It’s me, Margo from Christmas Vacation, unwilling to be the problem you want me to be.

Jeremy Hooper
4 min readDec 18, 2023

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Believe it or not, I was fine with the Griswolds when they moved in. Sure, I’d heard about stunts they’d pulled both at Wally World and in Europe, yet I didn’t judge. I’d even heard they’d swapped out Audrey and Russ every few years, but I said nothing. After all, I can’t even have kids, due to my tilted archetype.

But then I made the mistake of wearing gold hoop earrings and a camel-colored coat, conveying that I was a woman who prioritized my career. Seeing as how I was unwilling to reform my ways by making baby food in Vermont, or to submit to my destruction via mannequins who come to life or babysitters who hide the fact that the prior babysitter’s dead, it was a near-given in 1989 that our neighborly congeniality would deteriorate, and I villainized. Clark Griswold was a man-child of that era, and his lifestyle choices only played in the face of a scold.

Though had you been in my yuppie-lady pumps back then, you too would’ve stood up to the Griswolds. Let’s reminisce.

First, Clark shattered our window. If I were a mustachioed grandpa and that destruction delivered via wayward baseball, the townsfolk would’ve forced the kids to sell either lemonade or devise Soviet-thwarting computer software in order to pay for my window. But being a childless working woman, I was instead portrayed as the villain.

And what about our stereo and carpet, both of which got all wet? It was only when I incredulously noted this wetness that it hit me: Clark’s destruction had been delivered by one of those massive icicles that famously get stuck in suburban gutters and then torpedo off like missiles, when triggered. Sure, I was mad about the damage, but I was also downright fearful of this icicle-based threat posed by our neighbor. What if I’d been standing there? Would I have been killed? I don’t know, Margo.

Then came the infamous lighting incident. After exercising in our baked potato suits, as was trendy that year, and Todd showering, of course, we just wanted a night in our bed, with a couple glasses of wine, casually enjoying the mauveness of our room under only the barest of illumination. But no. The Griswolds had to simultaneously blind and unblind us, naturally leading to a contrivance of…

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Jeremy Hooper

Recycled politico who ✍️ hahas for adults (@mcsweeneys, @newyorker @weeklyhumorist, @pointsincase, @frazzledhumor) & future adults (PBs) | Rep UTA