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Monday, December 27, 2004

Not A Mushy Holiday Tale

(Christmas Eve: Long Story, Savor It)

Let's Talk Turkey
It's 5:45 a.m., do you know where your turkey is? Friday at that time, mine was in my kitchen sink. I like to provide my bird with a ceremonial bath before I stuff it's ass with bread and roast it.

I was impressed by this fresh-from-the-farm turkey. At 24 pounds, it filled the left side of the sink. I took out all of the ickiness inside and began the bath.

The night before I broke the bread and sautéed the onions and celery needed for the stuffing. Once the bird was clean, I got a big bowl, the onions, celery, bread and all of the other ingredients and began trying to stir this monstrosity of stuffing. My forearms were killing me. Maybe it was a result of all the baking done the day before, stir, whip, beat. It was like crazy sex.

My arms limp as two noodles, I did what needed doing, I put my bare hands in the bowl to mix it up. I was totally grossed out. It had such a slimy (from the egg) icky feeling. Normally I have a pretty tough stomach but it was so early and I'd only had half of a cup of go-go juice.

The feeling of the bowl's contents actually made me gag. At the same time Mr. Lane. had strolled back into the kitchen for his second cup of coffee.

"Why are you gagging?"
"I can't touch this stuff. It's so... (gag) ewww."
"Are you kidding me? You just fist fucked a turkey but you're gagging over bread?"
"When you put it that way, it does seem pretty silly."

I could tell we were going to have a wonderful day!


The Eve Of The Eve
(Phone call with sister in-law) "We'll be up early you can come whenever you want. We're eating at 2:30 p.m."
"Do you want me to bring anything?"
"No, it's under control, but thanks."
"Well, I can pick up some stuff for horse d'overs."
"If you really want to, sure. We'll have plenty of food and we are eating early, so don't go all out."
"It's fine, I'll get some shrimp and make cocktail sauce, and a meat and cheese tray. Can you think of anything else?"
"No, that would be plenty. You really don't even need to bring that. I have a ton of food really."
"No, it's okay, I want to do something."
"Then get your ass here early and help clean the cooking mess." (I only thought it.)
"Okay, see you tomorrow."
"Thanks, bye."
So much for having everything under control. I don't think these people trust me. I've been a part of their family for 16 years, why the fuck don't they know when I say I have it under control. I, in fact, have it under control.


The Arrival Of The Guests
It's 1:45 p.m., do you know where your guests are? Mine were following each other out in a great convoy, since I live in the "boonies", so I'd imagine they were all somewhere between here and there.

Mr. Lane was pacing like a puppy waiting to be let out to take a crap. He looked out the window 47 times in 10 minutes. He wasn't being very helpful. In fact, he was making me nervous.

"If you think they got lost, call."
"You don't think they're still at home do you?"
"I doubt it. Everyone has a cell phone. Just call."
We had a back-and-forth conversation with the same words mixed up in various ways for 15 minutes. He still didn't call.

I finished the preparations and his panic was out of control.
"You should wait before you carve the turkey."
"I said we are eating at 2:30, and guess what, we are. If they make it in time, great, if not, there's nothing I can do about it. I timed everything based on 2:30 and it's almost ready."
He finally called his sister's cell. They were less than 15 minutes away.

They came in armed with presents and horse d'overs.

"Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes guys hurry up. Son, take their coats. Mr. Lane, get drinks for everyone. Kids, go wash your hands."

It was whispered in my ear that I was being a bit demanding and rushing people. Fire shot out of my eyeballs at that man. That's right folks, Mr. Lane has the balls of an elephant.

Sister A was upset that I promptly set her horse d'overs in the refrigerator rather than on the table. She didn't say anything but she had a sad whooped dog look about her. I gave her a kiss on her forehead. "Sorry folks but horse d'overs are served before dinner, right?! Nice frozen shrimp by the way." (I only thought it.)

Everyone ate, no one died, no one choked, everything was good. Moving this party, and now this post along, I set out dessert and the stupid horse d'overs. Ass backward, I know but I didn't want anyone thinking I didn't appreciate their contribution to this holiday feast. "Even if some people are too goddamned stupid to defrost their crappy ass shrimp and copout with store bought cocktail sauce as well." (I only thought it.)

There were more kids than grownups, and the words, "Can we open presents now?" came every three minutes. There was no cleaning up time in between, it was dinner, dessert, presents.

The boys ran off to Lane 1's room with their haul and the girls headed to Lane 2's room. They played while the grownups talked and laughed. We played a couple of rounds of "Scene It" which was a fun game. It was bought by Sister B for Lane 1 but it doesn't seem like a kid game.

I kept looking at the clock because my friends also were having a party and asked us to stop by. I yawned, stretched and got up. "This is my subtle hint for you people to go away now." (I only thought it.) I headed back into the kitchen and started to clean. Mr. Lane followed.

"Why are you cleaning now? It can wait."
"I know but by the time I get back from Sara and Jim's, I'll be too tired to finish."
"Oh, shit! I forgot about them."
"You can hang here and I'll take the kids."
"No, I gotta see Jim's face when he opens my gift."
"It's 6 p.m. already. I told Sara we would be there by 7."

With minimal tact, Mr. Lane makes his announcement that we have somewhere we need to be soon. "Yes we are important people. We have places to go and people to see, and we have seen enough of you folks to hold us over until next year." (Again, I only thought it.)

I jumped in, "You guys can hang here. It's just down the street and we are only exchanging gifts and we'll be back. Isn't he nice for trying to kick you out? 'Thanks for driving an hour and a half to see us, and thanks for the gifts. Now get the hell out.' " We all laughed at his expense. And best of all, no one knew that I had the same thing going on in my own mind.

They decided it was getting late and they did have a long ride ahead.

"Okay, thank you for coming. Drive safely. Buh-bye, buh-bye now."


Friends Are More Fun Than Family
Sara and Jim's family members were clearing out and there were just a few friend stragglers hanging around. Mr. Lane and Jim acted like they hadn't seen each other in years. Hugs, back pats, holiday pleasantries and then Jim took Mr. Lane to the garage to show off his gifts. Our kids ran off with their kids.

Sara said Jim was pacing before we got there.
"I said we would be here at 7, and it's 6:50."
"I know that, and you know that but Jim is retarded."
"Oh, just like Mr. Lane."
"I'm too full."
"Dinner go well?"
"It went."
"That bad huh?"
"It was okay. House is a wreck again."
"I made my guests clean. What's the matter with you? Did you lose your edge?"
"No, I was just happy to get dinner on the table in time. They offered to help clean but I was trying to push the party along."
"You sure you don't want any eggnog?"
"Is it virgin?"
"Are you kidding me?"
"I'll take a double."

I decided I could be an alcoholic but eggnog is nothing I can drink too much of. I switched to soda with a splash of rum. Before long I was feeling relaxed.

To the tune of the Little Drummer Boy, I sang. "rum-rum-rum-rum... I love to drink this shit, feels good in my tum."

Jim shouted, "PRESENTS!"
Kids came flying out of every direction but no one was as excited as Jim and Mr. Lane. I thought both of them would cry as they unwrapped their gifts.

Mr. Lane was given the official Fox Racing motocross uniform. "Yee-fucking-haw!" (I only thought it.)
"Dude! Oh, man, this is great. It matches my helmet! This is awesome!"
Jim looked like he would cry as he unwrapped his CB and antenna. "Yee-fucking-haw part two!" (Yeah, you guessed, I only thought it.)
"Oh, dude. Bro! You know how long I've wanted one of these? (hillbilly accent took over as he held the mic to his mouth) Breaker one-nine, this here's The Boss, this here's The Big Man, this here's the... I need a handle."

Sara and I mocked them as we opened our identical gifts. I knew she wanted a cordless phone and she knew I wanted one too. It was even the same brand and color. I almost felt bad about buying her 4-year-old daughter play makeup since they have champagne colored carpet. Almost.


Home On The Range
It was 10 p.m., the kids were two hours late for bed.
"Brush your teeth and get your jammies on. Santa's going to be here soon."
No fights, no arguing, they were as spent as I was.

It took until 3 a.m. to get the house clean and to help Santa get his shit together. I was brushing my teeth when Lane 2 came into the bathroom. Bubbled mouth I told her she would have to go back to bed because it was still the middle of the night.

I half slept, hearing her toss and turn.


It's 5:21 a.m., do you know where your children are? Mine were standing over me. I opened one eye. I asked what time it was. I almost cried. No. I didn't almost cry. I cried. Like a big ol' baby. I even started to suck my thumb and rock side-to-side.

Stay tuned: Tomorrow, a very merry Christmas. And then we can finally be done with all of this holiday bullshit!