For the background on these Christmas letters, see here. Again: These are actual fake Christmas letters that I once sent to family and friends. They’re a fictitious version of my life, featuring invented relatives and pets.
Yuletide ho ho hos!
The winds of change are blowing…
… And they’re bringing a breath of fresh air to our town. The refinery shut down for good last March, and since then most dogs have regrown their fur, lawns no longer catch fire when it rains, and I haven’t lost any more teeth.
Half the city’s out of work, of course. My parents lost their jobs and have moved in with us. Pop has adjusted well to forced retirement, but Ma’s having a rough go of things. Day after day, she bakes – gingerbread effigies of company management, which she skewers and sets afire with an acetylene torch. But who can blame her? After driving a dynamite truck for 32 years, a life reduced to watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills would turn anyone bitter.
Still, everybody has settled in to the new arrangement. We’ve learned to sleep through the folks’ late night mixed martial arts bouts, and to ignore Pop’s parakeet pecking on our heads during dinner. Ma’s fondness for indoor skeet shooting still jangles our nerves, but give it time, I say.
A sea breeze has also blown our way. Three weeks after my parents moved in, Paul joined the Navy. I’m darned proud, and darned lonesome. I told him I’d follow him to his post. We all told him. But families aren’t allowed to accompany submarines under the Arctic ice pack, so we’ll have to wait ’til the spring thaw for contact.
Spurred by Paul’s patriotism, Jimmy has set his sights on becoming a Secret Service agent. Yes, he has hurdles to leap – the school expulsions, his nasty letters to the Chief Justice, and the fact that three South American countries are seeking his extradition for plotting coups d’etat. But he has a plan to overcome these barriers: he’s going to expose the conspiracy that links JFK’s assassination to the Walt Disney Corporation and the explosion of Mt. St. Helens. I know, I know – most people think the Jesuits are behind it all. The truth is nothing so obvious. I can hardly wait!
The spring turned into a whirlwind when our Twink became a rising star on the tiny tot beauty pageant circuit. She heard the winner’s theme song so often (“I’m Prettier Than You”) that she had it memorized. But to our dismay, she abandoned the pageant circuit shortly after my fight with another mom over possession of the last can of hairspray in the Tiara Room. All Twink does now is climb trees, play house with some plain-Jane friends, and turn in her homework. And she says she wants to be a teacher! What a blow.
A bitter north wind blew Violet’s way this summer — her marriage ended after just three weeks. At the time, it had seemed so perfect: my baby, becoming Mrs. Elvis Presley! (And yes, doubters: Elvis. Presley. Check with the Hall of Records – that’s the name he wrote on the marriage license.) The newlyweds headed to Reno, where Elvis planned to announce a major comeback. However, the casinos didn’t believe he was really “The King” and would only book him as an Elvis impersonator. And lounge acts don’t pay much, so Vi also took a job… as an Elvis impersonator. She got better reviews. So much for wedded bliss.
To restore Vi’s battered spirit, Janie treated her to a Club Med Cancun vacation. There, the winds of fortune picked up. Literally. The girls were para-sailing when a rogue gust snapped the rope that tethered their parachute to the tow boat. The kids whipped away into the Mexican sky and haven’t landed yet. But they’ve been sighted several times, and last week a Peruvian llama herder found Janie’s bikini top snagged on an Andean peak. We’re hopeful that prevailing air currents will hold, dropping the girls in western Africa before hurricane season.
What next for the family? The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Jolly Holidays –
All of us