‘Tiss the Season

Punch a Panda
and Feel Better

Just in time for Christmas. Or Chanukah. Are you disappointed with the way that job interview went? No problem. Mad you won’t be able to get a single gift of your holiday shopping list? It happens. Sad people walked away from you in the subway as soon as you began your series of very witty and straight to the point out-loud comments about the news you’ve just read? Never mind. For instead of start cursing, kicking and acting all crazy, you can now just punch a panda.
That’s right. Performance artist Nate Hill came up with a very selfless way to offer solace to his fellow New Yorkers: he dons a panda suit and invites them to punch their frustrations away. And it’s cheap too. Thank goodness someone is really doing some good during this oh so festive but stressful as hell season. He’s also available for weddings, bachelor parties and bar mitzvahs, we hear. And no, he’s not related to that Sad Panda who depressed the bejesus of everyone around the Wall Street area last year.
This is such a gracious idea that we’re sure Hill’s already got some hearty hugs from satisfied strangers, right after they clobbered him with loaded-combinations and vicious uppercuts, venting their troubles. It sounds dangerous too, we agree, and we fear for his sense of judgement, offering himself so openly that way. But we also wonder why couldn’t we come up with ways of our own to help dwellers of this great city to cope with the current state of affairs?
While we let our inner Muhammad Ali have a go at a punching bag, in case we run into the altruistic bear-attired Brooklynite, what if both Pandas would meet? Would Punch-me suggest the other to get out of his (or hers) funky by throwing a few punches too? What if they’d get into an argument? Jee, what if they’d really go at it? That’s the spirit, practicing cynicals of every shade would jump at it right away. We wouldn’t touch that with a boxing glove, though.
Instead, we’d be spoiled enough to offer our own round of err footwork to complement his act, one that obviously we haven’t be able to come up with even when were smashed against the canvas, barely hearing the count, as it often happened. But what if we’d list our grievances and pay him to shout them out loud, all the while being hit by our potent jabs?  Or what about having the Sad Panda offering some additional encouragement, that is, reasons why, yeah, we need to punch a panda pronto? He could always end his interventions with a, “it won’t help you but go and let him have it,” for example.
Finally, what if the Punch-me Panda would be allowed to turn the tables and begin to (grasp) let US have it? Maybe some of us are already convinced it’s all our fault, anyway, so why not go for that kind of twisted therapy and be done with? Think about it. In the end, we could all share a pint or something. Or find a post for that special holiday for the rest of us, Festivus.

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