Friday, December 21, 2012

A Classless Classic


Thought for the day: Classic, you say? Oh, yeah, baby. Play it again, Sam!



 Instead of trying to come up with something new today, I'm gonna give myself an early Christmas gift, and do a re-run of a post some of you called classic when I ran it last year. Good enough for me. Sounds like a reasonable enough excuse to turn it into a tradition, dontcha think?  So, here it is, a classic tale, although not exactly in the same category as Dickens, about (ahem)  inflated dreams... 

Enjoy.


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Thought for the day: We don't stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.


No telling how many years this wreath has graced our front door.
We never made a huge production out of outdoor decorations, but every year, our kids made the same grand proclamation after we cruised our decorated-out-the-wazoo neighborhood on the way home from the candlelight service on Christmas Eve.

"The best one of all!" they'd lie as we pulled into our driveway.

Okay, so maybe they weren't really lying through their braces. Maybe anticipation of the hidden presents awaiting inside added a certain luster to their perception of our decorations.

Anyhow, I'd say decorating styles can pretty much be divvied into three categories: traditional, enlightening, and inflated. Us? We're traditionalThat means, except for an occasional new acquisition, I've pretty much used the same decorations every year. For a LOT of years. Like the ornaments that hung on my parents' tree when they were first married, some of which are now paper thin, and considerably faded with age. And a slew of decades-old goodies fashioned by our children with copious quantities of felt, glue and glitter, construction paper, walnut shells, clothespins, eyeglass lenses, and even a Mason jar lid. A black spider in a golden web and a huge decorated crab shell, both made my by sister-in-law. Boxes of tinsel painstakingly applied, strand by strand, and then painstakingly removed to store in a box for yet another year. Like I said, traditional. Well, to be more accurate, I suppose we've become more traditional cum lazy, because each year, I use less and less decorations, and some of them don't even make it down out of our attic anymore. For sure, our formerly traditional tree is considerably NOT traditional these days. (I'll give you a peek at it next week.)

These singers once belonged to my grandmother.

Everybody knows the enlightening type of decorator. They're the ones with so many lights blazing in their front yards, they risk causing a blackout across three states every time they turn 'em on. Very flashy. Sometimes, they even incorporate animation and music, too, and carloads of people stop by every night to ooh and aah over their winter wonderland. It isn't at all unusual for a competition of sorts to begin when multiple enlighteners live in close proximity. (Those neighborhoods can be seen from the space station.)



And then, there's the inflatedThis is a fairly recent category. I sure don't remember seeing this sort of display when I was a kid. Nowadays, you can purchase just about any character you can think of ... inflate it ... and stick it on your front lawn. And if you can't find a particular character, for the right price, you can probably have someone make one for you. Then, all those characters can weave and bob all over your yard.











Now then, to the point of today's post. Time for a tale about a Christmas inflatable of an entirely different ilk. This story originated in 1999, and was alleged to be the winning entry to a Louisville Sentinel contest about the wildest Christmas dinner. Turns out, no such newspaper ever existed, and the writer remains unknown, but the story lives on, thanks to the good ol' Internet. (WARNING: Better put your drink down before you read it.) Now here, after a bit of minor editing on my part, is that story:




As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of pantyhose over his fireplace every Christmas Eve. He said the only thing he wanted was for Santa to fill them, but what they say about Santa checking his list twice must be true, because every Christmas morning,  the other stockings would all be bulging with treats, but Jay's poor pitiful pantyhose were still dangling empty.

So one year, I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses, a fake nose, and a ski cap, and went in search of an inflatable love doll.

Know what? They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore. By the way, if you've never been in an X-rated store before, two words: don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there for an hour saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're kidding me!" and  "Who would buy that?" 

So anyway, I finally made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane, but finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry, but I settled for the bottom of the price scale: Lovable Louise. To call her a doll took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister-in-law was in on the plan, and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled Jay's pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. Then I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. We agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What the hell is that?" she asked.

My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll."

"Who would play with something like that?" she snapped.

 I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut.

"Where are her clothes?" she continued.

"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room.

 But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?"

Again, I could have answered, but why risk it? It was Christmas, and nobody wanted to spend it in the back of an ambulance saying, "Hang on, Granny, hang on!"

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me, waggled his eyebrows, and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?"

I told him she was Jay's friend, and a few minutes later, noticed Grandpa standing by the mantel, talking to Louise. And not just talking. He was actually flirting. It was then we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the pantyhose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants, and Granny threw down her napkin, and stomped outside to sit in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember. Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

After that, Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies, and I'm pretty sure Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.

                                                     *****************

This is gonna be my last post this year. Time to declare family time. But before I go, let me share a picture of our non-traditional Christmas tree I mentioned above.

Not too bad, right?


It's made of cardboard, cut in the shape of a tree,  painted green, and decorated with bubble lights and twinkle lights. Easy up, easy down, and we don't have to worry about our cats climbing it, or breaking our antique tree decorations, and I don't have to follow them around to pull tinsel out of their butts. PLUS, they can still look out the front window. Win-win all the way around.




         Merry Christmas.  May all your dreams... no matter how inflated...  come true.

                                Until next year, take care of yourselves. And each other.



47 comments:

  1. OMG, I toally remember that story now!!!

    And it's still as funny to read today. LOL!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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    1. Yeah, this is one of those stories that never fails to crack me up. And a very MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, too. Seeya next year!

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  2. Hi Susan .. what a great story - such fun to read - made my cup of tea stay on the desk ... absolute joy of joys .. those stories live on ... thanks for posting it ..

    Happy Christmas and have a lovely festive season ... and much happiness in 2013 .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Yeah, I think that story is more naughty than nice, but it sure is funny! Merry Christmas, Hilary. Seeya next year.

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  3. Hilarious story! That was a neat idea on the Cardboard Christmas Tree, and love the last pic. It looks like the kitties are holding the tree up. Thanks for sharing. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and Happy and Safe New Year!

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    1. Glad ya liked it. Yeah, that cardboard tree has worked out really well for us. And since it stores with all the lights left attached, it's really easy to put up and take down.

      A very Merry Christmas to you, too, and all the best in 2013.

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  4. Ha! Thanks for the laugh! How will you ever top that one? Merry Christmas!

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    1. You're welcome. I'm glad it tickled your funny bone, too. Dunno if I can ever top it, but that won't stop me from trying! Merry Christmas.

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  5. I never read it before so I'm glad you reposted it. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Inger. And all the best in 2013.

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  6. Replies
    1. You, too. (Christmas HAS to be special in a place named OZ!)

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  7. I love visiting your blog because of the word of the day. I love this one " We don't stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing."

    Anyway, I just want to wish you and your wonderful family a very merry christmas! god bless!



    xx!

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    1. Thanks. Glad you like them. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours, too.

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  8. Oh man, that's hysterical! I've got three brothers; surely one of them needs a blow up doll...

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. Glad you liked it. No matter how many times I've read it, it still cracks me up. If you get one of your brothers a doll, I wanta hear all about it! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too. 'Til next year...

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  9. Happy holidays.

    I love your idea of a Christmas tree. I have cats and had to put the poinsettias outside, which wilted fast. I need something I can easily put up and down.

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    1. Happy holidays to you, too. This tree fills the bill for being cat-friendly, and it's definitely easy to put up and take down. The way our two kitties climb, I know they'd get into all kinds of mischief if we dared to put up a real tree in "their" house.

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  10. Susan, ROFLMAO This abbrev. doesn't look right, but you know what I mean. The imagery you create when Louise popped, is precious. Especially Grannie going to sit in the car. Reminds me of my neighbors... he was the gay-blade and she would have sat in the car, but they're both gone now too. Last night, I saw Lampoon Christmas again for the 70ith time. Kinda reminds me of your dinner and the lights. :)
    Love your Christmas tree and show more pictures of your cats. Now that I'm blessed or saddled with Puss (don't know which it is)I'm suddenly more interested in other people's cats. I like the fact that you don't have to pet them. Just put your hand out and they pet themselves.
    Blessings for your family and the little ones at Christmas time.

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    1. Hi-ya. Glad you got a good laugh out of the story. And without a doubt... you are definitely "blessed" with your cat. Our kitties are real cuddle bunnies. Since we got home from visiting the grandchildren in Alabama, our four-legged "girls" are all over us. The were so happy to have us back home they forgot to act aloof.

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  11. This is the most delightful Christmas story I've ever read. Hilarious. I needed to laugh, and you did it for me!

    May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas. I'll see you again also in the New Year!!

    Ann

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    1. I'm so glad you thought it was funny. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year! (almost)

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  12. A great story Susan.
    I wish you and your family a great Christmas.

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    1. Glad ya liked it, Anthony. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, too.

      Hey, John. Hope you had a happy Christmas, too. (It's been a long time since anyone called me "old bean"!)

      Happy New Year, guys!

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  13. Omg!! This is THE funniest Christmas story I ever read! This is indeed a classic! I think someone in Hollyweird should contact you about movie rights. Great!! Have a very Merry Christmas. I don't think it could get any funnier.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I'm glad you enjoyed it. We did, indeed, have a wonderful Christmas. I hope you did, too. Now it's on to... Happy New Year!

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  14. For some reason I didn't follow your advice about putting down my drink... By the time I got to "Why doesn't she have any teeth?" I quickly set down my glass of red wine. And when I arrived at the part where the cat screamed, I was laughing so hard, my husband asked me if I was alright.

    Thanks for such a hilarious story. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    1. Tsk, tsk, tsk, shoulda put that glass down! (Red wine isn't nearly as pleasant then snorted through the nose...)

      Glad you got a good laugh out of it. I hope you had a super Christmas, and an even better 2013.

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  15. Replies
    1. Me, too. He's even smiling. For some reason, my father-in-law liked to call me Grinch during the holidays. And I called him Papa Scrooge.

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  16. Ha! My favorite Christmas post ever!!! Hope this year was just as much fun :)

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    1. Thanks. Our Christmas was just as fun... but without the inflated doll.

      Happy new Year!

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    2. Love your tree too by the way. For the last few years we've painted our Christmas tree on the big wall to wall mirror in the living room. The kitties are all a bit older now so we tried a tree again this year - surprisingly they didn't bother it, but we still just went with lights just in case!

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    3. Obviously, your cats are more well-behaved than ours. I have a small artificial tree on my desk beside the computer, with teeny balls, a garland, a bit of tinsel, and an angel on top. Dash, our calico, hasn't bothered it too much, but Dot, our tabby, seems determined to chew it all up, piece by piece.

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  17. I loved the cardboard Christmas tree--no needles to be swept up a hundred times a day!

    I hope you had a blessed Christmas!

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    1. That's right! Not a single needle!

      We had a glorious Christmas. I hope you and your clan did, too.

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  18. Susan,
    What a hoot the Christmas story was!!! I've seen the inflatable dolls and they're pretty funny by themselves. This story needs at least a song made out of it. Like Grandma got ran over by a reindeer. This much funnier.
    Thanks for sharing the photos esp the three choir people. Brought back memories. I've seen that one before.
    Also, thanks for stopping by my blog. And for reading VADA FAITH. I hope when you finish you might go back to Amazon and leave a brief review. They mean so much and people are just not leaving many for my book. Thanks a bunch! Barb

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    1. Ooh, what a good idea to write a song based on that silly story... I might have to do that before next Christmas. The family would get a real kick out of that.

      In the next few days, I'll try to catch up on all the reviews I've forgotten to write for a bunch of books... including yours. I read like a woman obsessed, but I'm a real slacker about writing those reviews.

      Happy New Year! (almost)

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  19. I like the cardboard tree idea, it looks great. I remember reading the story of Louise last year, I must have been website surfing, I know I wasn't following your blog back then.

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    1. Well, if you were here on a visit last year, and ended up coming back later as a follower, all I can say is, "Thanks!" I'm glad you're here. Glad you like the cardboard tree. Looks a little odd, but it suits us! Happy new year!

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  20. This was hilarious!!!!!!!!!
    Blessings, Joanne

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    1. Thanks. Glad ya liked it. Thanks for stopping by, and blessings right back atcha. Happy new year!

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  21. SUSAN ~
    That was great - even "classic".

    Like you, I am a "traditional" Christmas decorator. I have some very, very old ornaments and tinsel and such that I put out every year (including a Christmas tree ornament that used to be on my deceased Paternal Grandmother's tree when SHE was young). Over the years, I've composed a few blog bits about some of my 'Old School' Christmas decorations.

    I was going to complain that you haven't posted anything new on your blog in quite awhile, but then I discovered this blog bit and more. Although I AM "Following" this blog, for some buggy reason your new posts are not appearing on my Blogspot "Dashboard". I was surprised when I came here to your blog and found two or three new installments that never showed up on my Dashboard.

    Good ol' Blogspot - it's almost as buggy as Amazon.com.

    Happy New Year, Susan!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  22. Hi-ya. Glad ya liked it. (You can always count on me for a little "class".) For whatever reason, quite a few of the blogs I "follow" never appear on my blogroll, either, so you aren't alone. Glad you found your way over, though, and a very happy new year to you, too.

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  23. Susan,
    Thanks for taking the time to write a review of Vada Faith. I appreciate. I'd be interested in hearing from you email if you ever have time. What is your novel about? Are you marketing it? Have you thought of going Indie as I did with VF?
    My email is barbwhitti@aol.com if you ever want to talk writing.
    Happy New Year. Barb

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    1. My pleasure, Barb. I even got an email from Amazon, saying my review helped someone "make a decision" about buying your book. How about that? (Let's hope it was the RIGHT decision, huh?) I'll email you within the next couple of days. Happy New Year!

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