Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Christmas Story Story

Now that it's cold enough outside to stick a tongue to a flagpole, I always think of Cleveland, Ohio. You probably do, too, without realizing it. Because the city holds the house from A Christmas Story, the 1983 film in which Ralphie yearns for a Red Ryder BB gun.

It's a big tourist attraction. In 2004, a fan named Brian Jones bought the private residence on eBay for $150,000 and replicated the interior to match the movie set (only the home's exterior had been used for filming). Jones' job, by the way: manufacturing leg lamps.

When I visited, there was a line to get in. Fans swarmed the place, snapping pix by the Christmas tree, at the mailbox (where Ralphie waited for his decoder pin) and - most popularly - huddled around the leg lamp. This was April, mind you. In December there's the added bonus of having Randy (aka the now-36-year-old actor who played the little bro) on site to show you around. Afterward everyone crosses the street to the gift shop to buy - that's right - a leg lamp! (We prefer the key chain version, as well as a bar of Lifebuoy Soap to wash out dirty mouths).

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