The family and I spent Christmas and a few days thereafter at Ma and Pa Baldwins. Here’s the wrapup.
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For weeks there have been signs posted around my neighborhood, urging the citizenry to get all fired up for an upcoming “Holiday Parade.” Well, last Saturday that promise was fulfilled, and it’s a good thing I happened to be standing right by the window when it happened or I would have completely missed out on the yuletide revelry.
The parade consisted of four vehicles: a fire engine adorned with tinsel in the lead; two SUVs in the middle — the first covered in Christmas lights, the second with paper snowflakes in the windows; and, as the caboose, a pickup truck with one of those motorized, wicker reindeer in its bed. They drove by at about 35 miles an hour. The only way I knew that I was watching the actual parade (as opposed to a bunch of vehicles en route to the parade) was because, every half block or so, the driver of the firetruck would ring its bell.
I was so filled with the holiday spirit that it’s remarkable I didn’t swell up like a tick on a basset hound.
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On Christmas I made up a joke.
Q:How do you know when an owl has to go to the bathroom?
A: He says: Poo! Poo!
I ran this by a focus group consisting of my niece, and I can predict with confidence that this witticism is going to be big with the highly-coveted 5-7 year, scatology-obsessed demographic.
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Over Christmas dinner my mother told her favorite seasonal story:
When your sister was three we took her to go see Santa at the mall. When it was our turn we started to approach Santa, but she got a little scared, stopped walking, and let go of my hand. Suddenly — and without asking me — this elf swooped down out of nowhere, picked her up, and carried her up to Santa. She was silent for a moment, but then she let out the loudest, most bloodcurdling scream I have ever heard. It just echoed and echoed inside the mall. Shoppers rushed over to see what was going on; patrons at a nearby restaurant dropped their forks in alarm and swiveled their heads to watch the spectacle.
The elf was so startled by the shriek that she hurriedly plopped your sister into Santa’s lap. And as soon as she landed she turned into a wildcat, hollering and kicking and flailing around everywhere. Santa had a handle on her for a few seconds, but then she got turned around and planted a knee right into his groin. We all watched in horror as she kneed Santa in the balls five or six more times, before squirmming loose and running back to me.
It was a horrible situation, but everyone — except Santa and the elves — was roaring with laughter. After a few seconds Santa half rose from his chair and hobbled off, sort of hunched over and moaning. An elf came out a minute later with a sign reading “Sorry, Santa is off feeding the reindeer!”
Honestly, I think all the great Christmas stories contain the phrase “kneed Santa in the balls.”
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We felt bad about leaving the cats on their own for four days, but when we got home we discovered they had celebrated the holidays in our absence.
And they left us a Christmas gift as well. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but if anyone had bought me the Cuidado: V