Friday, December 20, 2013

Classic Wishes Never Go Out of Style

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 a couple years ago. Good enough for me. Sounds like a reasonable enough excuse to turn it into a tradition, dontcha think? This makes the third year for it, now, and don't be surprised if it resurfaces again next year.  So, here it is, a classic tale, although not exactly in the same category as Dickens, about (ahem)  inflated dreams... 

Enjoy.


++++++

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 the end of this post.)

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.


112 comments:

  1. Being a sorry tree hugging whack job whenever I see those over the top houses covered in Christmas lights all I can think is that there goes another degree of global warming.

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    1. Being a tree-hugging whack job (at least by right-wing standards) is cool, but don't be "sorry" about it. I'm sure lots of people think the same thing when they look at those over-the-top light displays. Me? I'm more likely to think about how glad I am that I don't have to pay their power bill.

      Delete
  2. This is indeed a classic. You had me laughing all the way through it. I was visualizing your timid quest for Lovable Louise in the adult bookstore.

    As for Christmas decorations, I'm a traditional kind of guy. I like to keep things simple and sane. You won't find me hanging pantyhose over my fireplace. Or jock straps, for that matter (don't ponder that for too long......)

    Have a warm and wonderful holiday season!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Good! I'm always glad to make you laugh. And I am EXTREMELY happy that no jock straps hang above your fireplace.

      A very warm and wonderful holiday season to you, too!

      Delete
  3. Even though "the writer remains unknown," I can certainly envision you writing this, Miss Susan! LOL
    Since I just met you a while back, I hadn't read this before, but I'm already looking forward to next year! Have a wonderful Christmas!!

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    1. Thanks, Becky! (I took considerable liberties with the original words.)

      You have a wonderful Christmas, too!

      Delete
  4. Huge smiles, and many, many thanks. I hope your Christmas is filled with love, with chocolate and with Merlot. And books, and ....

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    1. Huge smiles back atcha, and I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas filled with peace, joy, and love. (The chocolate and wine is a given...)

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  5. SUSAN ~
    I read the entire blog bit, and here's the thought I went away with:

    "Next year, Baby Jesus be made o' cardboard".

    Thanks fo' da insp'ration!

    Merry Cardboard to you and yourn!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Nope, no cardboard Jesus here. Once upon a time, my parents had a plastic Jesus on the dashboard of the car, but never a cardboard one. We have multiple nativity sets around here, but whether they're made of ceramic, crystal, or whatever, it doesn't matter, because the real Jesus is in our hearts.

      And a very Merry Christmas to you!

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    2. Ahh, indeed!

      The Nativity set we have here is the same one my parents had before I was even born. Nuttin' could replace it!

      This artificial Christmas tree, however, is starting to get a bit ragged. Before long, I may take a page from YOUR book, and find myself singing...

      Oh, Cardboard tree
      Oh, Cardboard tree
      How lovely are thy... branches?

      Susan, I hope you and Smarticus have a wonderful Christmas!

      Yak Later,

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. I only have a few pieces of my parents' old nativity set, and it was a gift from me to them when I was a young child. (So, YEAH! It's old!)

      Back atcha!

      Delete
  6. THAT WAS FUNNY!! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. THANKS! Glad ya liked it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year right back atcha!

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  7. I had no idea those things were so aerodynamic. Merry Christmas!

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    1. What kid hasn't let a balloon shoot across the room? Just think of all that extra air in Louise to provide oomph to her flight! Of course, she'd probably look about as "graceful" as me doing the watusi after drinking a couple glasses of wine. (You don't think I'd be foolish enough do it without the wine, do ya?)

      Merry Christmas to you, too!

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    2. And a happy new year, esteemed lady!

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    3. Right back atcha! Except for the "lady" part, of course. Dude.

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  8. Hi Susan .. those decorations are beyond the pale now-a-days .. the less of them the better = classier. Have a great Christmas and I do love the family decorations ...

    Happy family time - and see you in the New Year .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I agree with you about less decoration looking classier. My favorite is a simple candle in each window and a wreath on the door.

      Merry Christmas to you, Hilary, and all the best in the new year. Seeya then!

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  9. A corrugated cardboard Christmas tree! I made one a few years ago, but mine was 6 inches tall and I packed it flat to send to my sister. I don't know if she ever decorated it. I'd already painted on some red and gold blobs.
    It's so beautifully simple, yours I mean.
    I'd completely forgotten about Louise until I saw the pantyhose hanging there.

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    1. Yes, our tree is very simple, and it suits us. We figure the less time we spend on elaborate decorations that no one's likely to see but us anyway, the more time we have to enjoy and relax into the season. Besides, I really do worry about our cats getting hurt, or trying to eat the tinsel.

      Take care. Marry Christmas, and we'll seeya next year!

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  10. How well I remember this story. It is by far, the funniest Christmas story, ever. Enjoy you wonderful family Christmas with love and giggles.

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    1. Yeah, this story makes me laugh every time I read it, too.

      Here's wishing you a wonderful Christmas, too, Manzie. And as always, with lots of love and giggles. (MUCH more important than presents!)

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  11. Omg, this story is fabulous! Freaking funny:) Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!

    Madison:)

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    1. Thanks, Madison! I'm glad you liked it.

      Thanks for signing on as a new member, and welcome aboard! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and all the best to you in the New Year. (Just don't hang Louise too close to the fire!)

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  12. I do love this post and glad you are making it a tradition. It has me laughing every time.

    Have a merry, Susan.

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    1. Thanks. It always makes me laugh, too.

      You have a very merry, too, Arleen.

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  13. You gave me some good laughs this morning. Susan I hope you have a very Merry Christmas :) :)

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    1. Good! Laughter is good for the cardio system. (That's what I tell myself, anyway, as it's my most frequent form of "exercise.")

      Merry Christmas to you, too.

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  14. Nothing says Christmas like pulling tinsel out of a cats behind.
    Like you our traditional Christmas gets pared down a little bit each year. We now leave the enlightening to others.....and our Christmas has never been inflated (okay maybe the budget). Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends .... gobble 'til you wobble.

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    1. Sounds like you might have had the "pleasure" of dealing with tinsel-eating cats, too! (I'm just glad they weren't physically harmed by the experience.)

      I'm already wobbling, so I'm gonna try to curtail the over-gobbling as much as I can. (Yeah, right.) A very Merry Christmas to you, too.

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  15. hahaha been inflated here
    Was fun as it was given by my little rhyming rear
    She blew a hole
    And it took its toll
    Pulling tinsel from a cats ass
    Also is far worse than gas

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    1. A gal like Louise, filled with air,
      Would bring lots of laughter to your lair,
      But for more fun beyond compare,
      Fall for a real live lady fair.

      Delete
  16. The inflatable doll story is well worth posting year after year-hilarious.
    I like your style of decorating, especially your non-traditional Christmas tree.
    Have a wonderful Christmas.

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    1. Thanks! Glad ya like it.

      You have a wonderful Christmas, too.

      Delete
  17. I like the traditional, but am glad for the few nuts that go crazy with lights.

    Funny, funny story well told!!

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    1. Yeah, me, too. It's nice to enjoy the fruits of other people's more enlightening endeavors without having to climb up on a ladder or pay exorbitant power bills.

      Thanks! Glad ya liked it. Merry Christmas!

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  18. Thank goodness you warned us to put our drinks down first. I could just picture the Cranberry sauce. Ain't life fun!

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    1. Yes, indeed... life is fun... and good. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely lady.

      Delete
  19. I love the tree! This is just what I need to do so I can have a tree without worrying about coming home to total destruction thanks to Clancy and Nate.

    Merry Christmas, Susan! :)

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    1. The tree may not be as "festive" as the trees we used to have, but I'd much rather have our cats than worry about having perfect decorations. (And I was concerned about the whole tinsel out their butts thing... that can't be too healthy!)

      Merry Christmas to you, too, Julie!

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  20. We have a neighbor with a ton of those inflatables. I think they spend so much time deflating them in the day, and putting them back up at night. It's just too cold for that for me. :)

    5 more days, woooot!

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    1. Holy moley! I didn't know anyone went through the hassle of deflating and re-inflating those things every day! (What a pain in the patootie that'd be!)

      Merry Christmas!

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    2. They're probably not as fun to inflate as the doll you had on display, hahaha. Happy New Year!

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  21. The story of Louise really took my fancy and I can just see Grandpa flirting with her. A delightful story. You've devised a wonderful way of keeping the cats out of the tree too and they are two very lovely cats too.
    My you and all your loved ones have a merry, safe and peaceful Christmas and an enjoyable festive season : )

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the tale of Louise. Grandpa's flirting is my favorite part of it.

      Yeah, our tree isn't exactly traditional, but the well-being of our "girls" is much more important than having a fancy tree.

      And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours, too. Seeya next year!

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  22. Thank you for the warning: I am glad I put my coffee down before reading about Louise! That was awesome. Merry Christmas, Susan!

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    1. We can't have you spitting coffee all over your keyboard, now can we? I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Merry Christmas to you, too, Stephanie!

      Delete
  23. Hilarious story.

    We, too, still use the old ornaments. We downsized to a small tree this year, so many were left in the box. But, I still found a place for the homemade ones and a few that my mom had on her tree when she was a girl. I guess that makes us Traditionalists, too.

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    1. Thanks, Robin. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      Old traditions seem so much more enjoyable this time of year, don't they? Here's wishing you and your family a wonderful and merry Christmas. Seeya next year!

      Delete
  24. We're pretty much traditional decorators, too. In fact, we've had the same tree every year for twenty years. It still looks good, even more so because the ornaments we use to decorate are just like some of the ones you describe: childish rendering with popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, and Styrofoam cones. It's sad to know that this will be the last year we decorate the tree with our son's ornaments. He graduates college in May and will be moving to Virginia in June. The ornaments will go with him.
    I am going to look into an inflatable doll decoration, though. It apparently is the gift that keeps giving the whole year.

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    1. You'll get as much pleasure seeing those old ornaments at your son's house as you've had seeing them at yours. There's such a nice feeling of continuity in seeing the next generation carry on our traditions.

      Okay on the doll, but ya better not let her hang around too close to the fireplace.

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  25. I remember the story from last year...and I still snorted!

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. It always makes me laugh, too.

      Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  26. Replies
    1. The same to you... and all the best in the new year.

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  27. Best story ever ! Passed cranberry sauce through your nose !
    I am writing a Monday post to wish everyone a lovely Christmas but just in case I don't want o miss you,
    Merry Christmas !
    and I am so happy I found your blog this year.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad ya liked it.

      And a very Merry Christmas to you, too. The feeling is mutual. I always look forward to seeing what you and those adorable pups of yours are doing.

      Delete
  28. Ha ha. But seriously, a cardboard Christmas tree is a great idea.

    Happy holiday weekend.

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    1. Thanks. The cardboard tree works for us, anyhow. (And it stores in the closet as is!)

      Happy holidays to you, too, Medeia.

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  29. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Susan :)

    Oh my, I sincerely laughed from the bottom of my my belly, it felt great... that story was so darned hilarious... .lmao :)

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    1. The same to you, Launna. I hope you and your daughter have a wonderful Christmas...and all the best in the new year.

      I'm glad, but you'd better be careful about that lmao stuff. You've lost an awful lot of weight, ya know, and you don't have much "a" to spare.

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  30. Ha! My brother and I often critique the displays in other people's yards - those inflated ones consistently get Fs!

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    1. An inflated nativity scene doesn't do it for ya, huh? (Me, neither!)

      Merry Christmas!

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  31. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Love your cats, I once had a tortoise shell named Samantha, seeing yours reminded me of her.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family, too, Inger.

      (We're kinda partial to our cats, too. They're just a teensy... oh heck, who am I trying to kid?... they're spoiled rotten.)

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  32. This whole post was just ridiculously hilarious.

    "The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed..."

    LOVED it!

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  33. Such true festive delight!
    I have just a few lights put out on my balcony and I'm the only one in my street who does that :)
    Wishing you lovely festive days, my dear

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    1. Thanks, Dezzy! Here's wishing you lots of lovely festive days... and nights... too.

      Delete
  34. Hola, que tengas un lindo fin de semana navideño, un placer descubrir tu bello blog, feliz Sábado, te invito de manera cordial a que visites el Blog de Boris Estebitan y leas un poema mío titulado “El guerrero Pegaso”, espero que te agrade, puse mucho de mí para escribirlo, saludos cordiales y un abrazo enorme.

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  35. OMG, I'm wiping tears of laughter from my eyes as I type this. I had to read it to hubby too! So, so funny!

    Thank you! Have a very Merry Christmas!

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    1. I'm glad the story tickled your funny bones. (Laughing is great exercise... now you can have another cookie.)

      A very Merry Christmas to you, too!

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  36. Merry Cbristmas and Happy New Year to you - best to stick with the classic sayings. Enjoy! Great post and I look forward to your 2014 gems

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    1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, too, Joanne.

      Seeya next year!

      Delete
  37. Hysterical post. Have a Merry Christmas.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Joyce. And a very Merry Christmas to you, too.

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  38. Maybe the stocking are empty 'cuz Santa couldn't find the right woman to fill them. ;0) Merry Christmas, Susan!

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    1. HA! Yeah, could be.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sherry. (Sorry. Odds aren't great for a white one here...)

      Delete
  39. Yes great story ~ worthy of dusting off and recycling every year.

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  40. Have a terrific holiday season!!

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  41. I'm also glad that you shared this holiday classic again! There are so many great lines including their dinner table discussion, and when Grandpa attempted "mouth to mouth resuscitation" on Louise! Love your tree too! Merry Christmas Susan!

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    1. Thanks! We had a fan-TAS-tic Christmas! Happy New Year to you and your whole family. Thanks for being my blogger buddy, and for all your support with my book. Here's to a super 2014... Cheers!

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  42. Stopping by again to wish you a Happy New Year full of love, peace, health and happiness!

    Madison:)

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    1. Thanks so much, Madison. Here's wishing all those things for you and yours in the new year, too.

      Delete
  43. Sus, is one of your cats a torty? That's what we have.

    Well, I have to say that I like the traditional decorating the best. Our tree this year was decked out like it was every year--in tiny white incandescent bulbs and our family's slow-grown ornament collection, my favorite of which is either the one of my daughter in pre-K framed in a handmade gingerbread man or my PBJ with a bite taken out of it (not an actual sandwich--a bit of an over-the-top replica.) We each get to pick out an ornament each year to add to the collection and, this year, I thinned out our stash a bit with the move so felt justified in choosing two: a slice of pepperoni pizza and a plain, white porcelain gnome.

    As for the inflatable end of the spectrum, erm, to each their own!

    I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, Susan, and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

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    1. Hi-ya, Suze. No. Dash is a calico. (And as soft as a bunny rabbit.)

      Your decorations sound wonderful. That's the way ours were when our kids were youngsters. They groaned and pretended to hate seeing their old handmade decorations on the tree every year, but secretly, I think they loved it.

      I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, too, and all the best in the new year. Seeya soon!

      Delete
  44. "I Think; Therefore, I Yam" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-sunday-drive_29.html

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    1. Thanks, Jerry! I do appreciate it.

      Happy New Year to you and yours.

      Delete
  45. Love that story! LOL

    Hope you had a nice Christmas, Susan!

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    1. Thanks. Glad ya liked it.

      We did! I hope you did, too. Happy New Year!

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  46. Wishing for much success for you for 2014!

    Nas

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  47. Just catching up on my blog visits. I love the quote at the top. So true! I wish you all the very best in 2014!

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    1. Hi-ya. Happy New Year! It's good to hear from you again.

      Delete
  48. Your story about the inflatable Louise is a hoot, and will there be a movie version? Grandpa flirting with her? Fixed with duct tape, too funny.

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    1. HA! Yeah, that would make quite a movie scene, wouldn't it?

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  49. Belated happy new year old gal.....x

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    1. Hi-ya! Good to hear from you again! And a very happy new year to you, too. Old man. HA!

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  50. It's far too late to be wishing you happy holidays (we've done all that anyway), but I really need to say how much I love your new banner. How adorable is that pic? (Shirt looks cozy, too.)

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Thanks! That's our calico Dash. It totally cracked us up when we saw her curled up inside the flannel shirt sleeve. Made her own little cozy nest.

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  51. Just wanted to stop by and say HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!! ;-)

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    1. Hi-ya! I'm so glad you did! A very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, too!

      Delete
  52. Hope your Christmas was merry and your new year bright. I'm finally back and just stopping in to say hi :)

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    1. Right back atcha! Good to hear from you again, and I should be "back" soon, too. HI!!!

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  53. ur so amazing, have a happy new year

    http://iamaleena.blogspot.com.au/

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