed you were here for the Xmas Xtravaganza, but—as page 829 of our Employee Manual states—“Don’t racially profile the customers; holiday cheer knows no ethnicity!” I remember it specifically, because our manual is also a non-denominational advent calendar, and that page included a piece of mixed dark and white chocolate to symbolize equality.
Perhaps you were actually here to enjoy the Chanukah Chootenanny. The 3D is really something. There’s this dreidel sequence—you’ll swear gimmel is right in front of your face! Or perhaps the Kwanza-rama, which is, as our brochure clearly states, in no way less important than our other programs. No? Just the Xtravaganza? As I expected. With so many lovely children, you’re clearly Catholic.
I’m sorry. That was inappropriate. Accept this gift certificate for one bag of Chestnuts (from our patented “I Can’t Believe It’s Not an Open Fire” roto-roaster) with the purchase of one Turkey Dog with Cranberry Ketchup®, at the concession stand conveniently located next to our sole restroom.
I’m assuming you submitted the family photo album we asked for, six weeks in advance? By now, the Render Reindeer 5000 will have converted those images into facial maps for our Smo-Cap characters. The computer has analyzed every bit of visual data to create exact replicas of your extended family—eliminating, of course, any personality flaws your “fleshy” family members may have.
How can we extract personality from a photo? You’d be surprised. For instance: your cousin Sally’s svelte figure—despite the damage she’s inflicting on that buttercream Yule Log—suggests an eating disorder. Or your Uncle David—our emotion recognition has assigned his smile a creepy factor of 7.9, indicating that the thrill he gets from dandling you on his knee is more than simple Christmas cheer.
Sir, I do apologize. I appear to have unlocked some repressed memories. If you could stop writhing on our snowdrift carpeting; please accept my mea culpa and also this coupon for a small Gingerbread Pretzel Twistz, with Sweet Potato Mustard Dippin’ Blasts. My point was that you would not encounter these flaws with your family tonight. Instead you will experience only the finest in 3D simulated household togetherness.
That’s it sir, reach for the doorknob. Even though it doesn’t exist, our sensors will track your action. And look who’s behind the door—it’s Freddy, and Sally, and Uncle David—actually, don’t look at Uncle David. Jerry, Ixnay on Avid-day!
Voila. All of your non-creepy family members together under one roof! And who’s this coming from the kitchen? It’s Nana—and she’s made Snickerdoodles! You can’t taste them, of course, but if you put one near your mouth, a volunteer will blow cinnamon-sugar-scented air into your… why is your daughter crying?
How were we to know grandma died last month? Section Twelve of the Olde Tyme holiday agreement clearly indicates it’s your responsibility to inform us of any recently deceased family members.
What’s that honey? I can’t understand you when you’re sobbing. No, your Nana isn’t a zombie. That blank look is what’s called the “Uncanny Valley.” You see, the more realistic a representation of a living creature is, the more repellent humans find it. It’s an issue we expect to work out soon, but for now, why don’t you and suppress your disgust and sit on your Nana’s lap?
Come on, honey! We spent millions of dollars on a team of programmers, animators, and a very talented Off-Broadway actor, just to bring your Nana back to life.
No, not like that. I explained it already. Sir, does your daughter have a learning disability?
Why are you leaving? Holidays with your real family? Oh, I wouldn’t recommend that—even if you could get plane tickets at this late date. Our animators have increased your digital family’s cheek ruddiness by a factor of twelve. That’s the kind of ruddiness you just don’t get in the real world.
Fine! Have your “authentic” Christmas, with its bulimia and creepy uncles and arguments over who gave the kids a toy fire truck with ten siren noises. An hour of that and you’ll be running from your family’s fire-warmed claws into our cold digital embrace! Let me just say this, before you go:
Don’t forget to stop by concessions—conveniently located directly between us and the only exit—to pick up a Christmakabob. That’s eight pieces of real maple-glazed ham lovingly impaled on a peppermint skewer. Happy holidays!